With the Goodman's reprise of Smokefall curtained and their annual Christmas Carol still a few weeks off, the downtown theater is turning its attention to the New Stages Festival, a two-week showcase of works-in-progress by rising and acclaimed playwrights. Now in its 11th year, the festival gives playwrights and directors a chance to test and fiddle with their productions in front of an audience before returning to the drawing board.

That said, don't expect any half-baked dress rehearsals at New Stages. Though the scripts aren't finished and the sets aren't glitzy, these are tight, polished productions more than ready for an audience. 

New Stages runs through November 16, and all the shows are free with a reservation. In addition to the recurring developmental productions, there are three one-night staged readings you can read about and reserve here. As for the full-fledged shows, here's what to expect.


Writer: Thomas Bradshaw
Director: Benjamin Kamine
Running: November 2 – November 16
Billed As: "An outrageous political culture clash"
Plot: An African American politician recounts his long road to Republicanism.

Feathers and Teeth

Writer: Charise Castro Smith
Director: Henry Godinez
Running: October 29 – November 15
Billed As: "A dark new comedy sure to make your hair stand on end"
Deets: This show, which got a staged reading during new Stages 2013, riffs on the fear of home intrusion.

The Magic Play

Writer: Andrew Hinderaker
Director: Halena Kays
Running: October 31 – November 15
Billed As: "A theatrical event that’s equal parts affecting and astonishing"—so, a drama.
Deets: A magician's stage show and personal life bleed together in what's sure to be more entertaining than any Halloween flick you'll see this season.