The Epiphanies New Works Festival was founded in 2020, seeking to explore new and innovative work. Growing exponentially year to year, the unique feedback process that we are committed to providing for our participating playwrights has become one of the things we are most known for.
The top 8 submissions each year receive a developmental table reading, and 4 of those go on to receive directed staged readings at our in-person festival. Perhaps most excitingly, the winner is given a full production of their play the following year.
So bookmark this page! Mark your calendar! We are always ready to read the next exciting piece of theatre, and we are committed to providing a meaningful platform to emerging artists.
Wild Imaginings is dedicated to promoting the development of new work, as it is the work of artists which serves to shape the identity of a place—
Are we a community which values authenticity, diversity, and charitable listening?
Are we a community in which important, albeit difficult, stories are not only heard but celebrated?
Are we a community in which artists are given permission to try new things and push the boundaries of what we expect?
Epiphanies New Works Festival hopes to further Waco’s ability to answer a resounding YES to each of these questions.
And we want you to help us do it!
Meet the 2022
The Handless King
By Harley Elias
It’s 728 BCE in the Assyrian Empire (modern Iraq) and the times, they are a-changing. DILGAN, a young scribe versed in Aramaic, has come to replace older scribe UBRU, who can only write Cuneiform. However, both scribes hold secrets that could change everything. A humorous take on obsolescence, change, and what it means to make a difference.
Harley Elias is a playwright from New York. He has been the recipient of residencies at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, with Resonance Ensemble, a Fulbright Grant, a Samuel French OOB Award, Young Playwrights Award, the Hester-Franklin Prize, and his Play #3 is published by Samuel French. As an actor he has performed in several Broadway shows and national tours. Harley is currently in the MFA in playwriting at Brown.
The River East
By Michael Quinn
Following the death of her girlfriend, ANNALISE seeks shelter with her cousin, MADDIE, an aspiring actress living in Brooklyn with her partner, CHRISTIAN, a tech bro. Their ambitions and regrets collide over a claustrophobic week together. A contemporary take on desire, poetry, and self-destruction.
Michael Quinn is a writer born in Philadelphia. His play Get It Together will premiere at the Zephyr Theatre in Los Angeles in July, 2022. His poetry has been published in Carve, Rust + Moth and the Chiron Review. He lives in New York City. You can find him on twitter at @saintcignatius.
Un Hombre: A Golem Story
By Stephen Kaplan
Worn out mother, REBECCA, creates a clay man to serve as a Spanish and Bar Mitzvah tutor for her son, JOSH. When the clay man begins to question his own existence, it forces all three to confront the truths they’ve all been avoiding. A modern-day golem story about grief, creation, and letting go.
Stephen Kaplan’s recent productions include a NNPN Rolling World Premiere of Tracy Jones with Williamston Theatre, Tipping Point, CenterStage, and Island City Stage and Branwell (and other Brontës): An Autobiography Edited by Charlotte Brontë at Loft Ensemble. Other plays have been produced off-Broadway at 59E59 and regionally around the country. He is a 2021 Individual Artist Fellowship winner in playwriting from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and serves as Northeastern Regional Representative on the DG National Council. For more information visit www.bystephenkaplan.com
By Dani Nelson
“Wine itself is a memory—it remembers its whole life. When we drink it, we’re tasting what it means to remember.” A single glass of wine tells the story of life, love, sex, and death. A collection of five scenes for four actors, following the wine from grapes to glass.
Dani Nelson is a writer and actor based in NYC. Her play April is Over received 5 stars at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She is the recipient of a John Hodgson Theatre Grant and a RCS Research and Knowledge Exchange grant. Her play The Wine Vignettes is currently in development, and was a 2022 National Playwrights Conference Semifinalist. She is a proud graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland MA in Classical and Contemporary Text (Acting).
By Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm
ARCHER dies, then wakes up…next to several other Archers. Is this Heaven? Is this Hell? Is there a way of deciding which Archer is truly “the best?” Well, they better figure it out – because only one Archer will win the right to an afterlife. A bold take on death and identity.
Kerry Kazmierowicztrimm (he/him) has had over 500 productions of his plays and musicals staged in 15 countries. 8 of his shows have been published, and his work has been seen Off-Broadway, through Lincoln Center, and at the Other Palace in London. A Finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Kerry received his MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. For more information, please visit www.kerrykaz.com
By Megan Tripaldi
Medusa is dead; Stheno and Euryale, her two sisters, remain. As a century passes they are left behind to process their grief over her demise and their grief over being trapped in the shadows by the gods and to figure out who they are without her. A spin on classic characters that examines grief and surviving.
Megan Tripaldi (She/They) is an actor, internationally produced playwright, and educator living and working in Portland, ME. They graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a BA in Theatre in 2012 and are currently in pursuit of a Masters Degree in Playwriting at Goddard College. They are happy to keep creating with their theatre company, Polyphonic Theatre Ensemble.
This Too Could Be Love
By Juniper McKelvie
A nun and an atheist walk into a cafe and…
As the two women begin a series of conversations, INES unveils new layers of her identity and questions which version of herself is the most authentic. A beautiful take on faith, sex, and love.
Juniper McKelvie’s quest for beauty and truth lies at the heart of her wild life. From teaching English in Puebla, Mexico to working in NYC’s publishing scene, she turned to nunning in a remote monastery in the jungles of Vermont before braving the San Francisco clime to develop a meditation app. She draws from these experiences, her 20+ year meditation practice, and her acting training in the Movement Psychology method to develop plays with layered characters who seek to know (or avoid) their depths, their place in the world, and what it means to live authentically.
By James Wilkinson
“One way or another, I’m going to find ya /I’m gonna get ya, get ya, get ya, get ya”
NURSE, a woman with no eyes, sits in a dark room caring for her live-in patient, JOE. Together they play a bloody game of push and pull. An absurdist take on a psychological thriller that investigates violence and codependency.
James Wilkinson is a Boston-based playwright/director/theatre critic. He is the co-founder/artistic director of Exiled Theatre. As a director, James helmed several of Exiled’s productions including hang and Ashes to Ashes. As a playwright, his work includes, Strange Days: five tales concerning dark paths, odd mercies and birthday cake (Exiled’s first production). Other plays include Nurse Play and M: Refractions from an Evil Act. His shorts have been featured at the Boston Theater Marathon, Salem Theatre Company, Roxbury Repertory Theatre, Minneapolis’ Feral Theatre Company and Entropy Theatre. Proud Dramatist Guild Member. More info on James’s work can be found at: www.jameswilkinsonwriter.com
And take a look at our
Short List as well!
UnChosen by Sharon Goldner
In her seventies, it is revealed that the rumors of Anne Frank’s death have been highly exaggerated; in fact, she is alive and well (seemingly so). An absurdist look at identity and the power of authenticity.
A Final Toast by Michele A. Miller
How does the past – personal, familial, and cultural –inform our present? A look at aging, biases, and the relationships between mothers and daughters set during the COVID lockdowns.
Listen by Brigid Amos
What does it mean to be a great artist? A famous painter takes up the Joy of Painting challenging what we consider to be “Art.” An ode to the creative spirit in us all.
Tilly Birdbones by Leah Plante-Wiener
A girl turns into a bird as her family and personal tutor attempt to imagine a world without her. An adult fairytale about grief, isolation, motherhood, and autonomy.
Heaven by Colete Cullen
HEAVEN is the second in a trilogy of standalone plays that chart, two queer women, Rachel and Fiona’s relationship journey over a twelve-year period. A look at divorce and learning the difference between love and need.
Go Down, Moses by Dana Leslie Goldstein
It’s 1985 on a college campus and when a star student invites a controversial speaker to campus, free speech becomes a battle cry, and those who fought together to end injustice suddenly find themselves on opposing sides.
Even When the World Burns I Am Still With You by Elizabeth Shannon
Can your safe place be another person? A beautiful look at youth and the future when two teenagers, Freja and Noor, from opposite sides of the globe collide in a tale of poetry, the Northern Lights, and queer love.
The Anxiety of Laughing by Andrew Justvig
What happens when a person with Cerebral Palsy becomes the abled-bodied half of the relationship? Leah and Joey are a couple whose world is upended by a sudden change in this portrait of disability and love.
Off-White; Or the Arab House Party Play by Alyssa Haddad-Chin
Taking place post-9/11 in the early 2000s, this play follows Leila, a mixed-race Arab-American teen who throws her first house party in her all-white suburban neighborhood. A visceral examination of identity, whiteness, and being an outsider.
Mount Abundance by Deanna Toten Beard
A Story of friendship, sisterhood, brotherhood, and love worth cherishing. Set in an American Shaker community with Abner in 1835 and Kelly in 1985. Both have a lot to learn about finding purpose and knowing where you belong.
Freedom's Fortress by Drew Barker
A play that focuses on the historical site of Fort Monroe where the first enslaved Africans landed on the east coast. A tale of the ghosts of slavery and white supremacy as the Civil War ends.
Compromised by Mike Bencivenga
While covering the 9/11 attack, reporter Brian was exposed to the smoke. 16 years later a young playwright, Alan becomes fascinated by Brian’s life and situation. A Look at what it means to be compromised.
Good Heavens! by Daniel Repp
A metatheatrical take on Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, and their fraught but fruitful partnership. A comedic narrative that questions who we let shape scientific historical narratives.
Seeking Nietzsche by Marcia Eppich-Harris
A look at the lesser-known parts of Nietzsche’s life, including his relationship with his sister, a Nazi sympathizer. This piece asks who is the primary “owner” of the truth in a piece of writing?
The Re-Education of Fernando Morales by Justin P. Lopez
When his family sends him away to “fix” him, Fernando Morales becomes split
between the past, present, and future. He must search through time for some way to save himself; will he succeed?
The Underground Color Wheel by Cris Eli Blak
An ambitious Black artist in New York City pushes himself to his personal limits over the course of twenty years. What does it mean to be a Black artist in modern times and what is sacrificed in the process of success?
My Mother the Sun by Massi Monfiletto
When her mother goes missing in the desert between the US/Mexico border, Solana must journey out with a group of activists to bring her back. Solana must overcome hurt and suspicion to undertake a transformation in the hopes of keeping her family together.
City of Presidents by Brendan Healy
It’s the off-season in Rapid City, SD, near Mount Rushmore. Corporate hotels encroach upon the aging, roadside Monument Motel owned by a local couple. The occasional guest comes and goes as the Presidents from Mount Rushmore who offer advice, drink soda, and wrestle.
Proceed to Highlighted Route by Erica Mann
Annabelle dreads Christmas with her parents. This year, her defenses are no match for the conversational A.I. of her brother, Milo, who was killed in an accident six months earlier. A look at grief in the modern age.
Taco Town by Luke Sorge
A workplace comedy that accidentally transforms into a thriller, all while examining the plights and rights of fast-food employees. An ad-hoc protest quickly spirals into a hostage situation – in which they’re holding themselves hostage.