Overview

In April 2022, Round House Theatre launches the National Capital New Play Festival, an annual event celebrating new work by some of the country’s leading playwrights and newer voices. In addition to two fully staged world premieres (part of Round House’s main stage season), audiences are invited to readings of four plays in development, where they can sit alongside dramaturgs, directors, and other theatre professionals for an inside look into a play’s journey to the stage.

Tickets & Packages: Tickets for the world premieres of it’s not a trip it’s a journey and “We declare you a terrorist…” are on sale now. All developmental readings are free, with tickets required (available in Spring 2022, date TBA). Festival ticket packages, including both main stage premieres and option to add developmental readings, will be available beginning in late January 2022.

Industry Weekends
APR 29 – MAY 1, 2022 • MAY 6 – 8, 2022
We invite our professional colleagues from around the country to join us for either (or both!) Industry Weekends in celebration of these exciting new plays. Each weekend has been planned to allow guests to attend both main stage world premieres, as well as two readings and a panel discussion, while leaving plenty of time to catch up with other guests and artists. Mark your calendars—more details to be announced soon! (Questions about Industry Weekends? Contact literary@roundhousetheatre.org.)

"We declare you a terrorist..." is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award and is sponsored by Bonnie & Alan Hammerschlag and David & Sherry Smith.

The National Capital New Play Festival Developmental Reading Series is sponsored by Clare Evans,
with additional support from The RPM Fund.
 

  • On the Main Stage

    it's not a trip it's a journey
    By Charly Evon Simpson
    Directed by Nicole A. Watson
    APR 5 – MAY 8, 2022 | World Premiere

    June needs a journey. Like, now. So, she convinces her friends to ditch New York City (and their cellphones) for an impromptu road trip to the Grand Canyon. As the four wildly different friends travel through the wondrous and not-so-wondrous sights of the United States, they must come together to contend with being Black, femme, and American…all at the same time. An intimate play with vast ambitions, it’s not a trip it’s a journey is about road trips, friendships, and finding the difference between surviving and thriving.

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    "We declare you a terrorist..."
    By Tim J. Lord 
    Directed by Ryan Rilette & Jared Mezzocchi
    APR 7 – MAY 8, 2022 | World Premiere

    Moscow, 2002: halfway through Putin’s first official term as president. After he brutally crushes a rebellion in the territory of Chechnya, a group of Chechen insurgents hijack a blockbuster musical and take the entire audience of nearly 800 people—including the playwright—hostage. Based on the real events of the Dubrovka Theater hostage crisis, “We declare you a terrorist…” follows the playwright as he comes to terms with that tragic night at the theatre. This taut political thriller is brought to life through live theatre and film by co-directors Ryan Rilette and Jared Mezzocchi, the team behind the runaway hit The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

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    "We declare you a terrorist..." is a recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award and sponsored by Bonnie & Alan Hammerschlag and David & Sherry Smith.

     

  • Developmental Readings
    Jennifer, Who is Leaving
    Written and directed by Morgan Gould
    APR 28 & 30, 2022
     
    Nan is working the night shift, fielding periodic calls from her retired husband with questions about reheating dinner and where his car keys are. Jennifer is trying to tune out Joey, her elderly patient who is relishing getting on her last nerve. And Lili is stressing out about her upcoming SATs. Set in a Dunkin Donuts on the side of a Massachusetts highway, Jennifer, Who is Leaving is a profoundly relatable exploration of the expectations placed on women; the physical, mental, and emotional labor of being a caregiver; and what happens when we reach our breaking point.
     
    On the Far End
    By Mary Kathryn Nagle
    Directed by Laurie Woolery
    APR 29 & MAY 1, 2022
     
    Muscogee leader Ella Jean Hill traces her family’s history from the Trail of Tears to her grandfather’s allotment in central Oklahoma. In an astonishing one-woman play, she shares her story—the Native boarding school she fled on foot, her marriage to a young Bengali scholar, and the advocacy that became her life’s work. With On the Far End, a reference to the landmark 2020 Supreme Court opinion in McGirt v. Oklahoma that upheld the sovereignty of the Muscogee territories, one of America’s leading playwrights (Sovereignty; Manahatta) weaves a deeply personal account of one family—her own mother-in-law’s—and a legacy of broken promises between nations.
     
    Adia and Clora Snatch Joy
    Written and directed by Mfoniso Udofia
    Music by Nehemiah Luckett and Mfoniso Udofia
    MAY 5 & 7, 2022
     
    Mfoniso Udofia’s sprawling “Ufot Cycle,” a multi-generational, nine-play meditation on American immigration through the story of one Nigerian family, concludes in a warm, lively musical tale of love, fellowship, and destiny. Adiaha Ufot, eldest daughter of Abasiama Ufot, travels to South Carolina in search of a man who knew her mother in her final years. Instead, she finds Clora, a house that looks strangely familiar, and a chorus of spirit ancestors who bring the story to life. Together, the two women reconcile their individual pasts and imagine new ways forward.
     
    Madre de Dios
    By Marvin González De León
    Directed by Nadia Guevara
    MAY 6 & 8, 2022
     
    Following years of estrangement, Moisés returns to his mother’s home in the Nevada desert for his sister’s wake, reuniting with his twin brother Noé and his devout mother Marisol. Against a post-environmental-apocalyptic landscape where mysterious supernatural forces loom, old grudges are revisited and long-held secrets are revealed in a new play—part family drama, part biblical myth—by Mexican-American playwright Marvin González De León.
  • Panel Discussions & Events
    To be announced
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