New Plays from the Heartland



The Premiere of Three Winning New One-Act Plays from the Midwest:
2024 Performances of Enhanced Staged Readings:  July 12, 13, and 14, 2024 and Open Forum with our Guest Playwright Forum on Playwriting is July 11

7:30 pm all dates except July 14 at 2:00 pm

Sponsors: Paul and Sandra Harmon



by Gregory Mandryk, Cleveland OH



by Jacquelyn Priskhorn, Troy MI



by Claudia Haas, White Bear Lake MN


July 12, 13, 14 – 2024 we present three new winning one-act plays from ten Midwest states. Spenser Davis, an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, librettist and new-works director, is our guest, conducting a workshop with the winning playwrights, delivering a free forum to the community July 11, and attending the opening of the festival. Made possible by the Town of Normal Harmon Arts Grant and Sponsors Paul and Sandra Harmon. 

Besides the Master Class with Spenser Davis and the realization of their plays in staged readings, the winning playwrights receive a $150 honorarium.


Competition closes 4/1/24

About the NPH Project

The History of the New Plays from the Heartland

The Mike Dobbins Memorial New Plays from the Heartland (NPH) provides Midwestern playwrights a chance to share their original plays with residents of Central Illinois. Heartland Theatre Company solicits new, never-produced one-act plays from writers in ten Midwestern States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Previous Winners

Play submissions are judged for excellence by a panel of judges who review all of the submitted plays to choose the top six entries. The six finalists are then sent without identification to a final judge, an experienced playwright with national prominence, who chooses the final three plays for a staged reading at our theatre.

The three winning plays are presented as fully staged enhanced readings (costumes, lighting, props, limited blocking or movement) in July. Our guest playwright offers a forum for playwrights with tips for writing successful plays, and conducts a master class with the winning playwrights.

Heartland Theatre Company is dedicated to providing playwrights a forum for recognition in our theatre and our community. This project is funded in part by the Town of Normal Harmon Arts Grant.

Established in 2006, this annual event 1) provides playwrights from ten Midwestern states the opportunity to see their plays realized, 2) encourages the local theatre community to see and enjoy new plays, 3) demonstrates that excellent plays come from the Midwest – not just New York City and 4) challenges the audiences to use their own creativity in visualizing the play without its being fully staged.

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