Since 2006, ACT has premiered or developed 22 new plays in our various play development programs (ACT New Play Award, Icicle Creek Theatre Festival, New Works for the American Stage) which have gone on to have over 60 productions elsewhere in the country, many of them at top of the line professional regional theatres. In 2013 ACT saw its first show go to Broadway, with the 2012 world premiere musical First Date, in partnership with The 5th Avenue Theatre. 

Since 2005, we have produced 7 world premieres by local writers on our mainstage. Since 2003 we've produced 11 world premieres.

ACT developed and produced the premiere of Yussef El Guindi's play Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World, which won one of the most prestigious new play awards in the country, the Steinberg Award, presented at the Humana Festival.

Mainstage Play Series

The cornerstone of ACT's mission, Mainstage plays are the world-class productions that the community has come to expect each year since ACT was founded in 1965. Fully produced, and featuring amazing design value, directing, and acting from local and national artists, Mainstage plays are most often staged in our larger theaters, the Allen and Falls. ACT's Mainstage productions include both world premieres and the new generations of contemporary classics.

To view current and upcoming Mainstage productions, click here and scroll down. The full Mainstage production history can be viewed by clicking the Mainstage Play link at right.


ACT's innovative Central Heating Lab initiative was launched to nurture and support new works, new talent, and local artists spanning not only theatre, but also cabaret, music, dance, spoken word, film, and performance and visual art. Starting in 2015, the program formerly known as the Central Heating Lab will now simply be known as ACTLab. With this new name, comes a new vision and mission:

ACTLab is investing in the imagination of audiences and artists, cultivating new ideas through experimentation, excellent art, and meaningful partnerships.

ACTLab exists to invite artists to experience and create groundbreaking process and product through a curated partnership program.

Previous and recurring CHL programs and partners include Icicle Creek New Play Festival, Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival, The Construction Zone, Azeotrope, Endangered Species Project, Sandbox Radio LIVE!, eSe Teatro, and many more

Programs are added throughout the year. To view current and upcoming Central Heating Lab productions, click here and scroll down. The full ACTLab production history can be viewed by clicking the ACTLab link at right.

Information about submitting your own work

New Works for the American Stage

A first of its kind program for commissioning new work with leading local and national playwrights. ACT's first completed commission, Becky's New Car by Steven Dietz (commissioned by Charlie Staadecker in honor of Benita Staadecker), was produced on the Mainstage in 2008 and is now being presented at other regional theatres throughout the United States. Five additional new plays have been written:

  • Desert Birds by Julie Marie Myatt (commissioned by Art Wahl in honor of Eva Wahl)
  • How to Remove Blood from a Carpet by Laura Schellhardt (commissioned by Paul and Paula Butzi)
  • Shostakovich by Jason Grote (commissioned by Gian-Carlo and Eulalie Scandiuzzi)
  • Maggie Cassidy by Chris Jeffries (commissioned by Dennis Forsyth in honor Elaine Spencer)
  • The Final Days of NegroVille by Keith Joseph Adkins (commissioned by Gian-Carlo and Eulalie Scandiuzzi)

To support new play development, please contact

Special Programming & Guest Productions

ACT co-produces Special Events that are not included in the programs listed above, such as our annual holiday production of A Christmas Carol or the musical co-production with The 5th Avenue Theatre.

ACT also rents its spaces to guest productions, both private and open to the public. Tickets to guest productions are can be sold on ACT's website, though ACT does not produce these rental productions. Please be sure to check specific playpages for any ticketing restrictions.

More information about hosting an event or production at ACT