The Mike Dobbins Memorial New Plays from the Heartland (NPH) provides Midwest playwrights a chance to share their original plays with residents of Central Illinois. Heartland Theatre Company recruits new, never produced one-act plays from writers in these states. The project, since 2007, involves a nine-state playwriting competition, residency of a guest playwright, a masterclass/workshop for the winning playwrights, an open public talk on playwriting and staged readings of three winning plays. The staged readings are quite a bit more than just readings, involving minimal sets, costumes, props, lights and sound, with the high production values Heartland Theatre is known for.
Play submissions are judged for excellence by a panel of local theatre artists, including directors, critics, playwrights and educators. These judges review the submissions and choose the top six entries, which are sent without identification of the playwrights to a final judge, an experienced playwright with national prominence, who chooses the final three plays for a staged reading at our theatre.
Sponsored by Paul and Sandra Harmon, Heartland Theatre offers its Annual Original Short Play Competition (since 2006) open to nine Midwestern States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Heartland Theatre Company is dedicated to providing new playwrights a forum for recognition in our theatre and our community.