Signature Staged Readings

Due to our limited resources, we are unable to accept unsolicited scripts at this time. Agent submissions may be sent to Artistic Associate Sarah Wansley at

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, “CHQ’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.

2017 Season

June 9, 10: Dan Cody's Yacht by Anthony Giardina, directed by Doug Hughes

*Chautauqua Theater Company is pleased to announce an unorthodox addition to its 2017 repertoire — on June 9 and 10, the company welcomes playwright Anthony Giardina and director Doug Hughes to Bratton Theater for a "New Play Workshop: Pre-season" staged reading of Dan Cody’s Yacht. Its stop at Chautauqua represents a significant step for CTC and Chautauqua toward the long-term goal of more off-season offerings.

Aug. 1, 3, 4Birthday Candles by Noah Haidle, directed by Vivienne Benesch 

*Birthday Candles follows Ernestine Ashworth on a magical 100-year journey from her 17th birthday through her 117th. This quirky and clever play invites us into questions of identity, family and legacy. Birthday Candles was commissioned by Detroit Public Theatre and will premiere there this fall. 

Aug. 2,4, 5: Building the Wall by Robert Schenkkan, directed by Katherine McGerr

*Written by the Pulitzer and Tony winning playwright Robert Schenkkan, Building The Wall is a tense, immediate drama that brings a human element to what could happen when inflamatory rhetoric transforms into policy. Not to be missed!



Previous Seasons



by Chelsea Marcantel | July 14-16, 2016

Bohdi is a hypnotherapist. Jevne is a YouTube artist. Ollie sells haunted dolls online. Cath just left her job to move to Oregon with her boyfriend. And they are all building a house together in the back yard. In a world where bigger is always better, can tiny really be happy? Or is this a recipe for disaster? A comedy about what happens when the world shrinks.


by Nick Gandiello | August 3-5, 2016

Maryanne and Allan Dempsey's son disappeared in a deep cave dive many years ago and now a young and ambitious diver wants to retrieve his remains at great personal risk. This achingly beautiful play investigates the depth of loss when we unexpectedly lose someone we love and what might arise after they are gone.