Playworks is a production group formed to develop projects for stage and film.


Playworks has developed new scripts, produced, co-produced with other organizations, and toured. Many of its projects have had long lives. The Playworks revival of Shirley Valentine appeared at seven theatres over the course of seven years. The new Clyde Edgerton/Mike Craver musical Lunch at the Piccadilly has been developed in four productions and many readings and workshops. And a new production of Shakespeare's classic A Midsummer Night's Dream has been seen in four productions at three theatres.

Playworks was formed as an independent production group to give continued development to new projects for stage and film. Collaborating with other organizations, the production team explores a project over an extended period of time, developing its potential for commercial or non-profit production. Funding for projects comes from private investors, from organizations involved with collaborations, and from grants and foundations, previously including Rockwell International and The Wesley Mancini Foundation. The production team is made up of a collective of designers, directors, writers, technicians, and performers who have worked professionally for many companies, in film and television, and at theatres around the country.

New script reading with playwright Judy Simpson Cook (left)

Playworks has produced in association with Spirit Square Arts Center, Davidson College, The Light Factory, Festival Stage, Florida's Riverside Theatre and others. The production history includes premieres of new plays, including Counter Girls by Michael Russell, and Some Things That Can Go Wrong at 35,000 Feet by John Orlock. There have also been many events for the development of new work.

The festival Thinking in Pictures was produced with The Light Factory, featuring the unusual format of film scripts in staged readings. (Gospel Hill, an entry in the festival, was soon afterward made into a feature film starring Danny Glover and Angela Bassett.)

Current projects include further development of the musical Lunch at the Piccadilly, based on the best-selling novel by Clyde Edgerton, with songs by former Red Clay Rambler and Drama Desk Award winner Mike Craver. It has had three productions, and a concert performance at the York Theatre Company in New York, an incubator for many well-known musicals including Avenue Q. Also in the works is a film version of Christopher Kyle's dark road trip comedy Boca.

Playworks projects are as diverse as the world we live in, from the silly soulfulness of Lunch at the Piccadilly to the edgy unpredictability of Boca.
But each is told with a writer's authentic voice, and each is a ticket to someplace new, in mind and heart.

A production group for the development of new work for stage and film 

Photo credits on the site: Donna Bise, Nyghtfalcon, Norris Greenlee, Tom Terrell

© 2014 Playworks