History of New Plays
Since 1974, over a third of our productions have been World or Regional Premieres. Over the past ten years we have significantly expanded our commissioning and development of new work. Through initiatives such as our New Play Frontiers Residency and Commission program, Queerways, PA, and The People’s Light Harmony Labs we cultivate longstanding relationships with acclaimed local, national, and international artists to inspire and generate innovative works of theatre that resonate with our fast-growing and evolving region.
At People’s Light, we conceive, commission, develop, and premiere new works of theatre that represent and reflect many perspectives. We collaborate with ambitious, curious, and empathetic theatremakers from across the country who wish to engage with our distinctive region to tell stories that speak to our neighbors and our nation.
Recent World Premieres Include:
- Barcelona by Bess Wohl
- Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole by Colman Domingo and Patricia McGregor
- Mister Hart and Mister Brown by Bruce Graham
- Mud Row by Dominique Morisseau
- Project Dawn by Karen Hartman
- Stargirl by Y York
- Stella and Lou by Bruce Graham
- Such Things As Vampires by Zak Berkman, Stuart Carden, Jessie Fisher, and Mary Tuomanen
- The Harassment of Iris Malloy by Zak Berkman
- Mushroom by Eisa Davis
- Crushed Earth by Sanjit De Silva and Deepa Purohit (immersive audio play)
- Bonez by Steve H. Broadnax III
- Bayard Rustin Inside Ashland by Steve H. Broadnax III
- Personality by B. Jeffrey Maddoff with Lloyd Price
- along with numerous original holiday pantos
"Producing new work is a scary prospect, both for the playwright and the theatre, since we never know what works until we put it on front of an audience. People's Light takes that leap not only by producing new work, but by providing a support system to develop the play to its full potential. I still judge other productions of Mr. Hart and Mr. Brown by the standards set by the People’s Light production."
- Author of Mr. Hart and Mr. Brown (World Premiere 2012), Stella & Lou (Regional Premiere 2015)
“Karen Hartman’s Project Dawn is one of the very best productions of the season. It’s a big moment as play and as theatrical entertainment. It’s also important for how it got written, and the worthy — in fact, crucial — social work it does.”
- Reviewer for the Philadelphia Inquirer