New Works Initiative

Since its founding in 1970, TheatreWorks has been committed to the creation of new works for the stage.

In 2000, this commitment was both strengthened and formalized with the establishment of our New Works Initiative, which has now contributed to the development of scores of new plays and musicals, earning national recognition and acclaim for the company and our new works program.

The highlight of the New Works Initiative is our annual New Works Festival, held in August at the beautiful Lucie Stern Theatre. We also host an annual Writers Retreat, commission new work, and host formative readings and workshops throughout the year.


From the Director of New Works Giovanna Sardelli

Here in Silicon Valley, we're a startup culture. What better place to discover the beauty, possibility, and creativity hidden in a new work of art? A new play is like a sculpture hidden in marble-a potential masterpiece. At what point can you see the possibility? This is the question I explore with you every August in TheatreWorks New Works Festival.

As long as we remain excited by the creative process, as long as we remain kind and constructive stewards of new ventures, we will continue to witness the birth of the American theatre's next great works of art.

Thank you for creating a welcoming home for our ever-expanding family of theatre artists. And thank you for sharing TheatreWorks' almost half-century commitment to the inspiring stories they long to tell and the glorious songs they come to sing.

Writers' Retreat

Every year TheatreWorks hosts a week-long Writers' Retreat to provide our family of artists the much needed time, space, and resources to refine the next draft of their new play or musical.

New Works Festival History

See what past New Works are up to now.

Artists who have participated in the New Works Initiative include:

Scott Alan, Janet Allard, Mark Allen, Todd Almond, David Austin, Sean Barry, Neil Bartram, Nell Benjamin, Raquel Bitton, Ben Blake, Beth Blatt, Suzanne Bradbeer, Adam Bock, George Brant, David Bryan, Bill Cain, John Caird, Sam Carner, Stephen Chbosky, Kirsten Childs, Nathan Christensen, Darrah Cloud, Will Connolly, Brian Crawley, Dan Dietz, Joe DiPietro, Colman Domingo, Firoozeh Dumas, Mariana Elder, Scott Ethier, Jules Feiffer, David Ford, David Foster, Hunter Foster, Darcy Fowler, Andrew Gerle, Jenny Giering, Peter Glazer, Daniel Goldfarb, Paul Gordon, Derek Gregor, Joy Gregory, Larry Grossman, Jay Gruska, Dipika Guha, Lauren Gunderson, Adam Gwon, Carol Hall, Jordan Harrison, Jeffery Hatcher, Jack Heifner, Brian Hill, Lance Horne, Jeff Hughes, Jeffery Hylton, Michael Jackson, DW Jacobs, John Jiler, Tom Jones, Rajiv Joseph, Min Kahng, Lynne Kauffman, Lee Kelson, Kait Kerrigan, David Kirshenbaum, Gary Kleson, Henry Kreiger, Cherylene Lee, David Lindsay-Abaire, Kimber Lee, Andrew Lippa, Matthew Lopez, Bree Lowdermilk, Michele Lowe, Gunnar Madsen, Taj Mahal, Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj, Jennifer Maloney, Melanie Marnich, Martin McCallum, Kevin Merritt, Chris Miller, Winter Miller, Michael Mitnick, Allison Moore, Scott Murphy, David Murray, Janine Nabers, Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, Michael Nash, Tommy Newman, Marsha Norman, Laurence O’Keefe, Melanie O’Reilly, Billy Philadelphia, Duane Poole, Barbara Quick, Sally Robinson, Lynn Rosen, Melissa Ross, Kimberly Rosenstock, Catherine Rush, Bill Russell, Steven Sater, Laura Schellhardt, Scott Schwartz, Stephen Schwartz, Tanya Shaffer, Duncan Sheik, Rachel Sheinkin, Kim Sherman, Tara Smith, Kevin So, Peter Spears, Chris Smith, T.C. Smith, Tara Smith, Georgia Stitt, Eddie J. Sugarman, Lee Summers, Matthew Sweet, Vienna Teng, Joseph Thalken, Joe Tracz, Nathan Tysen, Bob Weir, Tim Werenko, Carey Williams, Oscar Williams, Bess Wohl, Chay Yew, Daniel Zaitchik, Anna Ziegler, as well as GrooveLily (Gene Lewin, Brendan Milburn, and Valerie Vigoda), The Kilbanes (Kate Kilbane and Dan Moses), The Paper Raincoat (Devon Copley, Amber Rubarth, and Alex Wong), and The Spring Standards (James Cleare, Heather Robb, and James Smith).