Published On: Thu, Mar 9th, 2023

New Play Festival at FAU’s Theater Lab offering six performances

By Dale King

Theater Lab at Florida Atlantic University will offer its annual New Play Festival March 10-12 at the Heckscher Stage on the FAU campus, 777 Glades Road in Boca Raton.

Theatre Lab’s annual New Play Festival continues its tradition of providing opportunities for emerging and established playwrights to showcase their work. Each reading is accompanied by a post-show discussion, an opportunity to interact with the playwrights themselves, where they will discuss the process, inspiration, and plans for future development.

The schedule is:

Friday, March 10th at 7:30pm

The Last Yiddish Speaker by Deborah Zoe Laufer

Hannah is struggling to survive her senior year of high school – new town, new school, new boyfriend. She’s also struggling to survive the new America, where the insurrection was successful, and everything has changed. When an ancient Yiddish-speaking woman is deposited on their doorstep, Hannah and her father must decide whether to help the woman hide or to save themselves.

Deborah Zoe Laufer’s plays have been produced at Theatre Lab, Florida Stage, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cleveland Playhouse, Geva, The Humana Festival, Everyman, Primary Stages, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and hundreds of other theaters around the world. Plays include Be Here Now, End Days, Rooted, Informed Consent (NYTimes critic’s pick), Leveling Up, Out of Sterno, The Last Schwartz, Sirens, Meta, The Three Sisters of Weehawken, Fortune, dozens of short plays, and the musicals, Window Treatment, and By Any Other Name, written with composer, Daniel Green.

Saturday, March 11 at 12:30pm

The Impossible Task of Today by Jeff Bower

Three years removed from tragedy, Jack, an agoraphobic online teacher has perfected his video game playing skills but severely neglected his hygiene, mental health, and dwindling number of personal relationships. When the grocery delivery guy is one of your best friends, something’s got to give, and with the arrival of a home gym, everything will change. Jack truly believes it…even if no one else does.

Jeff is excited to be working with Theatre Lab again after his radio play, One Last Shot, received its world premiere during the pandemic. A former teacher, mascot, and assembly line worker, Jeff Bower is repped by Paul Weitzman, a founding partner at Culture Creative Entertainment. Jeff earned a BA in Mathematics from Binghamton and an MFA in Theatre from FAU where he received death threats for performing his graduate thesis role.

After relocating to Los Angeles, he graduated from the improv programs at UCB and iO West (four years as a mainstage cast member, Del Close Award winner) and performed at The Los Angeles Improv & Sketch Festivals, the Pilots Live Festival, the Comedy Central Stage, and the NYC Sketch Festival.

Saturday, March 11, at 3:30pm

two of us on the run by Steve McMahon

J and C are bored small town American teenage girls who go on the run to find the ‘real’ America and themselves. They procrastinate and fantasize about the best way to run away from home, debate the fundamentals of feminism and what to do once they’ve left home and hit the road. On the open road, reality and fantasy blur. They rob banks, make bombs and discuss sexual, class and gender politics. They meet Brian, an enigmatic bartender, leading to a conclusion where they might fall in love, might commit acts of terror, might kill people, or might just breathe in the night air and decide to go home.

Steve McMahon is a Scottish actor and writer based between Edinburgh and Florida. He has been longlisted for the Theatre 503 Playwriting Award and a semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference. He has performed with the National Theatre of Scotland, Adirondack Shakespeare Company and Bard in the Botanics, and his plays have been produced or developed by Origin Theatre Company, Traverse Theatre Company, Fundamental Theater Project, Nylon Fusion, Village Pub Theatre, The Arctic Group, IRT Theater, Bridge Street Theatre, NYC Fridge Fest and Strange Town. He trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City where he co-founded and edited The Dionysian playwriting magazine and the Caffe Cino theatre book series.

Saturday, March 11 at 7:30pm

love is hard and absolutely (probably) worth it by Johnny G. Lloyd

Tom’s a former dancer. Vaughn’s a (current) painter. Vaughn and Tom are dating. They’ve been dating for a while. Vaughn and Tom have worries. They’re worried about their brothers, their fathers, their mothers, their very adorable pillow pet. And their apartment. Vaughn and Tom live in a very small apartment. Unfortunately, their world is about to get a little bit smaller. But maybe they’ll be able to break out of these four walls and learn new ways to express themselves and express love. Maybe. Set in the doldrums of 2020, love is hard and absolutely (probably) worth it is a meditation on brotherhood, fatherhood, sonhood, generational legacies, race, politics, and what it means to build something with a person you love in spite of all of the above.

Johnny G. Lloyd is a New York-based writer and producer. Off Broadway: Patience (Second Stage Theatre). Off-Off Broadway: Or an Astronaut Play (The Tank). Johnny was the winner of the 2021 Bay Area Playwrights Festival (The Problem with Magic, Is:) and has been commissioned by Clubbed Thumb, Westport Country Playhouse and Second Stage Theatre.  Currently he is a member of the Ars Nova Play Group was previously a member of The Lark Playwrights Workshop, the Clubbed Thumb Early-Career Writers Group and Liberation Theatre Company’s Writing Residency.

Sunday, March 12 at 1:00pm


Hear what’s on the minds of the next generation of playwrights! Theatre Lab’s newest educational outreach program, LabRATS (Rising Artists Theatre Society) provides high school students from around Palm Beach County the opportunity to work with industry professionals to create and produce original work. This group of students in grades 10-12 was recommended by teachers at partner schools and spent the month of January working with professional  playwright, Alix Sobler (Last Night in Inwood & The Glass Piano), to create original short plays & pieces. Now, as part of the New Play Festival, these students will work with  professional directors and actors to further develop their scripts for a first public reading – some of which will go on to be part of the one-night only performance of original student work in May of 2023!

Sunday, March 12 at 3:30pm

La Paloma by Andie Arthur

Located in unincorporated Dade County, La Paloma was a gathering place for “homosexuals in evening gowns, trousered lesbians, and prostitutes.” On November 15, 1937, the Ku Klux Klan stormed La Paloma, burning crosses outside, violently attacking the club patrons and staff, and threated to burn the place down with the Dade County Sheriff’s approval. La Paloma reopened two weeks later, with the management promising “spicier entertainment than ever,” including a drag version of white robes.  Join Al Youst, the owner; Jonathan aka Butterfly, a homosexual in an evening gown; Sophia, a trousered lesbian, and Maya, a prostitute as they reclaim their story and put on a show to remember.

Andie Arthur is a playwright and dramaturg, the co-founding artistic director of Lost Girls Theatre, the executive director of the South Florida Theatre League, and adjunct faculty at New World School of the Arts. She is a graduate of the BFA Playwriting Program at DePaul University and a former fellow of the Kennedy Center’s Summer Playwriting Intensive and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs’ Playwright Development Program.Packages and single tickets are available: $99 for all six readings; choose three for $55; single tickets are $20.  For information, visit or call 561-297-6124.

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