is a playwright development lab and theatre production company that was founded in 2018 by Kenley Smith and Molly Breen to offer in-state playwrights the opportunity to develop fresh, incisive scripts that reflect a changing world. In 2019, we broadened our scope to include the production of theatre projects developed in Tennessee, and our first World Premiere production was MAIDENS by Kenley Smith.
co-founded and directs the TPS playwriting program. He came to Nashville in 2011 as an Ingram New Works playwright, and he facilitated the Writing Room at Nashville Rep from 2015 to 2017. Earlier, Kenley founded Studio Roanoke, a new-works venue in Virginia that put up some 30 first or second productions from 2009 to 2012. His plays, including DEVIL SEDAN, EMPIRES OF ETERNAL VOID and MAIDENS, have been produced in Chicago, Nashville, Memphis and Omaha; AKUMA-SHIN received its world premiere in 2018 at Sacred Fools Theatre in Los Angeles. All three plays were MainStage selections at the Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha. Learn more about Kenley and his work here.
co-founded TPS and acts as Program Coordinator and aProducer for TPS. She is an actor who loves working with new plays and playwrights. She performs with many Nashville theatre companies, has appeared on stage in Atlanta, Kentucky, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. and has also originated roles in more than 15 world premiere productions. As a writer, she has received fellowships with the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts. Actors interested in participating in TPS workshops or readings can send headshot/resume/ age range to email@example.com.
"The TPS fellowship (in every sense of the word) was a gift. I started the year with a huge stack of pages and no idea whether any of it made sense. Hearing the words read aloud by actors, and hearing feedback from everyone in the room, helped me cut the chaff and revamp the rest. Every deadline was incentive to write, and every meeting gave me a sense of progress and anticipation: I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next in the other Fellows’ plays. It all culminated in the wonderful festival, where we sat back and watched as the most talented directors and actors brought our work to life." -
- Claudia Barnett, 2018 Fellow
We look for strong, brave, even fierce voices. No one can deny that we live in a pivotal moment in this country's history. When historians look back at the early 21st century, they'll examine our art, our music, and our STORIES. TPS Fellows and Associates typically meet one Sunday per month at the Darkhorse Theatre Chapel in Nashville to develop their scripts with the help of peer feedback and readings with local actors, TPS then presents staged readings of these working first drafts to the public in late fall/winter.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we won't be selecting a cohort for 2021. We may be doing some special programs, however, so follow us on social media to stay abreast of the latest news.
Check out our 2020 cohort here!
During our annual call for scripts, you'll submit up to 20 pages of a prior play OR (if you're new to writing for the stage) up to 5,000 words in another genre. We also ask for a 250-word biography and a 500-word synopsis/statement of purpose regarding the new play you propose to write in our lab. The application and the program are free
During our annual call for scripts, you'll submit up to 20 pages of a prior play OR (if you're new to writing for the stage) up to 5,000 words in another genre. We also ask for a 250-word biography and a 500-word synopsis/statement of purpose regarding the new play you propose to write in our lab. The application and the program are free of charge. Transportation and lodging in Nashville are not included.
Absolutely not! We ask that you propose a brand-new, full-length script that you will develop over the course of the lab. You'll receive feedback all along the way, and actors will be available to perform your fresh material. You will also have ample time for revisions and new drafts. At the end of the process, playwrights will receive public readings of their work.
TPS stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and is committed to creating opportunities for Black playwrights, actors, directors and other theatre artists.
Some Black-Owned Theatre Companies to know in Nashville:
Tennessee Playwrights Studio is committed to inclusion and a safe, harassment-free work environment.
Playwrights, actors and other theatre artists: Looking for other organizations that help develop and/or produce new works in Nashville? Here are some to check out!
We're delighted to be working in partnership again with Actors Bridge Ensemble! ABE has long been an advocate for new works, producing dozens of world and Nashville premieres. and always provides Middle Tennessee audiences with bold, challenging theatre. We can't think of an organization that better shares our goals and outlook.
Beginning in March, our monthly workshops will be in the Actors Bridge Studio behind the Darkhorse Theatre at Charlotte Avenue and 47th Avenue N. in Nashville.
IN RESIDENCE WITH ACTORS BRIDGE ENSEMBLE
4610 Charlotte Ave, Nashville, Tennessee 37209, United States