New Plays from the Heartland



The Premiere of Three Winning New One-Act Plays from the Midwest:
2025 Performances of Enhanced Staged Readings:  July 11, 12, and 13, 2025, and Open Forum with our Guest Playwright Forum on Playwriting is July 10

7:30 pm all dates except July 13 at 2:00 pm

Sponsors: Would you like to sponsor this project?




Competition opens Labor Day 2024 and closes April 1, 2025

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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