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.

UPCOMING STAGED READINGS

Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased online (service charges will apply) by clicking the box at the bottom of each play synopsis, by phone at 513-621-2787 or at the box office (650 Walnut Street downtown Cincinnati). We strongly urge advance ticket purchases due to limited seating in the Fifth Third Theater.

David Hughes

January 10, 2023

The Cost of Living

An exotic dancer and a drug dealer try to forge a “normal” relationship as the city where they live collapses with protests and looting after a police officer shoots an unarmed man. Based on the true story of Timothy Thomas’s death in Cincinnati in 2001.

About the Author: David Hughes has had a life in the theatre for 45 years. David’s full-length play, Acapulco was one of two plays in Ohio selected by OCTA for the Regional American Association of Community Theatre Festival 2017. David’s ten-minute play, I Am Not A Shoe, was selected for a staged reading at CPI’s recent Foolsfest playwriting competition this past April. He has a B.A. in Theatre Arts, U.C.  He is chairperson of CPI’s Writer’s Workshop.

February 14, 2023

Lovefest 2: An Evening of Eight Romantic Short Plays in celebration with the American Heart Association’s centennial celebration fundraiser

Tickets for Lovefest 2 will be $14 each to help us raise money for the AHA’s 100th anniversary!

Click on the playwright below to learn more about them and their play.

Michael is familiar to CPI audiences for his play The Circle, a narrative of priestly abuse, that received a staged reading last January. He had a second staged reading for his play, The Car Ride in October, 2022 and now turned his playwriting skill to his 10-minute love story, A Box of Mom’s Photos. After attending a summer drama program at UC, Michael was awarded a Rockefeller grant to UC’s Theatre Arts program, where he earned a Master’s degree. Michael is a native Cincinnatian and resides in Clifton with his wife.

While visiting Mom, a daughter discovers the unbelievable.

Plays written by Bill Brohaugh and Lisa Holt have been produced in NYC, LA and other places from Kentucky to Florida to, yes, South India. Bill, a retired magazine and book editor, has written hundreds of produced short-form radio comedy scripts, as well as published books and magazine articles about writing, words and language. Lisa is a retired pharmacist with a 40-year background in theatre. As a reed doubler, her focus has always been on musical theatre, where she performs as a pit musician. More recently she accidentally discovered she enjoys writing with Bill.

A couple’s shouty public argument entices the undivided attention of two bystanders. Love is in the confrontation, as odd as it may seem.

Both a Dramatists Guild and CPI member, A.K. holds an MA in professional writing from the University of Cincinnati. A.K.’s plays have been selected nationally by SourceFest (Washington, D.C.), Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Rockford New Play Festival, Pend Oreille Players (Newport, Washington) and Fusion (Albuquerque). A.K. also enjoys acting, traveling, and riding her Harley.

Love is love. And if you love something, set it free. But first trap it and make it listen.

Traci Taylor’s play Folie Famille was stage read by CPI in 2015.  Her recent short, Misfit Mansion, was in the 2021 Foolsfest.  A comedy play, Relatively Speaking, was written with co-writer, Peggy Murphy.  Taylor is also an actress seen regularly at many local theaters.  Links to all Taylor’s work is at www.tracitalks.com

A wife’s obsession with calculations + her husband’s frustration + an emotional reckoning and the SUM = satisfaction.

Camilla McMahon is an Associate Professor of Psychological Science at Miami University. Her teaching and research interests focus on developmental psychology, including social and cognitive development throughout the lifespan. Love in the Nighttime is her first play with the Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative.

When an elderly woman cannot sleep at night, her husband stays awake with her. Together, they face the sleepless night.

Nancy Gall-Clayton’s plays have been presented in half the states, plus Australia, Canada, Denmark, and Japan. Her full-length Bernice’s 70th Birthday recently premiered at Market House Theatre in Paducah, KY, and will be produced in November and December 2022 at First Run Theatre in St. Louis. More at nancygallclayton.net

A forest ranger just wants to lead a hike, but those who have joined him (two costumers from the opera, a man who may be a jail escapee, and a would-be writer) have agendas of their own –and yet, love is in the air.

Alan Jozwiak has had plays in the Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry Festival, Gi60 One-Minute Play Contest, Lamia Ink! International One-Page Play Contest, Madlab Theatre, Miami Writes, IndyFringe Festival, and the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. He obtained a City of Cincinnati Individual Artist Grant to write/produce Only When I Bleed, a play about cutting and self-injury. A long-time CPI board member, he has served as Treasurer and President. 

Short glimpses of a long-distance relationship conducted via post.

Fred has been exploring life’s journey in poems, songs, liturgy and plays for most of his adult life – trying to comprehend what it all means.  This is his eighth stage play reading with CPI and he is no closer to understanding the answer then when he started.

When it comes to love what advice would you give?

Mary Beringer

March 14, 2023

Synapse

When Mrs. Brown’s husband disappears, she gets an offer from his employer- a technology company that can put Mr. Brown’s brain into the body of a willing participant, essentially bringing him back to life. Mrs. Brown agrees, but she may come to regret that decision.

About the Author: Mary Beringer was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. After working as a high school English teacher, she now writes grants for a non-profit. You may know her plays from performances at the Know Theatre, Cincinnati Lab Theatre, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, or University of Dayton’s Studio Theatre.

Roger Collins

April 4, 2023

Symone with a Y

Symone Edwards, an African American woman diagnosed with “unexplained infertility,” hopes to publish a children’s book with her friend and book illustrator who has recently become pregnant.  That the women met at an infertility clinic makes their contrary circumstances all the more challenging for Symone.  As disappointments mount and childhood wounds resurface, Symone is driven to the brink of her ability to cope.

About the Author: Roger Collins is professor emeritus at the University of Cincinnati where he received the Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching.  His fiction has been published in literary journals and his plays produced in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, Fort Thomas, Kentucky, Brooklyn, NY, and San Francisco, CA.  His debut novel, ‘Cities of Glass,’ was published June 2022 by All Things That Matter Press.

DEADLINE for submission: June 30, 2023

New Playwright Submissions For 2023-2024

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. In order to be accepted for submission for our season of “new works” plays must be unpublished and not produced elsewhere. Membership in CPI is required prior to submission and can be done electronically on the “member” button. 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.

November 2022 staged reading Not Just Cousins
Photo Credit: Karen Adams

November 2022 staged reading Not Just Cousins
Photo Credit: Karen Adams

Contact Us

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

Email:
cincyplaywrights@gmail.com