2023 Emerging Artists Festival

Where You Can See Plays & Their Playwrights From All Over The World

Under the direction of and created by Artistic Director Michael Thomas, the Emerging Artists Festival exists to guide, encourage, support, and advocate for artists. Playwrights submit their works and a final lineup is chosen by the Renaissance Artistic Team to be workshopped throughout the Emerging Artists Festival, taking place from January - May 2023.

How It Works

This year’s festival includes five new works. Here is how it works:

  • Over the course of six consecutive days, actors will work with the director and playwright for five rehearsals to finetune and rehearse for the
  • The rehearsals culminate in two public readings on Friday and Saturday evenings
  • After the readings a discussion takes place between the audience and the actors, director, and playwright to gather feedback useful in continuing to perfect each work

2023 Emerging Artists Festival

There are five works that make up the 2023 Emerging Artists Festival Lineup. Tickets are available for each individual play or in a discounted package for access to all 5 readings for just $35 (Regularly $50).

Trollop: The Trials and Titillations of the Infamous Moll Flanders

A New Musical. Book and Lyrics by Shley Snider, Music by Darryl Pickett, Additional material by Jessica Ammel, Produced by Holly Marie Weber

Moll Flanders has two dreams: to be rich and important. But in 17th-century England, that’s easier said than done. This new musical, a mixture of rock and Baroque, is based on the classic novel by Daniel Defoe. Deemed scandalous at the time it was first written, the story explores women’s issues, sexuality, and censorship as we follow the irrepressible Moll from her birth in prison, to the heights of society.

Rehearsals: January 2–13, 2023 at 6:00–10:00 PM
Performances/Readings: January 14, 2023 at 8:00 PM

Gloria Mundi

A New Play by Pamela Morgan

When Gloria is visited by an angel of God with news of the second Messiah, she’s convinced she has a second chance at motherhood. But Jody thinks she’s using again. As the truth slowly unravels, Gloria must wrestle with the demons of her past, Jody must reconcile the specters of his future, and both must confront the very real threat of Harold, Gloria’s recovery counselor.

Rehearsals: January 16–20, 2023 at 6:00–10:00 PM
Performances/Readings: January 20–21, 2023 at 8:00 PM

Funnie: Or, the Most Lamentable Comedie of Jane the Foole

A New Comedy by Jessica Moss

A hilarious and thought-provoking new play by Julliard-trained playwright Jessica Moss. Set in the court of King Henry the VIII, it tells the story of Jane the Foole, the first and only recorded female jester ever to serve the royalty. Is it possible to succeed when you live in a world where you’re not seen as a person?

Rehearsals: January 23–27, 2023 at 6:00–10:00 PM
Performances/Readings: January 27–28, 2023 at 8:00 PM

Women Most Wicked

A New Play by Alan Kilpatrick

Alan Kilpatrick wrote this dark comedy set in London’s Madame Tussaud’s Chamber of Horrors in 2016. When the exhibit is scheduled to close, Kate Webster and Amelia Dryer, now wax figures of notorious 19th century murderesses, recount their lives and speculate about their futures before they are consigned to the junk heap.

Rehearsals: January 30–February 3, 2023 at 6:00–10:00 PM
Performance/Reading: February 3, 2023 at 8:00 PM

The Sweet Everlasting

A New Play by Frances Limoncelli, Based on the novel by Judson Mitcham

Based upon the prize-winning novel by Georgia poet laureate, this adaptation by Frances Limoncelli tells the story of sharecropper's son, mill worker, and ex-convict, Ellis Burt. For a brief and cherished time there was a woman, and then a child, too, who had been a kind of salvation to him. Then they were gone, leaving Ellis to carry on with the burden of what he had done to them, and of the ruin he brought down upon them all.

Rehearsals: May 1–5, 2023 at 6:00–10:00 PM
Performances/Readings: May 5–6, 2023 at 8:00 PM

2023-2024 Emerging Artists Festival Submissions

The Emerging Artists Program is accepting full-length play, musical, screenplay, and documentary submissions for their 2022-2023 season. Seven to ten scripts will be selected for readings.

About the Renaissance Theatre, Theatre 166

The Renaissance Theatre is a 1400-seat, 1929 Warner Brothers movie palace located at 138 Park Avenue West in Mansfield, Ohio. Theatre 166, the Ren’s 125-seat black box space, is located at 166 Park Avenue West in Mansfield, adjacent to the main theatre. The Renaissance produces three main stage and three studio productions each season, along with live concerts, family programming, youth theatre performances, the Mansfield Symphony, and the Miss Ohio Scholarship Program. The Emerging Artists Program presents three to five productions each season. Past original programming developed at the Renaissance has included:

  • 2010 Sentimental Journey: Voices of World War II (Play with Music)
  • 2011 Remember Me Always (Musical)
  • 2012 The Unforgettable Marvelenes (Musical Revue)
  • 2013 Twilight Gardens (Musical)
  • 2014 Count: The Legend of Dracula (Ballet)
  • 2015 Creole Cinderella (Ballet)
  • 2016 Hot Mess: A Lethal New Musical (Musical)
  • 2017 Sentimental Journey with the Mansfield Symphony (Play with Music)
  • 2018 The Last Act (Musical)
  • 2019 At Last: An Evening with Etta James (Musical)
  • 2020 QuaRENtine Creations (Streaming Series)
  • 2021 Heartaches (Teleplay)
  • 2022
    • Young and Unsullied: The Redemption of Ruby Crowe (Play)
    • This Too Shall Pass (Musical)
    • Desde Mi Corazón (Documentary Film)

For more information, email [email protected]