Monthly Archives :

January 2018

Art for All: A Practical Guide for Leading a Creative Life with Jacqueline Goldfinger and R. Eric Thomas

150 150 Play Penn

Join PlayPenn Education Director Jacqueline Goldfinger and Award-winning Playwright R. Eric Thomas for this fun and informative 90-minute session.

Jacqueline and Eric will share some of their favorite (and effective) playwriting exercises, plus will provide expert advice and insider tips for building confidence while composing plays. They will also discuss different paths to building lives as playwrights and theater makers. Perfect for writers or anyone who has ever been curious about leading a writing-infused creative life. All participants will receive 15% off any upcoming PlayPenn Education course throughout 2018. PRE-REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT IS REQUIRED.

February 18, 2018

4:00 to 5:30 p.m.

Philadelphia Young Playwrights Learning Lab, 1219 Vine Street, Floor 2, Philadelphia, PA 19107

R. Eric Thomas is a Barrymore Award-winning playwright and humorist. He is the long-running host of The Moth in Philadelphia. He is a Senior Staff Writer for where he writes “Eric Reads the News,” a daily current events and culture column. His writing has also appeared in The New York TimesPhiladelphia InquirerMan RepellerFusionPhiladelphia MagazineNewsworksThinkingDance, and others. His play, TIME IS ON OUR SIDE, was commissioned by Simpatico Theater Project and developed with PlayPenn and PlayPenn Education. It was the recipient of two 2016 Barrymore Awards, including Best New Play, and was a finalist for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg American Theater Critics Association New Play Award. Forthcoming: MRS. HARRISON (Azuka Theatre, 2018), the Midwest premiere of TIME IS ON OUR SIDE (About Face Theatre, 2018), INFINITY JONES NEEDS SOME SPACE! (development: Act II Theatre), SAFE SPACE (development: Cohesion Theater Company Playwright’s Fellowship). With over a million social media shares, Eric’s column “Eric Reads the News” has quickly become an online humor staple. Covering pop culture, politics and current events, the column is a sardonic and sassy take on our world. Since its inception, it has been praised by such disparate personalities as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mariah Carey, Maxine Waters, Tamron Hall, and Tituss Burgess. Eric gave a talk at the 2011 TEDxPhilly conference. Since 2014 he has also worked with TED to coach TEDx speakers. He is a alumnus of The Foundry, a Philadelphia playwrights lab, a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow, and a member of InterAct Theatre Company’s CORE Playwrights program, Baltimore Center Stage’s Playwright’s Collective and the Cohesion Theater Company 2017 Playwright’s Fellowship.


Jacqueline Goldfinger is the Director of Education for PlayPenn and teaches playwriting at the University of Pennsylvania. She won the Yale-Horn Drama Prize for Emerging Playwright, Smith Prize for Political Theater, a Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play and Philadelphia Critics Award for Best New Play, was nominated for the Weissberger Award and the Blackburn Prize, and received a Commendation from the Terrence McNally Award. Her plays include Babel (NNPN/Florida Studio Theatre Residency),  Bottle Fly (The National Theatre New Work Studio/London, Wilma Theatre‘s HotHouse, PlayPenn New Play Conference), The Arsonists (Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage, La MaMa, National New Play Showcase, Sewanee Writers Conference, Disquiet/Lisbon, Kenyon Playwrights Conference, Perseverance Theatre, Azuka Theatre, Capital Stage, Know Theatre, BenchmarkTheatre, Thrown Stone Theatre), Click (Theatre Exile’s X-hibition Series, Emerson Stage Residency, Drama League Residency), Skin & Bone (Azuka Theatre, Bloomsberg Theatre Ensemble, Orlando Shakespeare PlayFest, Arden Theatre Writer’s Room), Slip/Shot (Seattle Public, FlashpointTheatre, PlayPenn New Play Conference, The Lark’s Playwrights Week), The Oath (Manhattan Theatre Works, Acadiana Rep, Last Frontier Writers Conference), and The Terrible Girls (Azuka Theatre, NYC International Fringe Festival, San Diego Playwrights Collective). Her work is published by Yale Press, Samuel French, Playscripts, and Smith & Kraus. Her work has been supported by New Georges, Yaddo Residency, National Endowment for the Arts, Independence Foundation, The Mitten Lab, People’s Light and Theatre Company’s Harmony Lab, The Producer’s Fund, Passage TheatrePlayLab, National New Play Network, Azuka Theatre Playwright-in-Residence Program, InterAct Playwrights Circle, among others. Read more about her work online:



Register Here

This class is being presented as part of Philly Theatre Week. Click the button below to access our sign up page through Theatre Philadelphia and be sure to check out what else is on offer around the city!

For questions, please email

“When you leave a PlayPenn class, your brain is so full of ideas and new tools, and your heart is full from this new network of collaborators you have just met. Old ideas are revived by the teachers, the tools, and the people in the room. I always leave the class ready to work.”

-Jamie, 2017 Student

2018 Conference Intern Application

150 150 Play Penn
2017 Conference Interns.

PlayPenn is looking for six individuals who have an interest in playwriting/ dramaturgy/ directing to take part in our 2018 Conference, between July 8th and July 30th, 2018.  This is a wonderful opportunity for motivated young theater artists to work alongside experienced professionals in a concentrated and fulfilling environment.  

Each intern will assist a collaborative team in the development of one of six plays invited to the conference chosen in a national search.  Interns will also assist, as needed, in the administrative, front of house and public relations responsibilities of the conference.

Interns will also be given the opportunity to participate in a playwriting workshop culminating in the public presentation of their own written work performed by conference artists.

Each intern will receive a $300 stipend for their work at the conference.

Unfortunately, PlayPenn cannot provide housing, though we are willing to assist out of town interns in finding housing options in the city for the duration of the conference

The deadline to apply is March 15, 2018.


If filling out the application on your mobile device, click here.

Questions? Contact


683 1024 Play Penn

Alex wrote and revised this play in our Education classes and now it’s getting a free professional public reading at PlayPenn!

March 5, 2018
Time: 7pm

The Proscenium Theater at The Drake, 302 S. Hicks Street, Philadelphia, PA

by Alex Dremann

The artists in the hipster neighborhood of LOLA are losing their post-gentrification turf war to a corporation called The Farm and Magda’s artisan bakery is on the verge of going under.  When Magda creates a new spelt muffin that finally draws in new customers, The Farm discovers Betty and Zeke, the last two artists in LOLA who have taken refuge in the bakery.  Magda’s pear-shaped nephew Paul, stuck behind the bakery counter most of his life, is just hoping for a little crime to fight— and when The Farm attacks, set on franchising Betty and Zeke then destroying both the bakery and LOLA, he finally gets his chance.

This reading is free and open to the public.  

Reservations end at noon the day of the reading. Seats are available at the door.

Questions? Contact

Alex studied playwriting at USC and has had 300+ productions of his short plays.  Evenings of his collected short plays include: “Slap Happy” (Madlab Theatre), “B-Sides, Rarities and Unreleased Tracks” (Wilmington City Theatre), “Bipolar by Thursday (Theatre Neo) and “13 Lemonade Ave.” (Secret Room Theatre).  Full lengths include: “Split Pea Pod” (The Brick Playhouse), “Postcoital Variations” (Philadelphia Theatre Workshop) and “The :nv:s:ble Play” (PTW, Madlab Theatre & Theatre of NOTE).  Published plays include “On the Porch One Crisp Spring Morning” in “The Humana Festival 2009: The Complete Plays”.