New Play Development at Queens Theatre
New American Voices (NAV), Queens Theatre's new play development program, is dedicated to supporting writers who represent the rich cultural diversity of the evolving populations of the borough of Queens, New York City and the United States. Since its inception in 2002, approximately 100 new works have received Play Readings, Showcases and Full Productions on Queens Theatre's three stages (click here for a full list). Audiences have the unique opportunity to participate directly in the development process through post-show discussions with the playwrights, directors and actors.
Unlike many New York City play development programs, which present Play Readings to industry "insiders," New American Voices’ audiences are a diverse and dedicated group of theatergoers who cross ethnic, economic, and generational lines. Many writers whose early drafts or premiere productions of their work were presented through NAV have gone on to prominent careers in theatre, including Kristoffer Diaz, Qui Nguyen, Heather Raffo, Rajiv Joseph, Saviana Stanescu, Caridad Svich, Cori Thomas, Thomas Bradshaw, Lloyd Suh, Yusef El Guindi and Lauren Yee.
All readings are free of charge, but reservations are strongly encouraged.
Director of New Play Development: Rob Urbinati is a freelance director and writer based in New York City. He has directed at The Public Theater, Culture Project, Abingdon Theatre, Classic Stage Company, Pearl Theatre, New York University and theatres and universities across the country. He is Director of New Play Development at Queens Theatre, a position he has held since 1998. Rob’s plays include Mama’s Boy, Hazelwood Jr. High, Murder On West Moon Street and Death by Design, published by Samuel French. UMW: University of Mostly Whites, The Queen Bees and Cole Porter’s Nymph Errant are published by Steel Springs Stage Rights. His book, Play Readings: A Complete Guide for Theatre Practitioners is published by Focal Press/Routledge. His plays have received over 200 productions worldwide. Rob is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.
Associate Literary Manager: Lisa Garza has over 20 years of theater experience in Houston, Texas. Directing credits include Ten Little Indians, Mousetrap, A Company of Wayward Saints, Moon Over Buffalo, On Golden Pond, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Miracle Worker, Driving Miss Daisy, Come Blow Your Horn, Tally’s Folly, Crowns, West Moon Street, The Quiltmaker’s Gift, Death By Design (world premiere), A Lesson Before Dying, The 39 Steps, Our Town, The Beaux Stratagem, The Foreigner, Freud’s Last Session, The Woman In Black, and Sylvia. She also has over 50 scenic design credits, including Peter Pan (winner of AACT 2015 National Competition), A Christmas Carol, and Bonnie and Clyde (both winners of Broadway World Houston Best Scenic Design in 2016 and 2019 respectively.) She also serves as a lead volunteer in the Technical Arts Resources Department at Salem Lutheran Church in Tomball, Texas.
Previous Associate Literary Managers: Nastaran Ahmadi, Vincent Carlson-Brown, Wesley Cromwell, Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, Adrianna Dufay, Janet Gupton, Melissa Maxwell, Michael Phillips, Tom Rowan, Dana Smith, Greg Thorson, David Wintersteen, Cary Wong
New American Voices Submission Policies
Queens Theatre is committed to providing opportunities for all writers, regardless of age or experience. We do not require that a writer has representation, or that scripts are submitted through an agent. However, we only accept submission of plays which respond directly to our Mission Statement, below. Additionally, each season, the type of plays we are looking for is subject to change. That is particularly true at this moment in time, as we are not sure when the theatre will reopen.
New American Voices Mission Statement
NAV accepts submissions of unpublished plays, giving preference to unproduced work by writers of color and other underrepresented voices. We are particularly interested in plays which reflect contemporary issues from various perspectives including race, culture, language, disability, nationality and gender. We accept full-length plays only - at least 70 minutes. Currently, we are looking for plays with small casts (2-4) and solo shows. No children's shows, and please, one play per writer during each submission window. We are not considering musical submissions at this time. Until Queens Theatre reopens, selected plays will receive a Virtual Play Reading.
Email a letter of inquiry, synopsis, cast breakdown, resume and production history to Director of New Play Development Rob Urbinati at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject line, please include the following: “NAV Submission,” and the title of the play. Please do not send unsolicited scripts. Page samples may be requested following an email inquiry. For solo shows where the writer is also the performer, a video recording of selections from the play will be requested.