The VG Reading Series features readings of new plays. This regularly scheduled program of play readings will provide playwrights a platform to develop their plays-in-progress, and will give our audiences opportunities to experience exciting new work throughout the year. The Reading Series adds to our current programming of world premiere and new plays on our mainstage season and our IGNITION Festival of New Plays.

Stay tuned for upcoming Readings!


Fourth Blood Moon

By Alice Austen
Directed by Henry Godinez
Monday, June 27 at 7:30 pm
Free and Open to the Public

Alice Austen is a playwright and screenwriter/producer. Recent theatrical credits include ANIMAL FARM (Steppenwolf Theatre, Fall 2014), FOURTH BLOOD MOON (2015 Blue Ink Finalist), NINTH MAN OUT (Kilroys Inaugural “The List”, Goodman Theatre Commission 2013), BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS (Terrence McNally Award Premier Five), PLAZA HOTEL BALLROOM (2014 Eugene O’Neill Semi-Finalist). Recent Film credits include COMING TO YOU (2016 – post-production) Writer/Producer with Kirill Mikhanovsky and Drew Houpt; GIVE ME LIBERTY (2016 – pre-production) Writer/Producer with Mikhanovsky, Houpt, and Dan Janvey; THE MERCY SEAT (development) Writer with Alix Delaporte. Alice is a member of the Timeline Theatre Company Playwrights Collective where she has developed BOLSHOI with director Jeff Calhoun. She is a Film Independent Fellow and has received Theatrical Residencies from the Royal Court (London), the Goodman Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, and the Hangar Theatre. She’s the recipient of a Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination for Best New Work for WATER. Alice studied Creative Writing and Law at Harvard University.

florissant & canfield

By Kristiana Rae Colón
Directed by Monty Cole
Wednesday, June 29 at 7:30 pm
Free and Open to the Public

Kristiana Rae Colón is a poet, playwright, actor, educator, Cave Canem Fellow, and co-director of the #LetUsBreathe Collective. Her play but i cd only whisper had its American premiere at The Flea in New York. Her play Octagon, winner of Arizona Theater Company’s 2014 National Latino Playwriting Award and Polarity Ensemble Theater’s Dionysos Festival of New Work, had its world premiere at the Arcola Theater in London in September 2015. Her work was featured in Victory Gardens’ 2014 Ignition Festival and in 2013, she toured the UK with her collection of poems promised instruments published by Northwestern University Press. In autumn 2012, Kristiana opened her one-woman show Cry Wolf at Teatro Luna in Chicago while her play but i cd only whisper had its world premiere at the Arcola Theater in London. Kristiana is apart of the Goodman Theater’s Playwrights Unit, a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and one half of the brother/sister hip-hop duo April Fools. She appeared on the fifth season of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam.


By christopher oscar peña
Directed by Jonathan Berry
Sunday, June 19 at 7:30 pm
Free and Open to the Public

Denia arrives in Chicago, looking to create a place for herself in this unfamiliar land. Monique’s never left Chicago but feels more and more like a stranger in her own home. A chance encounter between them transforms their lives forever in this new play about identity and perception.

The Cast:
Julio: Ricardo Gutierrez
Drew: Stephen Cefalu
Monique: Caroline Neff
Lucy: Mckenzie Chinn
Denia: Paloma Nozicka


By ​Elaine Romero
Directed by ​Erica Weiss
January 12 at 7:30pm
Free and Open to the Public

When Andrea finds a hand-scrawled note from a Chinese sweatshop worker in the pocket of her designer coat, she sets off on a passionate journey to free him. Little does she know that this journey to freedom takes her down a rabbit hole of globalization & the complicated world of modern slavery as she struggles to keep up with the world (and workers) around her.


By Douglas Post
Directed by Joanie Schultz
December 8 at 7:30 pm
Free and Open to the Public

On the coldest night of the year in the city of Chicago, a group of concerned neighbors gather in the back room of a library to grapple with issues related to crime, gangs and graffiti, and to deal with a recent shooting on their streets that has left a young man dead.  As the meeting grows longer and tempers grow shorter, questions arise and accusations fly. Who was the man? Was he a gang member or a former gang member? Is it true that he was recently released from prison? Was he trying to turn his life around? And is it possible that one of the members of this group may have become the very thing they are all fighting against?


by Zayd Dohrn
Directed by Joanie Schultz
November 17 at 7:30pm
Richard Christiansen Theater
Free and Open to the Public

When Sam witnesses an act of senseless violence on the New York subway, he invites the victim, Kevin, back to his apartment to rest and recuperate. But as the two young men develop an unexpected friendship, Sam’s friends and family start to worry that Kevin could be dangerous – or worse, that Sam’s attachment could be a symptom of a sickness he’s struggled with his entire life. Bedlam is a look at the prejudices that divide us, and the craziness of trying to make connections in spite of our differences.


By Calamity West
Directed by Marti Lyons
October 28 at 7:30pm
Richard Christiansen Theater
Free and Open to the Public

In a swank French hotel room in the mid-1960s, an artist hides out from a world that’s turned on him. He smokes, talks, drinks, and tries not to think about acoustic versus electric. Calamity West delivers a funny, sardonic and theatrical examination of how you hold on to your art when everyone else thinks that it’s theirs.

Featuring Andrew Goetten, Pat Whalen, Mary Williamson, Lindsey Kite, Amanda Powell, Stella Martin and Nate Whelden.