The Foundry Presents programming and Audience Education initiatives, including our Playwrights’ Lab, Audience Talkbacks, and Readers’ Circle, are important ways that Live Arts works to forge theatre and community. Read on to learn more and get in here!


In an effort to encourage new work, foster collaboration between like-minded artists, and ignite the imagination of our audience, The Foundry Presents empowers artists by providing them 1-2 weeks of rehearsal space to workshop a developmental piece, culminating in a live public reading.

The Foundry Presents dates for 2019-2020 Season:

  • Oct 18 & 19, 2019
  • Feb 14 & 15, 2020
  • Mar 27 & 28, 2020
  • May 29 & 30, 2020

Goals of The Foundry Presents @ Live Arts:

  • To bring a play/musical/performance piece substantially further toward its final form.
  • To give theater artists a chance to try something new – first time directing, playwrighting, acting (in a staged reading), etc.
  • To give volunteer artists a fun and artistically satisfying experience.
  • To provide an outlet for talented artists who may not be able to commit to full productions.
  • To bring our audiences into the process of creating new work.

Application process:

Email one of the below to The Foundry Presents Facilitator, Scott Dunn:

  • One full-length script–a script with more than two performers, if possible, to involve more artists. Shorter scripts (non full-length) cannot be accepted. If it’s an original play, a 2nd or 3rd draft is preferred. Work at this stage is more likely to benefit from a workshop than an “idea piece.”
  • Or a description of work in process (if a performance piece.)
  • Or a musical script with CD of music or digital files (if existing.)

Include a simple cover letter with “Live Arts The Foundry Presents” in the subject line, and the following:

  • Your full name, date, and contact information.
  • One paragraph description of what you’d like to accomplish.
  • One paragraph on why a workshop would be helpful at this stage of development.
  • A brief description of your past involvement with Live Arts, if any.
  • Any collaborators with whom you’d like to work (and whether you’ve already asked them to collaborate.)
  • Any major scheduling conflicts in the season (weddings, vacations, etc.)

Essential elements of the process:


  • Initiating Artist (i.e. the playwright) functions as own producer and recruits other collaborators as needed.
  • Ask yourself: Am I up for this challenge? Do I have enough time to make it work?
  • You’ll be guided by Scott Dunn and other qualified staff members and volunteers.
  • You can choose your own director or ask for help.  There are no Stage Managers. The director usually handles SM tasks.


  • Slots vary in length–one to two weeks of work time. We’ve sometimes scheduled a one-week “rewrite break” in the middle so the playwright/artist has more time to work.
  • Initiating Artist commits to being in-town and working on the project throughout the process, even during “re-write” weeks. “All-in” attitude required.


  • Initiating Artist & Director responsible for all casting.
  • Auditions are not encouraged. Recommendations and recruiting work best. Auditions are rarely approved by the Producing Artistic Director, as they take a great deal of effort.
  • Live Arts can post a casting breakdown on the website and get the word out on Facebook.
  • Our Actor headshot books are a gold mine. Staff can make recommendations, too.
  • Once cast is in place, please create a contact list.


  • Could be in any of our spaces, depending on availability.
  • All rehearsal space requests go to Scott Dunn.
  • Rehearsal space may only be available on certain days and at certain times.
  • It’s important to let the audience know that this is a developmental process. Therefore, production elements are kept to the absolute minimum, maintaining a “reading” feel.


  • Scripts in-hand for presentation (non-negotiable). This shows the audience that we’re “in process,” a vital element.
  • No memorization is required of actors.
  • You can use the Live Arts copiers to make your scripts and new page edit copies.


Presentations in Rehearsal A, our current venue for new work.


  • Lights: Whatever is in the air. Lights up/lights down. Nothing fancy.
  • Sound: As is. Can use CDs & iPad, phone plugin. (If using sound, you recruit sound operator.)
  • Costumes: If you must, but the artists are responsible. Live Arts cannot provide costumes.
  • Props: Discouraged, as getting toward production.
  • Chairs: 60 available. Collaborators set up day of performance.
  • Music stands: 2-6 in the building at any given time.
  • Sight-lines: Can be brutal in Rehearsal A.  Best configuration is wide-spread chairs, facing the kitchen. Sorry, no risers. Block people standing or on high stools!


  • “Pay What You Will.” Start time is 7 pm
  • Volunteers handle donations & concessions from a portable cart. Live Arts assigns volunteers.
  • Short intro by Moderator and the Director laying out the process and inviting all to stay for a talkback.


If Initiating Artist would find it helpful, usually 20-30 minutes. Moderated by the Artistic Director or experienced playwright.  Often the Initiating Artist gives Moderator a list of questions he/she would like to explore.


There’s always a lot going on at Live Arts, but we do our best to get the word out. You can do a lot yourselves through Facebook invitations. Meanwhile, here’s what we usually can do:

  • E-BLAST: Inclusion in our volunteer newsletter before your presentation.
  • POSTER: We create a flyer in a template format.
  • PROGRAM: If we have a show running or opening soon, we include a mention in “Upcoming Events”.
  • FACEBOOK: We create a Facebook event page.
  • PLAYBILL: We use the Flyer for the Playbill.  No bios required.
  • Need: Initiating Artist & Director (as soon as nailed down).
  • Need: Short “blurb” about the piece (ASAP).
  • Need: Contact sheet + any updates


Enter Playwrights’ Lab.

Our free forum for writers of every experience level to share, read, hear, and discuss their work with our community. Dedicated to developing the work of local writers in a fun, creative, supportive setting. Whether you’ve been writing for years or are just getting started, there’s a place for you in the Lab!

Playwrights’ Labs are held throughout the year on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, contact



Get an inside view of your favorite shows at Live Arts!

Following the first Sunday matinee performance of every main stage production, Live Arts hosts a Talkback. We invite everyone from the audience, (and, space permitting, anyone interested), to stay and take part in a conversation with the actors, director, designers, and crew from the show. Come with a question, or just sit back and listen as Education Director Miller Murray Susen moderates what is always a fascinating discussion about the process of creating theater from script to stage.

Talkbacks start a few minutes after the end of the performance, so times vary. If you want to attend a Talkback without attending that particular performance, check with the Box Office for an estimate of when the Talkback is likely to begin.

Questions? Let Miller know at


Readers’ Circle is a monthly play-reading group, created by Carol Pedersen, that meets at Live Arts to enjoy and discuss great plays, from the famous to the obscure. Join us on Readers’ Circle Sundays from 3 to 6 pm in Rehearsal B on the 4th Floor of Live Arts. Readings are free of charge! The schedule for the 2019/20 Readers’ Circle is below. Please join us in welcoming Gretchen York as our 2019/20 Readers’ Circle facilitator!

22 SEPTEMBER 2019 

FAIRVIEW by Jackie Sibblies Drury
The winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for drama that enlists standard sitcom fare to trouble the white gaze.

20 OCTOBER 2019

TROUBLE IN MIND by Alice Childress
A backstage drama that reflects on racism in the theater world. In conversation with FAIRVIEW and FOLLIES.

24 NOVEMBER 2019 

THE EFFECT by Lucy Prebble
A “clinical romance” about love and the science behind treating depression. In conversation with TIGERS BE STILL.

8 and 15 DECEMBER 2019 

In lieu of a Readers’ Circle session of THE PIANO LESSON by August Wilson, interested readers are encouraged to enjoy the play’s performance at The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center! It opens 12/5/19, and there are two Sunday matinees at 2pm on Dec. 8 and Dec. 15, with a talkback on 12/8. Tickets available online.

19 JANUARY 2020 

DISGRACED by Ayad Akhtar
A dangerous dinner party and its aftermath for the post-9/11 age. A precursor to NOURA and THE HUMANS.

16 FEBRUARY 2020 

NOURA by Heather Raffo
A response to Ibsen’s A DOLL HOUSE about an Iraqi refugee in New York. In conversation with THE HUMANS.

15 MARCH 2020 

THE THANKSGIVING PLAY by Larissa Fasthorse
A satirical look at privilege and the attempt to repackage American history. In conversation with MEN ON BOATS.

19 APRIL 2020 

MUD by Maria Irene Fornes
Fornes’s “little jewel,” which documents an impoverished woman’s search for learning. In conversation with SWEAT.

17 MAY 2020 

MR. BURNS by Anne Washburn
A “post-electric” meditation on art, entertainment, and community resilience. In conversation with THE CHILDREN.

Contact Education Director Miller Murray Susen at with questions or for more information.