Fayetteville theater company TheatreSquared announced the lineup for their 2015 Arkansas New Play Festival today. The event will see a series of five plays — including a few with Arkansas themes — by nationally and internationally-known playwrights performed in Fayetteville over two weekends in June. Several of the plays will also be staged in Little Rock on June 27. 

The event, to be held June 18-28, will host Pulitzer Prize finalist Lee Blessing, Mark Brown, Robert Ford, Qui Ngyen and Mark Shanahan. from a release about the festival: 


“Five plays will be developed over three intensive weeks with playwrights in residence at TheatreSquared, and performed for the public June 18-28, 2015. Works selected for development include Uncle, the newest play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award nominee Lee Blessing; The Quest for Don Quixote, a new adaptation by Mark Brown (Around the World in 80 Days); Dust, by Sundance Fellow and Arkansas native Qui Nguyen; Fault, by T2 Artistic Director Robert Ford; and The Dingdong: Or, How the French Kiss, Mark Shanahan’s new adaptation of the classic Feydeau farce, slated for its off-Broadway premiere in 2016. ”

All-access passes are on sale now for $40 through the Walton Arts Center. Call (479) 443-5600 or visit the TheaterSquared website for more information. Little Rock performances of a few of the plays will be staged on June 27, including Dust by Qui Nguyen and Uncle by Lee Blessing. Tickets for those performances will reportedly be on sale soon via the Arkansas Repertory Theatre box office.

The festival will also include the Arkansas Young Playwrights Showcase, featuring ten-minute plays by Arkansas high school students. That performance begins on Saturday, June 27, beginning at 5 p.m.


The festival will also host of the annual 24 Hour Play-Off, in which teams of writers and artists compete to see who can write and stage the best original 10-minute play in just 24 hours. Applications teams are being accepted at the TheatreSquared website.  

2015 New Play Festival Lineup: 


adapted by Mark Brown from Miguel de Cervantes; directed by Mark Shanahan

Playwright Ben Eisenberg sits in a Starbucks, just one day before his epic adaptation of Don Quixote begins rehearsal. There’s just one problem — he hasn’t written it. His agent is apoplectic, the advance is long since spent, and adapting a 1000-page Renaissance adventure is beginning to feel a bit like, well, tilting at windmills. But then—whether from a stroke of genius or a near-lethal dosage of caffeine and Xanax—Starbucks itself begins to transform, and the errant knight arises in this delightfully theatrical, hilarious retelling of Cervantes’s classic tale. Playwright Mark Brown’s adaptation of Around the World in 80 Days (T2, 2014) was one of the nation’s top-produced titles in 2014.

by Qui Nguyen

Spanning Ho Chi Minh City to El Dorado, Arkansas, Dust is the story of Thuy, a girl who sets out to find her ex-G.I. father—who has kept her existence a secret from his wife for 16 years. Blending live hip-hop, raw emotion and wry wit, Dust recasts the American dream through the eyes of an Amer-Asian teenager in this redemptive, cross-cultural coming-of-age story. The newest work by Arkansas native Qui Nguyen (2014 Sundance Institute Fellow).

by Georges Feydeau, adapted by Mark Shanahan;
directed by Morgan Hicks

Vatelin is a faithful husband – mostly. Lucy is a faithful wife – kind of. But their “fidelity” is about to be put to the test when a series of importunate suitors and femmes fatales invade their cozy little world. Dive headfirst into the misadventures of one madcap night in a Parisian hotel in this new adaptation of Feydeau’s classic farce, and discover how opening the wrong door in the dark of night can lead to mayhem, laughter, and a few unlikely revelations about the secret to a happy marriage.


by Robert Ford; directed by Amy Herzberg

In the aftermath of a severe quake along the New Madrid Fault, Gabriel Baptiste, star safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers, defies a government quarantine and returns alone to his family farm in the Arkansas River Valley. Discovered by a scientist with secrets of her own, he’s drawn into a dangerous game of mutual recrimination. This new work by T2 Artistic Director Robert Ford will receive its world premiere production in TheatreSquared’s 2015/16 season.

by Lee Blessing; directed by Shana Gold

From Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award nominee Lee Blessing (A Walk in the Woods), comes a comedy about an academic sabbatical gone terribly awry. Dr. Paul Waymiller is facing a “publish or perish” deadline on his book about Chekov’s masterpiece, Uncle Vanya. With his career in the balance, he refuses to be distracted by anything—be it his imminent divorce, Vanya himself, or the interdimensional wormhole that’s opened up in his backyard.

Performance Schedule:

Friday, 6/19
6:30pm: Opening Reception
7:30pm: Fault

Saturday, 6/20
2pm: Dust
7:30pm: The Dingdong: Or, How the French Kiss

Sunday, 6/21
2pm: Uncle
6pm: The 24 Hour Play-Off

Thursday, 6/25
8pm: The Quest for Don Quixote

Friday, 6/26
5:30pm: The Dingdong: Or, How the French Kiss
8pm: The Quest for Don Quixote

Saturday, 6/27
2pm: The Quest for Don Quixote
5:30pm: Young Playwrights Showcase
8pm: The Quest for Don Quixote

Sunday, 6/28
2pm: Uncle
7pm: Dust