New Works Initiative Returns Jan. 9 – 11, 2020

Posted: Wednesday, January 1, 2020, 9:24am

Following the success of last year's new play development workshops, Curtain Players' New Works Initiative returns for three nights of staged readings, Jan. 9, 10, and 11 at 7:30 p.m. to showcase three brand-new plays by local area writers.

This year's line-up includes:

Little Boxes by Emily Turner
Prima Donna by Chris Leyva
Suspension by Keely Kurtas-Chapman

Created and produced by Jeremy Sony, the New Works Initiative follows in the footsteps of Curtain's previous development series, Simply Staged and the CP Playwrights Festival, inviting playwrights to bring an idea to the table and develop it into a script.

Now that the scripts are ready, the next step in the process is giving them an audience. Each evening's reading will be followed by a Q&A with the playwright, director, and actors. Your feedback, as the first audience to hear these plays, will be invaluable to our playwrights as they continue developing their scripts.

Tickets will be "pay-what-you-want" and available at or at the door. Box office and house opens at 7 p.m., staged readings begin at 7:30 p.m. each night.

About the Plays & Playwrights:

Little Boxes by Emily Turner (Thursday, Jan. 9)
A theatrical valentine to kindness, empathy and friendship told in a series of vignettes.

Emily Turner is a Columbus playwright and actor whose original works have been seen throughout Ohio. Her full-length show, Girl, In Progress, produced by Red Herring Productions, was workshopped at Curtain Players Simply Staged series in 2015. She returns for her second New Works Initiative, following the 2019 presentation of her full-length play, Stag Light. Her writing has also been featured by Available Light Theatre (Columbus Voices24 Hr Thtr) and #Hashtag Comedy (Story Teller Nights). She’s served as mentor playwright for MadLab’s Young Writers Program and always enjoys working with young people, whether stage managing at Columbus Children’s Theater or speaking about writing at Columbus Academy. Emily has appeared on stages throughout Central Ohio.

Prima Donna by Chris Leyva (Friday, Jan. 10)
Irene Adler has reached the top of society and is the prima donna at the Imperial Opera of Warsaw. And now, she's started a fling with an actual prince! When love leaves and her career in Warsaw is threatened, she makes a gamble that risks everything.

Chris Leyva is a playwright, director, and podcast host (Writers Get Animated). His plays The Throne of Oz (based on the book "The Marvelous Land of Oz" by L. Frank Baum) and Cowgirls Don’t Ride Zebras both premiered at CATCO is Kids in Columbus, OH. His plays A World Without Allergies, A Talk by Dr. Kramer and Dinosaur Discovery: A Talk About Paleontology by Dr. Kramer both have premiered as part of MadLab Theatre’s Theatre Roulette. He was the 2013/2014 recipient of the CATCO and Greater Columbus Arts Council Playwright Fellowship with his play, Books & Bridges. He received an M.F.A. from The University of Iowa, a B.A. in Directing from Coe College, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Suspension * by Keely Kurtas-Chapman (Saturday, Jan. 11)
During a #MeToo support group meeting, Sheila discovers a horrific secret about her mother's past. Will she get justice for her mother or destroy an innocent man's life? *For mature audiences. Content warning: rape, sexual assault, mention of gun violence, gaslighting.

Keely Kurtas-Chapman is a graduate student in Augsburg University’s MFA in Creative Writing program. Though she has been actively involved in theatre for 37 years, she only recently returned to writing. She has written two full-length plays, Suspension and Resignation, and a comedic screenplay, Senioritis. Keely was commissioned by Star Performance Academy to write several short plays for children, Around the World (2018) and Let’s Join the Circus (2019).