Starting 11/15/19, 7:30:00 pm: Matilda the Musical

2017 Underground New Play Festival Selections & Directors Announced

Theatre Cedar Rapids

A Love of Theater

By Jeremy Eble

An Underground Festival Workshop Production

A suburban elementary’s PTA meeting is the subject of drama, courtesy of the school’s drama club coach, DB Cooper (no relation).  His love of theater is no match for the conservative parents.


An Irish Wake

By Clare Dieter

Directed by Rachel Potthoff

Reagan, Mouse, and Annie are adult cousins meeting in the middle of the night for their grandfather’s Irish wake.  They decide to use the wake as an excuse to finally explore their grandparent’s empty church and at the same time explore their fears and problems in life.


A Call From the Past

By Matt Fisher

Directed by Ben LaFayette

Gary tries to rekindle an old flame, but the realities of time, space, and awkward staging threaten to get in the way.


Calliope’s Garden

By Bethany Jackson

Directed by MC Cole

A retiree named Arthur is a man with one goal: to ride out the rest of his life in peace and silence, despite living in what he perceives as a crime-infested neighborhood.  After his caregiver disappears, it’s up to a young apprentice witch named Felicity to keep him safe from the dangers of the outside world.


Eine Sitzbank or, A Bench

By Croix Z. Kelchen

An Underground Festival Workshop Production

Two 20-somethings sit on a bench and discuss various problems with and aspects of their lives. As the play progresses, one is revealed to have a deeper issue.


Einstein’s Theory of Relativity

By Lin Kemp

An Underground Festival Workshop Production

When Harry Einstein learns his mother-in-law has died, how can he keep from laughing?  And when he learns she hasn’t, how can he keep from crying?


Hook-Up of Justice

By Duane Larson

Directed by Jeremy Eble

In Hook-Up of Justice, the possible romance between Rick and Sue is helped (hindered?) along by the sudden appearance of superheroes Wingman and Super-Bestie.  A rom-com satire – with superheroes!



By Taylor Sklenar

Directed by Becca Hauschild

While still reeling from the impact of their parents’ sudden death four years previous, Joan and Denny are thrown to the brink of ruin when their life insurance money runs out.  Joan, struggling to reconcile the roles of mother and sister, must try to galvanize the injured and unmotivated Denny to get a job.  Denny is given an “out” when his friend offers to take him to Colorado, and Denny must decide whether to stay with Joan while she tumbles down a rat-hole of memories and alcohol, or to start a new life.


Mobius Strip

By Brian Tanner

Directed by Dustin Davis

Can people really change or are we condemned to repeating the same mistakes again and again?  Lives intersect and wrap around again, with violent consequences.


One Brief Shining Moment

By David Schneider

Directed by Ben Sissel

A young, frank educator with an insatiable curiosity has a crisis of faith and questions the nature of love because of a pattern of destructive relationships.  Memory and perspective blends with theatrical and religious texts and ‘reality’ becomes unknowable as he is betrayed and spirals towards the unthinkable.


Start Over

By Clare Dieter

Directed by Emma Drtina

Disillusioned by bad relationships, Skye has exiled herself on a vacation away from men when her neighbor, Will, knocks on her door wearing only a sheet and seeking refuge from a one night stand gone wrong.


The Agreement

By Erica Jo Lloyd

An Underground Festival Workshop Production

An old friend shows up at Katya’s door to remind her of a pact from childhood.


The Art of Giving Head

By Brian Tanner

Directed by Jeremy Eble

Kelly’s high school assignment is to turn in an essay on any subject she wants to.  She should have realized the consequences of her actions.


The Baby Must Have Blue Eyes

By Erica Jo Lloyd

Directed by Dustin Davis

Josh and Maya intend to tell his parents they want to have a baby but discover they have very different ideas about kids.


The Day the Hamsters Died

By Greg Smith

Directed by Zach Johnson

A divorced couple (Marilyn and Brian) reunites four years after their divorce for their granddaughter’s (Cassi’s) birthday at their daughter’s (Alexa’s) request.  Marilyn asks Brian to authorize the use of their dead son’s (Russel’s) DNA so that his clone can be generated.  Brian struggles with his decision and asks advice from his best friend (Hunter) and Alexa before making his final decision.  Hamsters die.


The Exaltation o’ Lucidity or Our Modest Ephemeral Realm Totes Everlasting

By Mike Miersen

Directed by Emma Drtina

When a man is finally able to lucid dream, he thinks of it as his ticket to adventure.  But when the dreams begin to fight back, he’ll have to face the dark secret he’s been running from his whole life.


Last Annual One Minute Play Festival

By Matt Fisher and Todd Hamer

Directed by Ben LaFayette

Robert must come to grips with his artistic failures as he hosts a festival for which his play was not selected.


The Tragical History of One Christopher Marlowe or the Greedy Cherry Tree

By Taylor Sklenar

Directed by Ken Van Egdon

A long time rivalry between the failing young playwrights Shakespeare and Marlowe intensifies when they both separately run into a mysterious old man in a bar and sell their souls for an unmatched skill with language.  Several years later they run into each other at the same bar and design to finish their quarrel using their words.  After being tricked out of his end of their contract, the old man – who has revealed himself as the devil – talks a defeated Will into finishing the feud with a knife, thus quenching the overreaching Marlowe.