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) presented in rotating repertory, 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.

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. Contact literary@roundhousetheatre.org for information about Industry Weekend ticket packages or other questions.


"This inaugural festival of original work in repertory propels Round House Theatre into the admirable ranks of companies pumping extra resources into new drama."
-Peter Marks, The Washington Post
  • 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 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.


    it’s not a trip it’s a journey is sponsored by Mitch & Heidi Dupler and Judy & Leo Zickler and supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

    "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.


    "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 with additional support from The Apothetae and Lark Playwriting Fellowship program.

    Additional support for the National Capital New Play Festival is provided by The Morgan Fund at Seattle Foundation.

    it’s not a trip it’s a journey is produced at Round House Theatre as part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. Other Partner Theaters are Good Company Theatre (Utah), and Know Theatre of Cincinnati (Ohio). For more information, please visit nnpn.org. 

  • Developmental Readings
    Developmental play readings are free, with tickets required. For sold-out events, a stand-by line will open 90 minutes before the start time. All tickets not picked up by 15 minutes before each event will be released to the stand-by line. (Note: All readings take place in the Round House Theatre event room.)

    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. RESERVE TICKETS
    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. RESERVE TICKETS
    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. RESERVE TICKETS
    Madre de Dios
    By Marvin González De León
    Directed by Ricky Ramón
    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. RESERVE TICKETS

    The National Capital New Play Festival Developmental Reading Series is sponsored by Clare Evans, with additional support from The RPM Fund.
  • Panel Discussions & Events
    As part of the inaugural National Capital New Play Festival (NCNPF), Round House Theatre is thrilled to present two in-person panel discussions on the topic of new play development. Panels are free of charge and open to the public—please join us as part of your NCNPF experience!
    New Plays at Home: The State of Play Development in the 51st State
    Saturday, April 30, 6:45PM
    Round House’s Festival is only the latest addition to a rich new work ecosystem in the Washington, DC region. Come hear from local writers, administrators, artists, and educators as we discuss what our current moment in new play development looks like here in the DMV.
    Everybody in the Room: Perspectives on New Play Development
    Saturday, May 7, 4:00PM (PLEASE NOTE UPDATED TIME)
    New plays start with a playwright. But it takes a whole team of artists working together to bring those plays to production. What does a new play process look like for a lighting designer, an actor, or a stage manager? Join a broad group of artists for these perspectives and more on the different challenges and exciting benefits of helping build a new play.
    No reservations are required.
Back to top