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The New Play Workshop

The New Play Workshop (NPW) is the arm of CTC dedicated to fostering important new American playwrights and to providing a safe and stimulating playground for artists to develop new work for the theater. As such, it is at the core of our mission as a cultural and educational organization.

Currently there are three official programs under the NPW umbrella:

Signature Staged Readings

Over the last eleven years, CTC has been committed to using our resources to launch new work onto the stage and into the industry.

Our signature staged reading format offers a unique bridge between written play and production. Though performed script-in-hand, plays are staged, receive design and technical support, and run for three ticketed performances in our 270-seat Bratton Theater. As one of our playwrights described it, “Chautauqua’s NPW series is not just another music stand stop for plays in development – it's an exceptional opportunity to see the play come to life on its feet in front of a wonderfully supportive audience.”

Past seasons have hosted new work by Anna Ziegler, Zayd Dohrn, Molly Smith Metzler, Nick Gandiello, Chelsea Marcantel, Heidi Armbruster, Kate Fodor, Rinne Groff, Quincy Long, and Michael Mitnick, among others. Our past NPWs have gone on to receive productions both off-Broadway at Manhattan Theater Club, Primary Stages, Playwrights Horizons and at regional theaters across the country.

The Chautauqua Play Commission

In conjunction with the Writer’s Center, and through a generous grant from the John C. Court Family Foundation, CTC is proud to award a play commission every other year.

Playwrights are given a generous grant to support an original work created specifically for our company. Over the course of the commission, playwrights spend two weeks or more a season in residence at Chautauqua, participate in CTC events and teach with the Writer’s Center.

Chau-talk-One Series

Chau-talk-Ones are designed to give our alumni and company members a platform to test out solo work in front of an adventurous and supportive audience. They also serve to expose our audience to diverse stories and performance styles within the one-person medium.

Past Chau-talk-Ones have ranged from Clifton Duncan’s slam poetry autobiography, the uniVERSE project to Michael Gaston’s Swimming Thru Abu Dhabi, Andrew Weems’ Namaste Man and Damascus and Joel DeLa Fuente’s Hold These Truths (which subsequently went on to an award-winning run in NYC).



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Chautauqua Institution is a non-profit organization, dependent upon your gifts to fulfill its mission. Gate tickets and other revenue cover only a portion of the cost of your Chautauqua experience. A community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state, Chautauqua Institution comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. Visit our website for more information.