Red Bull Theater Reveals Selections for Short New Play Festival 2024

The lineup features world premiere commissions from Madeleine George and Robert O’Hara.

By: May. 23, 2024
Red Bull Theater Reveals Selections for Short New Play Festival 2024
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Red Bull Theater has revealed the winning selections for Red Bull’s ANNUAL SHORT NEW PLAY FESTIVAL. Six brand new 10-minute plays of heightened language and classic themes inspired by this year’s theme, “Renewal,” have been selected through an open submission process. These selections will premiere alongside commissions from Madeleine George  (“Only Murders in the Building,” The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence, Hurricane Diane) and Robert O’Hara (Bootycandy, Insurrection: Holding History, Barbecue). The Short New Play Festival will be held on Monday June 24th (7:30pm) at Classic Stage Company's Lynn F. Angelson Theater, 136 East 13th Street. Red Bull Theater’s 14th annual Short New Play Festival is made possible by the leadership support of The Noël Coward Foundation.

This year’s winning playwrights, selected from hundreds of open submissions from playwrights across the country, are Luke Brett, Amy Jo Jackson, Fleurette Modica, Paloma Nozicka, Emma Schillage, and Madison Stranahan. The premieres will be directed by Evan Yiounoulis and this year's Drama League Directing Fellow, Irvin Mason Jr. Casting will be announced shortly.

"It is a thrill to announce the six winning entries for our annual Short New Play Festival! This year's theme of 'Renewal' inspired nearly 300 playwrights to pen brand-new surprising and delightful plays with a wonderful range. The six selected plays were hard to choose from so many great submissions! Together with our two established playwright commissions, they offer a terrific panoply of romance, drama, tragedy, and satire - all in conversation with the classics - enriching the boundaries of what that word can encompass. The eight plays brim with theatricality, passion, heightened language, epic themes, classical silliness, and fun. Mark your calendars now - this special event only comes round once a year!" said Artistic Director Jesse Berger.

This year's selected plays are:

The Skull of Elizabeth Bathory

by Luke Brett
Whispering to her keeper, the long dead skull of Elizabeth Bathory convinces a Restoration era actress in 1664 to lure trusting colleagues back to her home where they will be sacrificed in a ritual to eventually reanimate the horrifying Hungarian countess. In exchange, the actress has been promised the secret to eternal beauty. This dark legend plays with the conventions of Jacobean villainy while also examining why and how people find themselves willing to trade pain for beauty.

You Know What They Say About Scorned Women

by Amy Jo Jackson
A modern-day Helen of Sparta has fled captivity and come home to Menelaus...but after a decade of being reviled and misunderstood, how can she return to the life she thought she knew? After Menelaus decides they should renew their marriage vows, Helen takes an unconventional path towards reclaiming renewal for herself.

daphne and laurel

by Fleurette Modica
The campers at Diana's Camp for Wholesome Teenage Girls have been told that if they explore their sexuality in any way, they will turn into a tree. When Daphne returns from a late-night encounter with a boy, she and her roommate Laurel must confront whether everything they have been told is a lie. 


by Paloma Nozicka
Antigone meets "Fleabag." With Mexicans. Or something. A short play about honoring our dead, no matter what. 

The Purgatory for Women Who Commit Suicide

by Emma Schillage
Ophelia has lost someone. Everyone has in The Purgatory for Women Who Commit Suicide. But before they can move on to whatever is next, the women must find closure. And how do they do this? By casting spells of course! The Purgatory for Women Who Commit Suicide forces you to rethink what it means to be a hysterical woman.

Lady Macbeth's Hand Soap

by Madison Stanahan
Lady Macbeth (from Shakspeare's Macbeth) finds herself in the middle of a commercial for handsoap.

Details for this year's commissioned plays by Madeleine George and Robert O'Hara will be announced shortly.

Over the Short New Play Festival’s fourteen-year history, Red Bull Theater has cultivated over 4,000 new short plays of classic themes and heightened language, presenting 95 of them in a one-night-only Festival performance with some of New York’s finest actors and directors. The commissioned playwrights have included Larissa FastHorse, Marcus Gardley, John Guare, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Jeremy O. Harris, David Ives, Craig Lucas, Ellen McLaughlin, Dael Orlandersmith, Heather Raffo, Theresa Rebeck, José Rivera, Anne Washburn, Doug Wright, and winning entries by writers such as Anchuli Felicia King, Patricia Ione Lloyd, Lynn Rosen, and Jen Silverman. Stage Rights has published a 5-volume collection of the plays from the first 10 years of Red Bull Theater’s annual Short New Play Festival as Red Bull Shorts. 


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