2021 Black Box New Play Festival

Black Box New Play Festival

Jan. 21 – Jan. 31, 2021

Thurs – Sun @ 7:30pm

Black Box New Play Festival

The 24th annual new play festival will feature world premieres of short plays written specifically for Zoom, to view online from the comfort of your own home. Performances are free to watch and will be streamed online at 7:30pm EST Thursday through Sunday each week (link to be provided) – no downloads necessary!

Black Box New Play Festival

First Week: January 21 – 24

  • Decade by Decade by Barbara Anderson
    Directed by Trent Dawson

    It’s a Thursday morning two years since the pandemic began in the Brooklyn home of Maria, Andrew, and their son Jared. Maria works as a Covid tracer and Jared is an internet influencer, but Andrew was forced into early retirement from his much-loved teaching career. In fact, everyone over sixty is considered too vulnerable to work or to even leave their homes. Andrew does his best to retain his role as the family provider, but what begins as a typical Thursday soon becomes a day when secrets are revealed and actions must be taken.

  • Surf’s Up by Ken Levine
    Directed by Elizabeth Bove

    Peter announces to his Millennial daughter, Wendy, that he has quit his job and is going on an “endless summer” to surf around the world. And he invites her to shake up her button-down life and join him.

  • Trading Places by Roger Collins
    Directed by Noel MacDuffie

    A father and his teenage daughter, separated in Cyberspace, debate the sanctity of raising mother from her grave after one year of interment. The father prevails and they intone an incantation and resurrect the matriarch. But yet another debate ensues – who will join whom seems to be at issue. As the time for their decision grows short, they rehash their relationships until, suddenly, darkness looms over all three and the matter is decided.

View full program


Second Week: January 28 – 31

  • Covid Chips by Mark W. Sasse
    Directed by Mike Mroch

    As restaurants in New York State begin to re-open during the COVID-19 crisis, Mr. Jawarski, from Peppy’s Pub in Jamestown, receives a Zoom call from an Albany health official making sure that Peppy’s is compliant. As Mr. Jawarski continues complying with new regulations, the health official keeps making additional Zoom calls to bring attention to another matter of omission.

  • Women Underground by Kay Ellen Bullard
    Directed by Justin Braun

    Three women living lives of quiet desperation find themselves buried in the rubble of a bank explosion. Each has her own past experiences that could impact their survival strategy. Is any rescue even possible if you’ve already been living the equivalent of a buried life?

  • Every Single Sunday by Chris Karmiol
    Directed by Whitney Stone

    Different generations attempt to make a virtual connection and it doesn’t go too smoothly. But that’s okay… it wasn’t meant to.

View full program


Festival Staff

Co-Producers: Dominic Cuskern & Sue Glausen
Composer: Zev Burrows
Video Editor: Romo Hallahan
In memory of Timothy Sheridan


This production is offered to all, free of charge; however, we encourage donations to cover our modest expenses. Please consider making a contribution as we continue to navigate these uncertain times.


Black Box New Play Festival

“Words can’t express what I feel right now. What a special two nights I just had. Sitting with friends and strangers and watching 2 hours of my work in a theater full of love and support for my writing. This whole process has been not only fun but important because I learned so much from seeing OCEAN PLANET staged and realized. What a special memory. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in me and producing this weekend of my plays.” – Brett Epstein, playwright