Courtesy Pittsburgh New Works Festival.

Carnegie Stage
Through September 25
Various times

50 actors, 12 plays, 4 weeks. Packing the entire month of September with world premiere plays, the Pittsburgh New Works Festival kicks off its 26th season this Thursday in Carnegie.

Courtesy Pittsburgh New Works Festival.

The ambitious undertaking combines the artistic talents of 18 Pittsburgh area theater companies and performances by 50-plus local actors.

Each of the festival‘s four main stage nights showcases three, original one-act plays that were all selected during an international submission process. Featured playwrights hail from all around the globe—including as far away as Australia and South Korea, and points closer to Pittsburgh such as Johnstown and New Castle, PA. Among the 18 dramatists selected are award-winning writers, seasoned theater veterans and first-time festival applicants.

A romantic comedy about an awkward second date, a one-night stand that becomes something more, and a drama that unfolds on the deck of the Titanic. An award-winning author in her 50s struggling to overcome an abusive childhood, an eight-year-old girl who is suspended from school for hate speech, and a struggling writer who is paid a visit by his muses. These compelling stories—and many others—were selected by a panel of readers and judges from some 275 works submitted.

First up for the festival, running September 1–10, will be Bill Arnold’s Deckchairs (Cup-A-Jo Productions); Michael Lill’s All Good Things (CCAC South) and F.J. Hartland’s More Than Meets the Eye (The South Hills Players).

Program B, running September 2–11, will include Scott Romani’s The Man Who Invented Love (A Production Company), William Newkirk’s My Strange Journey (R-ACT Theatre Productions) and Derek Lynch’s Writer’s Block (Actors Civic Theater).

Running September 15–24, Program C will showcase Evan Saunders’ Thread (The Summer Company), Whitney Rowland’s Your Princess is in Another Castle (McKeesport Little Theater), and Steven Peterson’s Key Ring (The Duquesne University Red Masquers).

The final selection of plays, running September 16–25, will feature Garry Kluger’s Brotherhood (The Theatre Factory), Jennifer Tromble’s Influence (The Heritage Players) and Stephen Engel’s Once Upon a Mattress Store (Stage Right Pittsburgh).

All shows take place at Carnegie Stage (formerly Off The Wall Theater), which is located at 25 W. Main Street in Carnegie. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, with matinees at 4 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays.

View a complete schedule and buy tickets.

Save the date: The public is also invited to join Pittsburgh New Works Festival actors, directors, and playwrights at the organization’s annual gala. Set for Sunday, October 2 at Cefalo’s, the gala will include a cocktail hour, gourmet tapas bar, awards ceremony, DJ music and dancing. Buy tickets.

Looking for more events? Read our 12 Pittsburgh events not to miss in SeptemberEverything you need to know about Pittsburgh concerts in September and 10 great family adventures in Pittsburgh this September feature stories.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...