New Play Reading Series

The New Play Reading Series is a unique collaboration that brings undergraduate and graduate students together in a repertory company to produce three staged readings of contemporary plays. In Spring 2020, the Series will feature an exciting partnership with Z Space, a professional theatre company in San Francisco.

Working alongside graduate students from the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, undergraduate company members will get a taste of the early stages of new play development, will have opportunities to meet and work with emerging playwrights and directors, and will perform in staged readings open to the public. The company will be cast through open auditions at the beginning of spring semester, and enrollment permission codes will then be distributed to participants. All students are encouraged to audition, and no previous theatre experience is required.

Course Details

Theater 98: New Play Reading Series

Spring 2020

1 unit P/NP

Graduate Student Instructors:

Miyoko Conley

Matthew Jamison

Rebecca Struch

Reading 1

Human Museum by Miyoko Conley

Set in a future where humans have gone extinct, Human Museum follows a group of robots on Earth that run a museum dedicated to organizing the physical and digital artifacts of human life. On the centenary of human extinction, a sudden radio call upends everything the robots thought they knew about the last days of humanity.

Reading 2

Sombras, Nada Mas, envisioned and written by Megan [Xol] Xotchilt Espinoza

Bienvenida is undergoing the transition between a life where she suffered from dementia and a death where she is able to remember everything. We journey through her granddaughter, Soledad's, and her relationship in time to understand when the forgetting began. As a grandmother-becoming-ancestor, she confronts what she was taught to never speak on: the truth.

Reading 3 (in collaboration with Z Space)

A Subtlety: The Sugar Play by Adrianna Mitchell and Akilah Walker


View the full rehearsal and reading schedule (CalNet login required)

Students must attend every staged reading (including the readings in which they are not cast), as well as every rehearsal for the shows in which they are participating as a member of the production team. All students are also required to participate actively in our beginning-of-semester orientation meeting (details TBA) and our end-of-semester wrap-up meeting.


Tuesday, January 28, 6–10PM, Durham Studio Theater

Wednesday, January 29, 7–8PM, Dwinelle 44B

On Tuesday, students auditioning for The Arsonists and student-directed workshops may also indicate interest in the New Play Series. Auditions will be given for directors of all projects at the same time.

Students interested only in the New Play Series may attend auditions on Wednesday at 7PM to present a monologue or read from text provided by the directors. Specific preparation is not required.

Sign up for an audition time on this form (CalNet / bMail sign-in required)

2013–2014 New Play Reading Series
2016 New Play Reading Series | Photo by Alessandra Mello