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"In the past decade, the Mile High City has become an undersung gem of new play development. Since its inception, the Summit has expanded... to an industry must-attend fest."
- American Theatre, 2015


Launch Weekend Feb 13-14 | Festival Weekend Feb 19-21

Join the Theatre Company at the 11th annual Colorado New Play Summit, a premier showcase and celebration of new plays. Over the past decade, we’ve introduced 44 new plays at the Summit, over half of which returned to our stages as full Theatre Company productions. Recent Summit premieres include Matthew Lopez’s The Legend of Georgia McBride (which just finished an extended Off-Broadway run at New York's MCC Theatre), Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale, Marcus Gardley’s black odyssey, Karen Zacarias’s Just Like Us, and Jeffrey Haddow and Neal Hampton’s Sense & Sensibility The Musical.

Starting in 2015, we expanded the Summit to provide participating playwrights two full weeks to workshop their groundbreaking new plays with directors, actors, and dramaturgs. Their work culminates in two unforgettable weekends of new play readings, world premiere productions, first-class meals, insider opportunities, and networking events.

American Mariachi* by José Cruz González
The Book of Will* by Lauren Gunderson
Two Degrees by Tira Palmquist
Midwinter* by Mat Smart

The Nest* by Theresa Rebeck
FADE* by Tanya Saracho

*Theatre Company Commission

Hosted by DCPA Playwriting Fellow Matthew Lopez

Summit Launch Weekend
Sat Feb 13 & Sun Feb 14, 2016
Groups may reserve in advance – contact us at groupsales@dcpa.org or 303.446.4829

Festival Weekend
Fri Feb 19 - Sun Feb 21, 2016
Including an additional workshop presentation with Third Rail Projects

Press for the 2015 Summit

Get Me Rewrite: The Colorado New Play Summit Is a Developing Story
by John Moore, feature for American Theatre magazine, Feb 24, 2015

How the Colorado New Play Summit Went From Local Gem to National Event
by Diep Tran, American Theatre magazine, Feb 13, 2015
View Photos

Theatre Company Commissions

Each year we ask leading playwrights to develop ideas for new plays. Many of these commissions will be read at our Colorado New Play Summit, receive full productions on our stage and go on to other theatres across the nation. By commissioning plays, we underwrite the important work required of playwrights, invest in the future of the American theatre and keep our finger on the pulse of contemporary writing. 

Producing Partners: Joy S. Burns, Terry & Noel Hefty, Karolynn Lestrud, Robert & Carole Slosky, Daniel L. Ritchie and the Women's Voices Fund.

Special thanks to the Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust for its continued support of new play development at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Fri Feb, 19 - Sun, Feb 21, 2016
For theatre professionals, artists, students, and theatre lovers who want to experience the full scope of the Summit


Seek out new work and new connections with industry professionals and artists in the theatrical heart of the Rocky Mountains. The Festival Weekend provides invaluable opportunities to meet our artists and other attendees: two networking lunches, dinner in the beautiful Seawell Grand Ballroom, the late-night Playwrights’ Slam, and the Wrap Party.

The Festival weekend also offers a special opportunity to be the first to experience a new devised piece by Third Rail Projects, hailed as one of the foremost companies creating site-specific theater in the US. All Festival weekend package buyers are invited and encouraged to sign-up to experience a sneak peek preview of the show. RSVP required.

View full schedule

  • 4 new play readings
  • 2 World Premieres
  • 1 Playwrights’ Slam
  • 1 Dinner
  • 1 Party
  • 2 Lunches
  • 3 Continental Breakfasts Coffee & Tea
  • PLUS Dialogue on Dialogue Playwrights’ Roundtable
  • PLUS Third Rail Projects Experience
  • PLUS High School Playwriting Competition Readings


Choose just the events that work for your schedule with our new a la carte option. Readings and Slam are $10, events are $10 - $25, and meals are $25 - $45.

Please note: the world premieres of FADE and The Nest have limited availability on Feb 19 & 20. Please call 303.893.6030 if you would like to attend these performances.

Please note: the world premieres of FADE and The Nest have limited availability on Feb 19 & 20. Please call 303.893.6030 if you would like to attend these performances.

Prefer to call or have special scheduling needs?
Ring our dedicated agents at 303.893.6030

Questions? Please contact Artistic Coordinator Grady Soapes at 303.446.4841

Sat, Feb 13 & Sun, Feb 14, 2016

We’ve added another weekend to give more Denver audiences than ever the opportunity to say “I saw it first.” Hundreds of local audience members will experience the first public readings and meet their next favorite Colorado playwright at our Local Playwrights’ Slam, curated by the Athena Project.


  • 4 new play readings
  • Local Playwrights’ Slam hosted by Athena Project | Learn More
  • Panel: Regional New Play Development, hosted by Matthew Lopez | Free
  • Panel: Devised Work, hosted by Third Rail Projects | Free
  • PLUS a new bonus event on Thurs, Feb 18: Dialogue on Dialogue Playwrights’ Roundtable | Free. RSVP here
View full schedule

Choose just the events you want to attend, or buy a package of all 4 readings and save up to 20%.
15% service fee applies to all online and phone orders.





Readings & Slam - $10 each; Panels free (ticket required)

$32 for all 4 readings; option to add panels & Slam for free (tickets required)

(Student ID will be required to pick up tickets.)  

Readings & Slam - $5 each;
Panels free (ticket required)

$20 for all 4 readings; option to add panels & Slam for free (tickets required)


Can’t make the Launch Weekend? Check out our Festival Weekend packages for events Feb 19 - 21, including a new a la carte option to buy individual readings and events.

For help or special scheduling needs, please call our dedicated box office agents at 303.893.6030.

There are several performances at the DCPA playing during the Summit Launch weekend including:

  • The Nest by Theresa Rebeck | World Premiere, 2015 Summit participant
  • FADE by Tanya Saracho | World Premiere, 2015 Summit participant
  • All the Way by Robert Schenkkan
  • Off-Center’s CULT FOLLOWING

Learn more about the Summit reading playwrights

Athena Project is a professional group of artists dedicated to supporting and expanding women's artistic contributions to the Denver stage and the wider community. Each year, Athena Project produces an Arts Festival, that includes a world premiere play, the Plays In Progress Series, visual art, fashion, music and dance, and Girls Write, a year-long playwriting and play development experience for girls. Learn more at athenaprojectfestival.org.

Questions? Please contact Artistic Coordinator Grady Soapes at 303.446.4841


Jose Cruz GonzalezAmerican Mariachi by José Cruz González

Lucha and Bolie are ready to start their own all-female mariachi band. The only things standing in their way are a male-dominated music scene, patriarchical pressure from inside their families and finding the right women to fill out their sound. Watch them strive to earn the respect and admiration of their community as they make their way from practice to performance. González writes a passionate story about families, friendships and the music that ties them together.

José Cruz González's plays include The San Patricios, Sunsets and Margaritas, The Heart’s Desire, September Shoes.  A collection of his plays, Nine Plays by José Cruz González – Magical Realism & Mature Themes in Theatre for Young Audiences was published by the University of Texas Press in 2009.  He teaches theatre at California State University at Los Angeles.  He is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America.  He is a Playwright in Residence at Childsplay.

The Book of Will by Lauren Gunderson

Lauren GundersonWithout William Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have literary masterpieces like Romeo and Juliet. But without the duo of Henry Condell and John Heminges, we wouldn’t have Shakespeare. After the death of the prolific playwright, the two actors set out to find and reassemble his scripts to create the first Folio while facing challenges from rival poets, competing publishers, and old flames (literal and figurative). The impact of their resourcefulness, dedication and friendship continue to shape the literary world even today. Shakespeare lover and Steinberg/ATCA Award-winner Lauren Gunderson weaves a hilarious and heartfelt play about the story behind the stories we know so well.

Lauren Gunderson is one of the most produced playwrights in America for 2015/16. She is the winner of the 2014 Steinberg/ATCA Award for I and You, also a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her plays have been commissioned and premiered by companies across the country including South Coast Rep, TheatreWorks, San Francisco Playhouse, Crowded Fire, Marin Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and more. Her work is published by Playscripts, Samuel French, and Dramatists.

Two Degrees by Tira Palmquist

Tira PalmquistWhat does it take to change the world? For the Earth, a two degree rise in temperature is enough to change the environment. For Emma Phelps, a scientist studying ice core samples in Greenland, grief over her husband’s death seems unmoving, harder with each passing month. Now, at the request of an old college classmate, she’s been asked to come to Washington, D.C. to testify in a Senate Committee regarding climate change legislation. In this intersection of science, politics and the personal, she struggles with life’s most difficult lesson: change.

Tira Palmquist’s plays include Two Degrees, Ten Mile Lake (Serenbe Playhouse), And Then They Fell and Age of Bees (MadLab Theater, Tesseract). Two Degrees has been featured in numerous festivals, most recently the New American Voices festival in the UK. And Then They Fell (finalist for the Global Age Project) will premiere in Los Angeles in 2016. Development: Seven Devils, Inkwell, EST-LA, Workhouse Theater. Publications: Age of Bees (Original Works Publishing). More info at tirapalmquist.com.

Midwinter by Mat Smart

Mat SmartNothing is simple about romance at McMurdo Station, Antarctica — a small community made even smaller during the shut-in winter months. Helen loves Dmitri, Dmitri loves Hillary, and Hillary loves Tamara (who just might love her back). In this funny and complicated companion piece to the 2015 Jeff Award winner for Best New Work, The Royal Society of Antarctica, Mat Smart weaves a web of love and laughter on the edge of the world, taken from his own experiences living in Antarctica for three months.

Mat Smart (Playwright) is currently a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages.  Plays include: The Royal Society of Antarctica (Gift Theatre, 2015 Jeff Award for Best New Work in Chicago), Naperville (Slant Theatre Project), Tinker to Evers to Chance (Geva, upcoming at Merrimack Rep), The Steadfast (Slant, published by DPS), Samuel J. and K. (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Steppenwolf), The Hopper Collection (Magic Theatre, Huntington) and The 13th of Paris (City Theatre, Seattle Public Theatre).  MFA: UCSD.


Hailed as one of the foremost companies creating site-specific, immersive and experiential dance-theater in the United States, Third Rail Projects, led by Artistic Directors Zach Morris, Tom Pearson, and Jennine Willett, is dedicated to re-envisioning ways in which audiences can engage with contemporary performance. They have made work in New York, internationally, and abroad for over 15 years, and their long-running, award-winning work, Then She Fell, was named as one of the “Top Ten Shows of the 2012” by Ben Brantley of The New York Times. Learn more at thirdrailprojects.com


Denver International Airport (DIA), approximately 45 minutes from downtown Denver.  Please visit the official Denver International Airport website to learn more about flights, ground transportation and more.  


Denver International Airport to downtown Denver

Alternate transportation.


To reserve exclusive Summit discount rates, please contact the hotel directly and be sure to let them know you are attending the Colorado New Play Summit. There is another convention in town and we recommend booking early for best availability.

Residence InnThe Residence Inn (Marriott)
11-minute walk | 1725 Champa St, Denver, CO 80202 | 303.296.3444 

  • FESTIVAL WEEKEND: $145 per night. Book by Jan 20. Please mention “Denver Center for the Performing Arts Friends and Family Rate.” Valid only Feb 18, 19, 20, 2016.
    Book Online
  • LAUNCH WEEKEND: $145 per night. Book by Jan 12. Please mention “Denver Center for the Performing Arts Friends and Family Rate.” Valid only Feb 11, 12, 13, 2016. Must call to reserve -  303.296.3444 

Homewood Suites (Hilton)
7-minute walk | 550 15th Street, Denver, CO 80202 | 303.534.7800
$159 per night. Book by Jan 19. Please mention “Colorado New Play Summit Rate.” Valid only Feb 18, 19, 20, 2016. 
Book Online

Springhill Suites Marriott
9-minute walk | 1190 Auraria Parkway Denver,  CO  80204 | 303.705.7300
$159 per night. Book by Jan 19. Please mention “Denver Center for the Performing Arts Colorado New Play Summit Rate.” Valid only Feb 18, 19, 20, 2016.
Book Online

Update on recent Summit readings and productions:

The Legend of Georgia McBride: Off-Broadway Production, MCC Theatre, New York, NY – Aug 20-Sep 27, 2015

The Most Deserving
: Off-Broadway Production, Women’s Theatre Project, New York, NY — March 2014

Sense & Sensibility The Musical: Reading, New York, NY — June 2014

The Comparables: Full Production, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle, WA — March 2015

We're proud to list the plays we have commissioned, premiered or otherwise developed here since the beginning of the Colorado New Play Summit.

Title in bold = Commissioned by Theatre Company 
WP = World premiere 
D = Other development 
* = Subsequent productions

Playwright Titles
Neal Bell Shadow of Himself (D)
Lee Blessing Perilous Night (D)
Buntport Theater An Extraordinary Demonstration of Nikola Tesla's Most Recent Discoveries
Constance Congdon Take Me to the River (D)
Cusi Cram Dusty and the Big Bad World (WP 2009)*
Ami Dayan Conviction (WP 2007)*
Steven Dietz Shooting Star (D)*
Richard Dresser The Hand of God (D)
Augusta (D)
Idris Goodwin
Victory Jones and the Incredible One Woman Band (D)
José Cruz González Sunsets and Margaritas (WP 2009)*
Laura Eason The Vast In-Between (D)
Lauren Feldman Grace, or The Art of Climbing (WP, 2013)
Marcus Gardley black odyssey (WP, 2014)
Kirsten Greenidge Zenith (D)
Jason Grote 1001 (WP 2007, commission)*
Visions of Kerouac
Civilization (All You Can Eat) (D)*
Jeffrey Haddow (book and lyrics) and
Neal Hampton (music)
Sense & Sensibility The Musical (WP 2013)
Steven Cole Hughes Intrusives (D)
Samuel D. Hunter The Whale (WP 2012)*
Wayne Lemon Jesus Hates Me (WP 2006)*
Lisa Loomer Two Things You Don’t Talk About at Dinner (WP 2012)
Homefree (D)
Matthew Lopez The Legend of Georgia McBride (WP 2014)*
Michele Lowe Map of Heaven (WP 2011)
Inana (WP 2009)*
Good on Paper (D)
Rogelio Martinez When Tang Met Laika (WP 2010)
Michael Mitnick Ed, Downloaded (WP 2013)
Julie Marie Myatt Flooded (D)
Evangeline Ordaz Visitor’s Guide to Arivaca (Map Not to Scale)
Theresa Rebeck Our House (WP 2008)*
The Nest(WP 2016)
Tanya Saracho
FADE(WP 2016)
Dick Scanlon The Unsinkable Molly Brown,
adapted from the original book by Richard Morris, lyrics and music by Meredith Willson (D)
Eric Schmiedl Adapted from the books by Kent Haruf
Plainsong (WP 2008),  Eventide (WP 2010) and Benediction (WP 2015)
Frankenstein, adapted from Mary Shelley’s novel
Benediction (WP 2015)
Octavio Solis Lydia (WP 2008)*
Cecilia Marie (D)*
James Still
Appoggiatura (WP 2015)
Lloyd Suh Great Wall Story (WP 2012)
Caridad Svich The House of the Spirits,
adapted from the novel by Isabel Allende (Produced 2009)
Catherine Trieschmann The Most Deserving (WP 2013)
Holy Laughter (D)
Ken Weitzman The Catch (WP 2011)
Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder The Bone Orchard (D)
Karen Zacarias Just Like Us, adapted from the book by Helen Thorpe (WP 2013)


We accept unproduced original, full-length plays and musicals, which must be submitted by a literary agent. (Playwrights residing in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico or Utah may send plays directly without an agent.) We have a special interest in plays written by and for African-Americans and Latinos, by women playwrights and we are also interested in plays written for young audiences. Adaptations will be considered if you have secured underlying rights.

Scripts may be sent by email or mail without prior synopsis or dialogue sample. Plays can be submitted year-round.

Plays should be sent digitally to: playsubmissions@dcpa.org

Plays may also be mailed to:

Attn: New Play Development
DCPA Theatre Company
1101 13th St.
Denver, CO 80204-5319

Due to the number of submissions we receive, we will only respond if we are interested in a particular script or playwright.

In its 35 seasons, the Theatre Company has produced more than 135 world premieres, read 160 new works and commissioned 24 playwrights. Learn more about how you can support our exciting commitment to new play development.