Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative

New Plays, New Voices, New Talents

CPI was formed in November 1996 and exists to serve the local Cincinnati community of playwrights, directors and actors who wish to pursue the art and craft of playwriting. CPI’s goal is to enhance the cultural awareness of the community by offering new, original work by local playwrights in both an entertaining and educational setting. We present low cost staged readings to the general public for playwrights to receive valuable feedback on their work and for audiences to be part of the creative process with the playwright. 

Aronoff Resident Company

CPI has been a resident company of the Aronoff Center for the Performing Arts since its inception as a 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code in July, 2001. All staged reading performances take place in the Fifth Third Theater unless capacity attendance requires us to move our performances to the larger Jarson-Kaplan Theater.


Single tickets are $10 each and can be purchased online by clicking the "buy ticket" button for each staged reading. (Service charges will apply for online or phone purchases). Box office phone number is 513-621-2787. Tickets can also be purchased in person at the box office at face value. (650 Walnut Street downtown Cincinnati.) We strongly urge advance ticket purchases due to limited seating in the Fifth Third Theater.

April 16, 2024

Earthfest 2024

8 ten-minute plays celebrating Earth Day 2024. Ticket sales will support the Miami Group Sierra Club and are $15 each.

Would you rather sit inside watching a screen with terrible news or go outside and enjoy nature as it burns away?

About the Author: 

Eric Brose worked in theatres in Chicago, Columbus, and Cincinnati, but had a tough time making a living at it.  He pursued a career in higher education instead and retired after three decades.  He loves Porkopolis!

For some folks it’s the end of the world; for others, it’s the beginning. 

About the Author:

Liz writes novels, short stories, and plays. Her plays have been read and produced across the US, in London, and in Japan. Most recently, her family dramedy Moving In, Moving Out, Moving On received its professional premiere. You can find her virtually as LizColeyBooks on social media and at

With their daughter’s birthday approaching just ahead of Earth Day, Sally and Robert find the tables turned as their daughter and son-in-law present them a very unusual “gift.”

About the Author:

Roger Collins is professor emeritus at the University of Cincinnati where he received the Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching.  He’s published stories and drama in literary journals, and his plays have been produced locally and in Brooklyn, NY; Orlando, FL; and San Francisco, CA.  His novel, Cities of Glass is published by All Things That Matter Press.

Love for our Earth began at Fort Ancient and the Hopewell Tribe

About the Author: 

Doug Decatur has been an active CPI member serving on the board since 2012 and past President. He wrote The Pool Boy a ten-minute play for CPI’s first “Lovefest” play competition in February 2019. Another ten-minute play, Special Delivery was selected and performed at the Know Theatre in March 2021. He and his wife, Susan, co-wrote Lovestruck, a compilation of 8 romantic comedies, 4 of which were performed at the Aronoff in November 2023. Doug’s also had 5 full-length plays stage read at the Aronoff over the past 10 years and 2 non-fiction baseball stats books published.

Things ain’t what they used to be, or are they?

About the Author:

Susan has been active in Cincinnati theater as an actor, dancer and playwright. Her plays, Denise’s Do-Over and Not Just Cousins, have been performed at the Aronoff and The Drama Workshop. Buy the Book was performed at the Know Theatre and Not Just Cousins was done at the Dramatist’s Guild in NYC and at the Aronoff. She and her husband, Doug Decatur, co-wrote Unfinished Business, nationally recognized at the 2020 Austin Film Festival and ScreenCraft which was also performed at the Aronoff. Their compilation of short plays, Lovestruck, was performed this past November at the Aronoff.

Socially conscious middle-schoolers find some unexpected benefits to recycling while protesting their school’s Earth Day Play [no—Pageant!]

About the Author: 

Alan Jozwiak has had plays produced in NYC by Sundog Theatre, Gi60, and Lamia Ink!  He self-produced four shows appearing in different regional Fringe Festivals. He was awarded a City of Cincinnati Individual Artist Grant to write/produce a play on cutting and self-injury. Alan is also one of CPI’s past Presidents.

A grandparent, deeply troubled by their sensitive, young granddaughter’s depression over the state of the environment and the politics that seem to deny the problems, has returned to a psychotherapist.    

About the Author:

Richard Schoeff is a member of the Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative and previously a member of the Dramatists Guild of America. His full-length play, Simulators, has received staged reading performances at the Aronoff Center, Fifth Third Bank Theater. Beside plays, he writes short stories, poetry and is at work on a novel.

Concerned about the escalating climate crisis, a group of cryptids meet to discuss their options to save their world.

About the Author:

Rose Vanden Eynden has been a writer all her life, penning award-winning short stories, novels, nonfiction books, articles, and poems. Merging this with her lifelong love of theatre has produced two short plays, HAMBETH and LOVE POTION #1, staged in the Cincinnati area. She is thrilled to have her work produced by CPI. Thank you for supporting new works, and enjoy the shows!

DEADLINE for submission: May 31, 2024

CALL FOR Submissions For NEW Works 2024/2025

We accept submissions of One Act, Full Length and short plays (10 minutes in length) that together make a performance of 90 minutes of work to present as a cold or staged reading.

Play formatting and designated page counts based on play length are outlined by clicking the Submission Guidelines button. In order to be accepted for submission for our season of “new works” plays must be unpublished and not stage produced elsewhere, although cold or staged readings of a play in development is acceptable.

Membership in CPI is required prior to submission and can be done electronically on the “Members” button at the top of the homepage. Playwrights living outside the Cincinnati designated market are eligible for cold readings only. Playwrights are encouraged to attend our free monthly playwriting workshops to prepare their work for submission.

Submissions that receive a cold reading receive valuable feedback from other playwrights and audiences at a local venue where attendance is free. Plays that are selected for a staged reading are performed at the Aronoff during our designated season and receive live audience feedback after the performance.

Submissions are now being accepted for our third iteration of the wildly popular “Lovefest” ten-minute play festival where we will select 8 short plays for an evening of staged readings on Tuesday, February 11th which will again support the work of the American Heart Association fundraiser as part  of our 2024/2025 season! Only 2 ten-minute plays per playwright can be submitted for this event. Send your blind copy script(s) with Lovefest 3 in the subject line by June 30, 2024 to Arnie Shayne as outlined on our submissions tab by clicking the box here:

November 2023 staged reading Can't Stop What's Coming by Barry Cobb

November 2023 staged reading Boy Meets Girl by Bertha Davis

November 2023 staged reading Lovestruck/Forever Soulmates by Susan and Doug Decatur

Contact Us

P.O. Box 40
Terrace Park, OH 45174-0040