Annual ‘New Works’ festival goes virtual

By Tina Parker

Kitchen Dog Theater (KDT), a founding core member of the National New Play Network(NNPN), is thrilled to announce the official lineup for the 22nd anniversary of its annual New Works Festival (NWF). This year’s NWF will be completely digital due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To celebrate this landmark event, KDT is offering a series of six virtual readings as well as the 19th year of PUP (Playwrights Under Progress) Fest.  Showcasing some of the newest and most exciting voices and visions in contemporary theater, the winning plays are selected from almost 500 annual submissions from around the globe and will feature a strong cadre of DFW’s most accomplished actors and directors.

This year’s NWF 2020 – Virtual Reading Series includes:

Amy Berryman.
Photo courtesy of Kitchen Dog Theater


by Amy Berryman

Friday, June 12 at 7pm –

Set in 2002, while awaiting the release of the fourth Harry Potter book, thirteen-year-old Tommie takes refuge in the deep, dark world of online fan fiction as her parents’ marriage falls apart around her. A magical coming-of-age story about fandom, betrayal, and family.

                                                                                  Director: Carson McCain

 PALETAS DE COCO by Franky Gonzalez – *WINNER – 2020 LOCAL SLOT*

Sunday, June 14 at 2pm – *Playwright to perform in reading*

A playwright searching for his father and for someone to read aloud a letter he’s written recruits a Performer who, along with the audience, are taken with the playwright on a journey through four Christmas Eves, coconut popsicles, depression, Santería ritual, Times Square, male breastfeeding, reunions with long-lost siblings, Applebee’s Nacho Plates, child birth, suicide attempts, fatherhood, and robbing Chinese buffets.

Director: Dominic D’Andrea

DREAM HOU$E by Eliana Pipes

Friday, June 19 at 7pm
Two Latinx sisters seize an opportunity to capitalize on their “changing neighborhood” by appearing on an HGTV-style reality show, unprepared for the show’s surreal left-turn through ancestry, capitalism and identity. What’s the cultural cost of progress in America — and is cashing in always selling out?

Director: Morgana Wilborn


Sunday, June 21 at 2pm
Jeanne Baret, a gifted 18th-century herb woman, falls for a university-trained botanist. Concealed as a man, she joins him on a sea voyage that will change science forever. An epically true tale of historical fiction about the first woman to travel the globe. THRIVE, OR WHAT YOU WILL is one of American Shakespeare Center’s Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries with a production slated for 2021.

Director: Emily Ernst


Friday, June 26 at 7pm

Set thirteen years in the future, THE AMPHIBIANS takes place in west central Florida shortly after we’ve passed the point of no return in the fight against climate change. When two high schoolers unearth a wondrous discovery in the woods, they learn hard lessons about the evolution of friendship and what it means to take care of something at the end of the world.

Director: Libby Hawkins


Sunday, June 28 at 2pm

The Earth has become uninhabitable. The last escape ship from Earth (Seattle, to be exact) arrives to their new home centuries after all the others. They are not prepared for what they find there: A planet full of unimpressed people of color who are not happy to see them.

Director: Christie Vela


PUP FEST 2020, June 6th at 1pm – FREE!

This year’s Festival also features the nineteenth year of Playwrights Under Progress (PUP) Fest, co-produced with D-PAC (Dallas – Playwriting Arts Collective), an alliance between KDT, Dallas ISDand local youth organization Junior Players created to provide innovative programs and opportunities for high school playwrights.  Written and performed by some of the Metroplex’s finest high school talent, this year’s PUP Fest will feature an afternoon of six world premiere virtual readings mentored and developed through playwriting workshops with local celebrated playwrights Erin Ryan Burdetteand Haley Nelson. This year’s fest will also include 3 master acting online workshops for all PUP student participants, led by PUP Fest director/alum Montgomery Sutton.

This year’s PUP Fest virtual readings include:

207th STREET by Max Black (Conrad HS)- Directed by Kristen Colaneri

CHIRP by Spencer Bolding (Booker T. Washington HSPVA)- Directed by Montgomery Sutton

BEAST OF BURDEN by Alaska Davidson (W.T. White HS)- Directed by Vikas Adam

POPULATION: 15 by Avery Echols (Irma Rangel YWLS)- Directed by Chris Ramirez

GOLD’S GYM: NORTHLAKE & BUCKNER by Manon McCollum (Booker T. Washington HSPVA)- Directed by Jamal Sterling

A FALL TO REMEMBER by Yalani Warren (Skyline HS) -Directed by Camika Spencer

New Works Festival 2020 – VIRTUAL READING SERIES are FREE, one-time events and will be live streamed over the Zoom platform. Virtual readings are performed over the course of 3 weekends: June 12 & 14, June 19 & 21 and June 26 & 28. The readings will occur on Fridays at 7pm and Sundays at 2pm. Each virtual reading is followed by a moderated panel discussion focused on the unique process of developing and creating new work, possibly involving the playwright. To join the virtual performances, audience members must RSVP in advance at Patrons will then be emailed their virtual access link prior to the performance. More information about the Festival can be found by visiting

 New Works Festival 2020 – PUP FEST 2020 is a FREE, one-time event. Performances will live streamed over the Zoom platform on Saturday, June 6, 2020 at 1:00pm. All six plays will be performed at this event. To join the virtual performances, audience members must RSVP in advance at Patrons will then be emailed their virtual access link prior to the performance. More information can be found by visiting or

Please Note: The previously announced New Works Festival 2020 – Mainstage World Premiere production of A HISTORY OF THE LIFE AND VOYAGES OF CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS BY WASHINGTON IRVING by Cameron Cobb and Michael Federico has been postponed (Dates TBD) due to the shelter-in-place orders and social distancing recommendations.

For tickets and festival show times, please call the Kitchen Dog Theater box office at 214-953-1055 or check on our website at

 Kitchen Dog Theater’s 22nd annual New Works Festival is an outgrowth of Kitchen Dog Theater’s membership in the National New Play Network (NNPN), a national alliance of theaters conceived by David Goldman in association with the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center dedicated to the creation, production, and dissemination of new works.  Kitchen Dog Theater is honored to be a founding member of a collective that includes: 16th Street Theatre (Berwyn, IL), Actor’s Express (Atlanta), Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte (Charlotte, NC), B Street Theatre (Sacramento, CA), Cleveland Public Theatre, Company One (Boston, MA), Contemporary American Theater Festival (Sheperdstown, WV), Curious Theatre Company (Denver), Florida Studio Theatre (Sarasota), Fountain Theatre (Los Angeles), Horizon Theatre Company (Atlanta), InterAct Theatre Company (Philadelphia), Magic Theatre (San Francisco), Marin Theatre Company(Mill Valley, CA), Milagro (Portland, OR), Mixed Blood Theater (Minneapolis), New Jersey Repertory Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Perseverance Theatre (Anchorage, AK)  Phoenix Theatre (Indianapolis), Prop Thtr Group (Chicago), Riverside Theatre (Iowa City, Iowa), Salt Lake Acting Company, San Diego REPertory Theatre, Southern Rep (New Orleans), Unicorn Theatre (Kansas City), The VOTEX (Austin, TX) and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (Washington, D.C.).

This production is supported, in part, by Dallas Office of Arts and Culture, Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District, Fichtenbaum Charitable Trust, Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation, Moody Fund for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, National New Play Network, The Rea Charitable Trust, The Shubert Foundation, TACA, and Texas Commission on the Arts as well as individual donors.