The 2024 Festival of New American Theatre

January 5, 2024 to January 21, 2024

The southwest’s premier new works theatre festival. Trust us, it’s a process.

Hosted annually by The Phoenix Theatre Company, the Festival of New American Theatre amplifies new voices and expands the canon of American theatre. The 2024 Festival will continue honoring our longstanding commitment to the development of new works, playwrights, and performers and include a variety of events that allow artists of all kinds to see their work come alive onstage. This year’s festival will feature: a play reading, a musical reading, a musical workshop, two Composer Lyricist Cabarets, Choreography Lab, First Draft Series, an event showcasing the role of designers in new work development, and a return of the 24-hour Theatre Project. The 2024 Festival will also feature a continuation of our collaboration with Spotlight Youth Theatre. This is an opportunity to witness how a production goes from the page to the stage!

No Evidence of Disease
Play Reading
Written by: Elizabeth Dement
Performance Dates: January 5 at 7:00pm and January 7 at 3:00pm

When devoted GMO activist and control freak, Jillian, is diagnosed with cancer, the strain of treatment exposes the unexamined cracks in her marriage and career. Enter Lexi: an uninhibited, vibrant college student facing her own terminal diagnosis. Jillian’s deep connection with Lexi excites and unsettles her – but, is Lexi really a solution, or is there more to her than meets the eye?

Let the Good Times Roll: A New Orleans Gumbo
Musical Reading
Written and Conceived by: Jack Viertel
Performance Dates: January 12 at 7:00pm and January 14 at 3:00pm

Let the Good Times Roll: A New Orleans Gumbo, is a ride through the music, the spirit and the unquenchable thirst for joy and “more life” that defines the city known as The Big Easy. Featuring songs of many eras, from Jelly Roll Morton and Bessie Smith to Fats Domino, Randy Newman, The Meters, Dr. John, Harry Connick, Jr. and The Neville Brothers, it traces the tale of as heartbroken young woman who discovers it is possible – in fact inevitable – to be reborn in the “city that care forgot.” With six performers representing the wide range of population of one of the most diverse cities in the world, Let The Good Times Roll: A New Orleans Gumbo takes audiences on a ride through history, hardship and ultimate triumph that is the hallmark of a place where even major catastrophes – from the 1927 flood to Hurricane Katrina – are somehow always overcome by faith in the future, and an unbridled enjoyment of the present.

We Ain’t Ever Gonna Break Up: The Hymon & Parfunkel Story
Musical Workshop
Music, Lyrics, and Book by: Gregg Hammer and Louis Pardo
Directed and Developed by: Scott Weinstein
Performance Dates: January 19 at 7:00pm and January 21 at 3:00pm

This original two-man folk musical parodies the tropes of jukebox musicals like Jersey Boys, Buddy, Mamma Mia, Beautiful, Ain’t Too Proud, Tina, Always…Patsy Cline, The Cher Show... and the dozen inevitable “new” bio-musicals coming soon. 

Saul Hymon & Bart Parfunkel star in their own musical, playing themselves, their own instruments, and the plethora of other characters they encounter on their path to superstardom-ish, resulting in a uniquely virtuosic musical farce about found family and the power of collaboration ...if they don’t break up first.

Composer Lyricist Cabaret

The Composer Lyricist Cabaret is returning to this year’s Festival, and we will be featuring two different cabarets. This year we will highlight the work of Composer and Lyricist team Derek Gregor and Sam Carner and Co-composer and Co-Lyricist duo Alara Magritte and Daniel Rosen. Each performance will feature a 45-minute set of music and will be followed by a talkback.

Choreography Lab

Modeled after and inspired by the New York Theatre Barn event of the same name, this offering will showcase how movement and dance can elevate and expand storytelling in new musicals. This event will feature two different choreographers setting movement on four dancers to the same song from a new musical. The two interpretations will be presented in tandem to show the iconic mark a choreographer can leave on a musical. This event will be followed by a talkback.

First Draft Series: Young Playwrights (in collaboration with Spotlight Youth Theatre)

Through a collaboration with Spotlight Youth Theatre, we are presenting a special iteration of our First Draft Series featuring young playwrights. This free event will feature sit down readings of four different one-act plays which competed and won Spotlight Youth Theatre’s 2023-2024 Playfest, their annual playwriting competition for young adult playwrights.

The 24-Hour Theatre Project

Four playwrights are randomly paired with a director and group of actors to write, rehearse, and memorize a short play to be performed 24-hours later. Join us for the drawing on January 5 at 6:00 pm to see what artists will be paired together as well as the performance for an evening of brand-new short plays!

New Works Design Panel - Let the Good Times Roll: A New Orleans Gumbo

This new Festival event puts a spotlight on the work of designers and their role in establishing the world and aesthetic of a new work. This will be an informative panel with lighting, costume, and scenic designers who are new work veterans. This panel is also in conjunction with the reading of Let the Good Times Roll: A New Orleans Gumbo. The artists will talk about their creative process and design ideas for a fully produced version of this musical.

Fact vs. Fiction - The Truth About Winnie Ruth Judd

This special Festival presentation will discuss the real-life details of one of Arizona’s most notorious homicide cases and where the play presents fact versus fiction. Delve deeper into Arizona history and learn more about The Truth About Winnie Ruth Judd in this dramaturgical event.

First Glance - The Truth About Winnie Ruth Judd

The Truth About Winnie Ruth Judd got its start in the 2020 Festival of New American Theatre and will be making its world premiere in the Hardes Theatre in February! Join us for a special Festival presentation to get a first glance of the show and discuss with the writers, creative team, and artists.


To learn about our COVID-19 health and safety procedures, click here.