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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 region to tell stories that speak to our neighbors and our nation. 

Programs for New Work
Through our New Play Frontiers and Queerways, PA commission and residency programs, nationally renowned playwrights create new works inspired by our region. These residencies occur in partnership with community organizations to cultivate local investment in the full life cycle of these new plays.
Our Kiln New Works Lab and Harmony Labs bring a wide range of artists together to foster creative communities, conceive and develop new work, and provide our patrons a glimpse into many different approaches to theatre-making.
From our signature musical pantos to fresh adaptations of classics like A Christmas Carol, the holidays at People’s Light are a beloved tradition for many in our region.
  • History of New Plays

    Since 1974, over a third of our productions have been World or Regional Premieres. Over the past ten years we have significantly expanded our commissioning and development of new work. Through initiatives such as our New Play Frontiers Residency and Commission program, Queerways, PA, 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.

Recent World Premieres 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