Dayton Playhouse selects finalists for nationally-recognized new play festival



Following a year hiatus to “regroup, replan, reimagine and revitalize,” the Dayton Playhouse’s nationally-recognized FutureFest of new, previously unproduced plays will return July 19-21.

Chosen from over 400 submissions from across the country and narrowed from a field of 12 semi-finalists, the five finalists are:

“The Chrysalis” by Joe Ricci, New York, NY

Synopsis: How do you say goodbye to a houseful of memories? It’s been over a year since John Sicura’s beloved wife of 45 years passed away. When his adult children come for Sunday dinner to their childhood home, John announces he is selling the house. Over an epic eight weeks of preparing the house to be sold, digging through boxes and boozy late-night talks on the roof lead to self-reflection and surprising confessions.

“The Cure” by Alex Dremann, Philadelphia, PA

Synopsis: When her 24-year-old son wills himself to death and donates all his organs, Joan goes on a quest to understand why. Along the way, she meets five of the organ recipients who all seem to remind her of different parts of her son’s personality, but it’s not until she meets her son’s heart that she finally learns the truth.

“The Four” by Catherine Butterfield, Santa Monica, CA

Synopsis: They were best friends when their children were growing up, but now one of their sons has committed a violent racial act that has attracted national attention. Can an interracial friendship sustain that kind of stress? How far do you go to protect a child whose actions you abhor?

“The Totality of All Things” by Erik Gernand, Chicago, IL

Synopsis: Judith Benson runs a world-class high-school newspaper program in a small town in Indiana where she convinces her students to strive for truth in journalism. When an act of graphic vandalism rocks the small, quaint town where everyone used to get along, Judith goes on a mission to catch who did it.

“Unabashedly” by Mike Teverbaugh, Toluca Lake, CA

Synopsis: Two people, with a past they had no idea they shared, meet in the newsroom of a major American newspaper and are drawn inexorably together.

All five plays in the 33rd annual event will be presented as staged readings, with one on Friday, two on Saturday and two on Sunday. All five playwrights will be in attendance, along with five professional adjudicators who will critique each play, followed by an audience critique. At the end of the weekend the adjudicators will select a winning play. The winning playwright will receive a stipend and the honor of having his or her play presented for two weekends in March as part of the Dayton Playhouse’s 2024-2025 season. The primary sponsor for FutureFest 2024 is Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority.

Since 2020, FutureFest has been limited due to COVID and budget constraints, but Dayton Playhouse Board Chair Matt Lindsay and FutureFest Co-Chair Tina McPhearson are looking forward to welcoming back FutureFest participants.

“We have updated the festival so that now all plays will be staged readings,” said Lindsay. “This will allow everyone, from our volunteer casts to our audiences, to focus more on the writing itself.”

Festivities included an Opening Reception on Friday and a dinner following the second play on Sunday. There are also many networking opportunities for audience members, playwrights, casts and adjudicators to discuss the plays. Weekend Passholders will also have a chance to vote for their favorite play of the weekend.

Weekend passes, which include all five plays, Opening Night Reception and Sunday Dinner, go on sale Friday, May 10 for $100 and can be purchased online at For questions, call 937-424-8477. Tickets for individual plays will go on sale for $20 beginning Monday, July 8. Single tickets will also be available at the door one hour before each play.



More details

Auditions are open to all and will be at 7 p.m. Monday, May 20 and Tuesday, May 21 at the Dayton Playhouse, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Dr. located in the Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark. Additional audition information will be posted at

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