7th Annual Headwaters New Play Festival


August 24 & August 25
The Ruth

9:00am – YAOT Southwest Cast Performance of Seeds of Change
Bonus FREE Performance of Young Audience Outreach Tour
Friday 8/24 – Creede Community Gym – Open To All


Headwaters New Play Festival
Friday 8/24 – The Ruth

10:30am – Reading: Hazardous Materials by Beth Kander, Directed by Kyle Haden

12:30pm – Lunch provided by Ramon’s Mexican Restaurant

2:00pm –  Reading: Sanctuary, North by R.W. Schneider, Directed by Kate Berry

Headwaters New Play Festival
Saturday 8/25 – The Ruth

10:00am – YAOT Northwest Cast Performance of Seeds of Change

11:30am – Headwaters Chat Back with Playwrights and Directors


Your ticket is good for both days of the festival.

Get a front row seat to the adventurous process of bringing new plays to life: audience workshop, two readings of brand new work, instant feedback, and an engaging talk back with festival playwrights and directors. Plus, see the world premiere of our Young Audience Outreach Tour before it hits the road. Lunch included Friday.


Sanctuary, North by R.W. Schneider
Jordan, Montana, population 600. It’s the early spring of 1981 and the mostly unpaved streets of the town have thawed into mud and slush. Hell Creek Bar is one of two in the settlement. Inside there’s lots of dark wood, a pool table and a jukebox. A coin phone is affixed to the wall; the names of beers glow in neon. The youngest son of a very famous and very masculine writer grows up brilliant but bi-polar and often inhabiting a female alternate persona. He’s acquired a wife, five children and a medical degree, but for much of his life he’s pursued the provisional: projects invented during fits of manic energy only to be abandoned weeks or months later. Now he’s moved to a remote hamlet near the Canadian border where he’s the only doctor for a hundred miles around. This is the place he’s chosen to make his stand: permanence, mental stability and masculinity — or die.


Hazardous Materials by Beth Kander
The play takes place in one Chicago apartment, in two different eras. In 2015, new co-workers Hal and Cassie are investigating the residence where an elderly Jane Doe just died; in 1955, two strangers, Esther and Lynley, become tentative friends. In alternating scenes, two stories unfold within the same walls: As Hal and Cassie pick through the physical wreckage of a stranger’s life while dealing with their own emotional detritus, Lynley and Ester attempt to connect across very different worlds. With each object or truth unearthed or ignored in each era, one small apartment unfurls as home to timeless human longing.


To foster the development of new plays for CRT’s stages and beyond. Unleash vibrant new work into the world of theatre, because new voices and stories reflect back to us the shared anxieties and aspirations of our age.


Now in its 7th season, the Headwaters New Play Festival is a weeklong workshop where selected plays are developed with a team of professional theatre artists and receive public readings. Headwaters is the source of new plays of the West. However, our definition of West is extremely broad. It may include plays set in the current, historic, or mythic western United States; plays that reflect the diverse cultures and experiences of the West; plays that examine the American urban/rural divide; and plays that completely re-imagine what “West” means.

Festival audiences get a front row seat into the adventurous process of bringing a play to life: untested material, instant feedback, engaging talk-backs, and you’ll even see our original Young Audience Outreach Tour before it hits the road. CRT’s 52nd season featured the Headwaters World Premiere General Store by Brian Watkins, a New Dramatist Resident Playwright.

“As a playwright, if I were to conjure my perfect new play development experience, it would look a lot like the experience I just thoroughly enjoyed at Creede Repertory Theatre. The high level of artistry at CRT in general, combined with the uniquely peaceful natural environment, made this the perfect place for me to spend time away from the demands and pressures of real life to work on Sisyphus, Wyoming. It was a tremendous gift to work with a director, cast, dramaturg, guest playwright, and stage manager, all with considerable talents and insights, all on board for the single purpose of supporting me in the development of this play. Wow. As much as I enjoyed the incredible experience of working on my script, the shows I got to see during my time at CRT provided significant artistic rejuvenation and excitement in and of themselves. I’ve never had a better experience working on a new play.”

– Greg Owens, author of “Sisyphus, Wyoming” – 2012 Headwaters Festival Selection



To be considered for the Headwaters New Play Festival, a play must never have had a professional production and the playwright must be available to attend the workshop week of August 20th, 2018. Festival dates are August 24th and 25th, 2018.

Since 2015’s festival, our goal has been to more accurately reflect the diversity of human experience by reserving one of our two slots for women and playwrights of color. We are seeking full-length plays, one submission per playwright.

Submissions close when 250 scripts are received or February 18, 2018, whichever comes first. 250 scripts were received on January 30, 2018.

Submissions are currently: CLOSED.

Submissions for the 2019 Festival will begin October 1st, 2018. Check back here for details.

For more information, visit our SUBMISSION page.



2017 Season Page

THE MESS OF US by Moss Kaplan and Greg Ungar
CALIBAN’S ISLAND by Diana Burbano


GENERAL STORE* by Brian Watkins
LONE RIDERS by Carol Wright Krause


THE HISTORY ROOM* by Charlie Thurston
WISH KEY by Candyce Rusk


KIND OF RED* by John DiAntonio
GHOST LIGHT* by Nagle Jackson


LULLABY BAY* Book and Lyrics by Jeff Carey and Music by Jessica Jackson
THE ACTRESS by Peter Quiller


BEHOLD! THE FIG LEAF APRON by Steven Cole Hughes
CONCESSIONS by Tosin Morohunfola


HARRY THE GREAT* by John DiAntonio

* Produced at Creede Repertory Theatre

In addition to the Creede Rep stage, Headwaters’ plays have been produced at the Lone Tree Arts Center in Denver, Karis House in St. Louis, Green Valley Theatre in Sacramento, the University of Colorado Boulder, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and The Coterie Theatre in Kansas City.