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ScriptWorks is both a playwright-driven service organization and a theatrical producing company. We exist to support dramatic writers by providing opportunities at all stages in the writing process — from inception through production. ScriptWorks supports the whole writer, not just an isolated project, and dedicates itself to career advancement as well as artistic growth. read more ...read more ...


UNDERGROUND by Lisa B. Thompson
March 24-April 8, 2017
Vortex, 2307 Manor Rd.


A pair of old college buddies who have gone from radicals in their youth to successful professionals approaching middle age. When Kyle shows up at Mason’s door, the two have a chance to catch up, reminisce and, as the evening goes on, engage one another in a battle of intellects over the best road to black liberation. How far would you go to protect your people?

Lisa B. Thompson is an artist/scholar whose work has been produced by Crossroads Theatre Company, Brava! For Women in the Arts, New Professional Theatre, FronteraFest, Theatre Rhinoceros, and the National Black Theatre Festival among others. Her plays include the critically acclaimed off-Broadway comedy SINGLE BLACK FEMALE, MONROE, DREADTIME STORIES: ONE SISTA’S HAIR, MOTHER’S DAY, I DON’T WANT TO BE (MAMIE TILL), THE MAMALOGUES, WATCH, and UNDERGROUND. Thompson is currently Associate Professor of African & African Diaspora Studies at UT Austin and is the author of Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class. Her work has received support from many institutions including Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, the University of California’s Office of the President; Stanford University’s Michele R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research; UCLA’s Center for African American Studies; UT Austin’s Humanities Institute, Hedgebrook, and the Millay Colony.

UNDERGROUND stars Marc Pouhe and Jeffrey DaShade Johnson and is directed by Rudy Ramirez.

UNDERGROUND was developed with support from ScriptWorks Seed Support Fund and this production is supported in part by ScriptWorks Finer Point Fund for New Play Production. The MARCH 29th performance will be a benefit for ScriptWorks to help replenish the fund. Tickets are sliding scale and available HERE.

Come out and see a great show and support ScriptWorks at the same time!

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Sunday, March 26 at 6:30 pm
Austin Playwrights Studio
5555 N. Lamar, Bldg. K, Ste. 125

Seventeen-year-old Henry David Winters has read every word Lord Byron, Edgar Allan Poe, and Sylvia Plath ever wrote. His life’s goal is to be a tortured poet. Problem is… he’s never been tortured. He’s led an idyllic young life, and no matter how much black eyeliner he puts on, or how much Marilyn Manson he listens to, he can’t seem to find the right mixture of angst and malcontent he needs to be like his heroes. All that changes though when something tragic happens to Henry for the first time in his life. Will he be able to turn it to art, like he’s always believed, or will he be proven the poser everyone already thinks he is?

Ty Spencer Hoppe is a graduate of The University of Texas with dual degrees in English and Theatre. He also holds a Master’s in Education from The University of North Texas Denton. He has taught Advanced English on the secondary level for the past five years and currently works at J.B. Connally High School in Austin. The first act of this play is an effort to write for audiences his students’ age. The second half is an effort to write for audiences his own.

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ARMY ISSUE [working title] by Vicki Caroline Cheatwood
Sunday, February 26 at 6:30pm
Austin Playwrights Studio
5555 N. Lamar, Bldg. K, Ste. 125

A comedy-drama told in a series of letters to penpals, ARMY ISSUE [working title] opens a weathered screen door into the lonely, chaotic life of 10-year-old Cricket, a precocious square peg stuck in a small house with a large military family.

Vicki Caroline Cheatwood is a Dallas-based playwright, screenwriter and dramaturg. Most recent stage credits: MANICURES & MONUMENTS (WaterTower Theatre),  HOME FRONT (Creative Arts Theatre & School), and RUTH (Kitchen Dog Theater).  Off-Off-Broadway and regional theater credits include THE RISEN CHRIS at Vital Theatre, FITS & STARTS: THE SACRED HEART at Access Theatre, 10:10 and THE COWGIRL CHRONICLES for Actors Stock Company/NYC, and MANICURES & MONUMENTS for Journeyman Theatre Ensemble, Washington D.C.  Her screen works include the feature film version of 10:10, a finalist in the Austin Film Festival,  BREAK,  an Official Selection for the Cannes Independent Film Festival and Best Dramatic Short winner in the Long Island Film Festival, and BREATHING ROOM, which won a Special Jury Gold Award in the Houston WorldFest Film Festival.  Zookeeper and educator by day, Vicki spent two seasons as dramaturg/researcher at WaterTower Theatre, and has worked closely with Kitchen Dog Theatre’s young playwrights program PUP Fest since the program’s inception. Vicki is a long-time member of ScriptWorks and has been produced in numerous Out of Ink productions.

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FronteraFest is a five-week long performance festival that ScriptWorks co-produces with Hyde Park Theatre annually. We commission four pieces for the Short Fringe, which appear weekly on Weds. nights. Every year, several of our members are involved in FronteraFest. Below are the members who are taking part this year. For the full festival line-up and to purchase tickets visit Hyde Park Theatre.


Weds., January 18

Body of Work, written and performed by Christine Hoang (ScriptWorks Commission). An autobiographical, one-woman show that explores how a woman’s views on body image, consumerism, cosmetic surgery, family, and friendship evolve through her teens, twenties, and thirties. Directed by Elizabeth V. Newman.

Tea Time, by Raymond V. Whelan. London. Two bookies need fast cash. Sandy wants bread for business and his date with Laura. Wally wants dough to pay for his father’s burial. Lysis the barmaid offers funds from her Uncle Jasper who wants the Boston Red Sox to win the 1986 World Series.

Very Successful, written and performed by Robin Chotzinoff with Shelly Leuzinger. A person is driven to write songs and perform them in public. She devotes her life to practicing her instrument, developing artistic discipline, and grappling with, and finally dominating, the necessary hurdle of self-promotion. Well, she should, but she doesn’t. Five decades go by. An oddly optimistic story of wasted potential, with songs.

Thurs., January 19

Mystery-Bouffe 2016: A Comedy in Six Acts, by James E. Burnside. The Amerikan Ship of State is sinking as the Apocalypse begins. A One-Act play in Six Acts.

Fri., January 20

God’s Rabbit Hole, written and directed by Anthony Ellison (Punchkin Repertory Theatre). Jean is married and in the middle of a sexual crisis; she is completely unfulfilled, so she turns to God for guidance to ultimate ecstasy.

Tues., January 24

Lady in Red, a heavenly caffeinated tale, written and performed by Rhonda F. Kulhanek. A one-woman performance.

The Epidemiologist, by Ramon Carver. The argument of the play is for an epidemiologist to determine the source of an incipient epidemic in the nick of time while preparing to appear on an afternoon TV talk show. Featuring Timothy Englert and Ralph Gill.

Weds., January 25

Your Neighborhood Association, by Max Langert (ScriptWorks Commission). Ripped from the headlines of your local Listserv. Hope you’ve paid your dues.

Souvenirs From Tomorrow, by Kirk German, developed by Kirk German and Heather Huggins. Whose stories are retold, and whose stories are forgotten? In 1939, New York hosted an enormous World’s Fair in Flushing, Queens, which promised a dazzling glimpse at “The World of Tomorrow” — but for the city’s immigrant pushcart peddlers, the promise was a broken one.

Thurs., January 26

ChuTopp, by Topping Haggerty and Chuy Zarate. ChuTopp is doing a fully improvised narrative show that tells the story of an awkwardly brilliant, and much too complicated, caper that may, or may not, be a good thing.

In the Tallest Tower (Or For Princesses and the Dragons Who Guard Them), written by Tyler Kosmak. It’s a story we’ve all heard before: A Princess sleeps in a tall tower guarded by a fearsome Dragon waiting to be rescued by a chivalrous Knight. This time, however, something is different: the dragon is slain, but the Princess is awake, the Narrator is napping, and nothing is quite what it seems.

Fri., January 27

Dime Show Diamonds, by Candyce Rusk (JayDub Productions). Dime Show Diamonds is a one-act and part of a trilogy of plays forming THE RIVERVIEW STORIES, set in Chicago’s Riverview Amusement Park, circa 1950. Drawing on the history of the American sideshow, each character navigates life with lyric humor and objectivity. Directed by Julianna E. Wright.

Dog, by Marla Porter. A common problem threatens to tear a young family apart.

Crickets, by Kim Tran, Nicole Oglesby, Zac Carr, Jonathan Flanders, Jordan Taylor, Michelle Curry (Crickets). We explore and evaluate improvisational comedy and drama without any traditional constructs. One thing we can promise is that we will be traveling through multiple worlds, languages, theatricalities, and environments without scene changes. We pledge presence and risk. We’re also hilarious.

Tues., January 31st

The Storyteller, by Liz Delaney. Actor relates and shares several stories and poems with the audience, using the author’s words, along with creative props and universal movements. The poems and stories should touch upon shared, positive cultural memories, and/or evoke insight through new situations which are presented. Director/producer Vanessa Broussard.

The Amenable Stage, by C.M. Gill. Eva is a woman with a problem: She is a playwright with no play. Identity crisis aside, she must come up with one, and soon—or she loses her grant. She turns to her friend (a theatre director) for help and inspiration, and together, they and their actor friends begin mining their own lives and the lives of those around them for inspiration. Much meta-analysis, comedy, and existential crises ensue . . . Directed by Elizabeth V. Newman

Dare to Nap Greatly, by Nettie Reynolds. Three pieces from an upcoming one-woman show by the same name, with special guest appearance Brian Newton Fuller as Napping Man.

Weds., February 1

The Anglers, by Sarah Loucks (ScriptWorks Commission). A boy and the Devil philosophize, play video games, and eat Cheetos along the banks of the Mississippi.

Down the Alley of Life by Mike Royko, by Mike Royko, adapted by Raymond V. Whelan. While backed by a Greek chorus, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Mike Royko recites an essay urging readers to show sanitation workers more respect.

Thurs., February 2

Bargainland, by Tristan Young Mercado. A farce that highlights the absurdity regarding bigotry and consumerism in America. Set in the security office of a mega super store, three customers battle it out while a security guard plays referee.

Fri., February 3

Duck, Duck, Goose, by Max Langert. Noah Martin directs this piece about feathers, funk, and fame. Originally written, cast, rehearsed, staged and performed all in one day as part of the 14/48 Austin Theatre Fest in October 2016. Check out 1448atx.wordpress.com for more info.

The Holidaze, improvised by Topping Haggerty, Julie Stainer, and Joy Masters (Foggy Daze Productions). The holidays are over and Xmas Tree, Snow Man, and Reindeer have to figure out what to do for the rest of the year.

Tues., February 7

Shift Change at the Palace of Freedom, by Lorenzo Martinez and Laura Creedle. Six superheroes leave a night of fighting crime behind and prepare for the day shift at a local hospital. Only the “Other” stands alone, trapped between day and night. Can the team truly accept the mysterious “Other”?

TBD, by Brian Newton Fuller.

The Dyeing Women, by Kyle John Schmidt. A group of beleaguered dyers at a textile mill clash with their boss over who most deserves the day off. A comedy about the wonders and troubles of suffering in public by the five-time FronteraFest Best of Fest winning team of writer Kyle John Schmidt and director Elizabeth C. Lay.

Weds., February 8

Final Conversations, by Rita Anderson (ScriptWorks Commission). Final Conversations explores a mother’s wish to have one real conversation with her son before he’s accidentally killed. One morning before he leaves for school, she suddenly knows that he has one hour to live. With a kitchen-sink approach, Mother attempts to get it “right” in conversation after conversation, using comic and often absurd methods to reach Son, none of which alters destiny.

Becoming One With The Universe or How I Avoided Writing The Play, written and performed by J. Isabel Salazar.

TBD, by Hank Schwemmer.

Pigs Sweat, Men Perspire, Ladies Merely Glow, written and performed by Bernadette Nason. After four months of unfamiliar life in Tripoli, Libya, Nason gets a vacation in Malta, an island jewel in the middle of the Mediterranean between the North African coast and Italy’s boot. Apart from relaxing with friends and downing gins and tonics, she has only one serious appointment: a leg wax. Desperate for pampering, she’s almost looking forward to it. She soon learns waxing is done differently in Europe.

Space Station Sexy, by Topping Haggerty (Groovy McGrooverson Productions). Space Station Sexy is a great place to work, but sometimes being sexy can’t fix what needs to be fixed. Sometimes.

Thurs., February 9

Untitled, by Tristan Young Mercado. This piece highlights the relationship between a daughter and her mother, who suffers with a multiple personality disorder. The daughter’s attempt to introduce her mother to her future in-laws throws the mother into an emotional tailspin.

Fri., February 10

Christy (Act I), by Cindy Vining. Christy, powerhouse CEO, returns to her childhood home for her mother’s funeral only to discover that Roger, Christy’s high school flame, married her mother on her deathbed and has inherited the house. To make matters worse, Roger is sleeping with Christy’s younger sister, Bev.

105, by Daria Miyeko Marinelli (The 2017 Cohen New Works Festival). “If this trip doesn’t kill you, I might.” 105 is a post-apocalyptic radio dance play that follows siblings Jackson and Sybil as they travel cross-country in search of a mythic conclave. Combining radio play, dance, and original music, 105 explores sacrifice, survival, and who we become when faced with a broken world.


Red Sox by Raymond V. Whelan and Down the Alley of Life by Mike Royko by Mike Royko, adapted by Raymond V. Whelan

Red Sox turns back the clock thirty years to study the intricate personal struggles of seven people while the Boston Red Sox baseball team undertakes its valiant but ultimately doomed quest to become World Series Champions of 1986.

While accompanied by a Greek chorus, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Mike Royko urges more respect for sanitation workers.

Book People, Third Floor

603 N. Lamar Blvd. Austin, 78703

Admission is free but donations will be accepted

January 27-28 at 8pm

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An online workshop with Caridad Svich

$200 General/$150 SW Members
Sign up here

More information: info@scriptworks.org

How do we write/right the rites of our world in all of its trouble and joy? How do we make plays as citizen-artists? This playwriting intensive focuses on the writing of a first draft centered around questions of art-making as civic dialogue framed as a poetic and transformational practice. The course is conducted via email.

Caridad Svich received 2012 OBIE for Lifetime Achievement. She is a playwright, translator, lyricist, poet, essayist,, editor and educator. Her plays have been seen across the US and abroad. Among them are Iphigenia Crash Land Falls…, The House of the Spirits, Jarman (all this maddening beauty) and De Troya, which premieres at Cara Mia Theatre in Dallas spring of 2017. She is editor of three books published by TCG: Audience Revolution, Innovation in Five Acts and Out of the Fringe as well as volumes from Manchester University Press, Smith & Kraus, Eyecorner Press and more. Visit her at www.caridadsvich.com

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Sunday, December 11 at 6:30pm
Austin Playwrights Studio, 5555 N. Lamar, Bldg. K, Ste. 225

DOG by Marla Porter

In DOG, a young family faces a common problem that threatens to break them apart.

Marla Porter is a lifelong Austinite who writes plays and poetry and ascribes to Tolstoy’s declaration that the best stories are not good vs. bad, but good vs. good. She organizes the Austin Writers’ Breakfast meetup group, works as a policy editor with the Texas Workforce Commission, and lives with her dog Mimi in North Austin.

TEA TIME by Raymond V. Whelan

This is London. Early fall 1986. Two bookies want fast cash.  Sandy needs bread for business in Dublin, also for his imminent date with Laura, one brill Kensington girl. Wally needs dough to pay for his father’s burial. Lysis the barmaid offers funds from her Uncle Jasper who wants to bet the Boston Red Sox will win the World Series.

Raymond V. Whelan is a proud member of ScriptWorks Austin. He has participated in Frontera Fest since 2012.

MYSTERY-BOUFFE 2017 – A COMEDY IN SIX ACTS (working title) by James E. Burnside

The Amerikan Ship of State is sinking.  The Contemptibles pull together to rescue the ship with the inspiration of their fearless leader.  They throw open the gates of Hell to toss in the illegals, the queer, the brown.  They tear down the gates of Heaven to drag out the “peacemakers” who would allow terrorists to destroy us.  The Liberals wring their hands and whine.

James E. Burnside is a playwright, a member of ScriptWorks’ board, and a helluva bean dip-maker.

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The Weekend Fling is ScriptWorks’ annual 48 hour playwriting event where members use their incurable writing habit to create a ten-minute play in 48 hours.   Muses are provided in the form of three rules/elements that MUST appear in the play.  The Fling is FREE, but you must be current (or get current) on your member dues to participate and put your play into consideration for Out of Ink.  The Fling is primarily virtual this year but we are having a Happy Hour Kickoff Friday, Nov. 11th from 6-8 at Opal Divine’s South ( in Penn Field, 3601 S. Congress).  We’ve reserved part of the back room so we can hang out and socialize before the rules are revealed around 7pm. The ingredients will be emailed to all members, for those who can’t attend. You do not have to live in Austin to participate or have your play produced in Out of Ink.

Sun, November 13, 5:30pm-?
Gather at the Austin Playwrights Studio* to read the fruits of your fling!  To be read, your play must be typed, and NO MORE than 10-minutes long (a timer will be used), and you must bring the appropriate number of copies for actors and stage directions.  SW will provide a company of actors and casting will happen on the spot.

*Austin Playwrights Studio (aka Warren’s place) is in the office park behind Half-Price Books on North Lamar, 5555 N. Lamar, Bldg. K, Ste. 125.  The best place to enter is from the back side of the Half Price Books complex. Go south on Guadalupe from Koenig and take the 4th driveway on your right.  There’ll be a building with a red awning on your left that says 5426 on it. Continue on and look for Bldg. K on the right.  The door to the space says Suites K 123-126, so you won’t see the actual suite number from the parking lot. If you have trouble, call Christi at 512-589-4055.

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Tuesday, November 1st, 7-10pm
Hyde Park Theatre
511 W. 43rd Street

$40 General/$25 ScriptWorks
Pay in advance here

All great storytelling uses reversals of character and action to create drama. In this workshop, we’ll do exercises exploring reversals and we’ll talk about how to use reversal techniques to break through writing blocks and structural impasses in your play.

Ann Marie Healy writes plays and books. Her creative writing has been supported and honored by organizations as diverse as the Sundance Institute, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The New York State Council for the Arts, The Ivy League Film Festival, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Clubbed Thumb Theater Company, MCC’s Playwright’s Coalition, Edge Theater Company and Lincoln Center’s LCT3. Her essays, fiction and plays are published through Smith and Kraus, Samuel French and The Kenyon Review. She is currently completing commissioned plays for Yale Rep and Playwright’s Horizons; she received her MFA in Playwriting from Brown University.

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Sunday, October 30th at 6:30pm
Austin Playwrights Studio
5555 N. Lamar, Bldg. K, Ste. 125*

A father takes his son deep into the woods to teach him how to hunt but all Arnold wants to do is read. Every Animal has an Other name, at least that’s how the story goes. Arnold would lose himself in fables if Dad would stop trying to shoot the Animals in them. The forest is full of lessons to live by but which can be trusted? As Arnold searches for a way to save the Animals and find a happy ending the stars grow dim and the forest grows dark – something lurks in the woods and it is hungry.
Inspired by and adapted from Aesop’s Fables, WHAT LIVES IN THE WOODS explores the choices made when growing up, the long memory of stories, and the lessons parents give to their children.

Tyler Kosmak has had several one act plays staged at UT while he was a student there (earning an oh so useful bachelor’s degree in Playwriting) including Falling Snow an adaptation of the classic tale of Snow White and Waking Up which put a twist on the Hard-Boiled/Noir genre.
Tyler hopes to take the things learned in this reading and put them toward a full production of WHAT LIVES IN THE WOODS in the very near future.

*Austin Playwrights Studio (aka Warren’s place) is in the office park behind Half-Price Books on North Lamar, 5555 N. Lamar, Bldg. K, Ste. 125.  The best place to enter is from the back side of the Half Price Books complex. Go south on Guadalupe from Koening and take the 4th driveway on your right.  There’ll be a building with a red awning on your left that says 5426 on it. Continue on and look for Bldg. K on the right.  The door to the space says Suites K 123-126, so you won’t see the actual suite number from the parking lot. If you have trouble, call Christi at 512-589-4055.

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Sunday, September 25th at 6:30pm
Austin Playwrights Studio
5555 N. Lamar, Bldg. K, Ste. 125*

THE RIVERVIEW STORIES is a full length play, comprised of 3 shorter plays, all which are set in Riverview Amusement Park (1904-1967), once the largest park in America, taking up 102 acres on Chicago’s north side.  LULU’S CHARMS IN THE DARK (mid-1940s) focuses on Ballroom dancers Lulu and Phyllis, who are overseen by a fierce mistress, Madame Swan.   RIVERVEIW RITZ (mid-1960s) unwraps the tale of the African Dip, a racist dunking game, where La Fayette works raking in the big $. He rooms with a Polish immigrant, Jacek, and both agree to take in La Fayette’s girlfriend Lorette, who’s running from her violent Uncle Charles. Two local brothers, Hawk and Machine, work the park with pride and a hidden shame. NUMERAL SIDESHOW (mid-1930s) takes place in a sideshow tent. Each of the characters possess accidental birth defects, but rather than succumb to self pity, they present themselves with insight and wit.

Candyce Rusk’s plays and musicals have been staged throughout the US and Dublin. Works that have captured Best of Fest honors include: ROSETTA (one-act version); DICE; A SHINING ATTRIBUTE and RIVERVIEW RITZ. Her play LITTLE BABY TWO SHOES was adapted into a short film by Paul Bright. WISH KEY, featuring women in pants thriving on the Western frontier, was selected for Creede Repertory Theatre’s Headwaters Festival last August.

*Austin Playwrights Studio (aka Warren’s place) is in the office park behind Half-Price Books on North Lamar, 5555 N. Lamar, Bldg. K, Ste. 125.  The best place to enter is from the back side of the Half Price Books complex. Go south on Guadalupe from Koening and take the 4th driveway on your right.  There’ll be a building with a red awning on your left that says 5426 on it. Continue on and look for Bldg. K on the right.  The door to the space says Suites K 123-126, so you won’t see the actual suite number from the parking lot. If you have trouble, call Christi at 512-589-4055.

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