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New Plays & Projects

At People’s Light, we conceive, commission, develop, and premiere new works of theatre that represent and reflect many perspectives. We collaborate with ambitious, curious, and empathetic theatremakers from across the country who wish to engage with our distinctive five-county region to tell stories that speak to our neighbors and our nation. 

Programs for New Work
A Residency & Commission Program where nationally renowned playwrights create new works inspired by in-depth contact with our region. NPF residencies occur in partnership with numerous community organizations to cultivate extensive local investment in the full life cycle of these new plays.
People's Light is not known for staging musicals. In recent years, however, we have significantly invested in the development and production of new music driven theatre. These new works use folk, blues, rock, jazz, and all kinds of music to activate and elevate a story
The holiday panto is a signature part of the People’s Light season. Each year we commission and develop a new panto based on a well-known tale. We also are committed to develop new adaptations of classic literature that appeal to the whole family.
  • History of New Plays

    Since 1974, over a third of our productions have been World or Regional Premieres.

    Over the past eight years we have significantly expanded our commissioning and development of new work. Through initiatives such as our New Play Frontiers Residency and Commission program and The People’s Light Harmony Labs we cultivate longstanding relationships with acclaimed local, national, and international artists to inspire and generate innovative works of theatre that resonate with our fast-growing and evolving region.

Some highlights from the past decade include:

Playwright Bruce Graham

"Producing new work is a scary prospect, both for the playwright and the theatre, since we never know what works until we put it on front of an audience. People's Light takes that leap not only by producing new work, but by providing a support system to develop the play to its full potential. I still judge other productions of Mr. Hart and Mr. Brown by the standards set by the People’s Light production."

- Author of Mr. Hart and Mr. Brown (World Premiere 2012), Stella & Lou (Regional Premiere 2015)

Reviewer John Timpane

“Karen Hartman’s Project Dawn is one of the very best productions of the season. It’s a big moment as play and as theatrical entertainment. It’s also important for how it got written, and the worthy — in fact, crucial — social work it does.”

- Reviewer for the Philadelphia Inquirer