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The New Omaha Works Lab (NOW Lab) exists to support local playwrights in the Omaha metro area who are developing new work for the stage.

For the inaugural 2023 NOW Lab, the Omaha Community Playhouse has selected two playwrights to provide an extended development process over the course of 8 months for their selected scripts. The goal of this process is to provide compensation, extended conversations, table reads, and workshop opportunities to help playwrights deepen their learning about their scripts.

Playwrights will also collaborate with local directors, actors, and a dramaturg to help prepare their script for a public staged reading, held on Nov. 11, 2023, in the Howard Drew Theatre. 

We are excited to announce the playwright selected for the 2023 NOW Lab: Ben Beck. Over the next eight months,  the NOW Lab playwright will participate in a guided development process for their selected script, culminating in a public reading on Nov. 11. Learn more about Ben.

Mission Statement

The mission of the NOW Lab is to develop, support and encourage new playwrights as they share their art through live theatre experiences.  Our goal is to grow and diversify the Omaha pool for playwrights in a way that reflects and benefits the entire theatre community.

Inclusion & Equity Statement

OCP will be a creative home that is for the community, by the community. We will use theatre to break down barriers to ensure we reflect on our past, genuinely listen in the present and step into the future, together, to create a space of belonging for all individuals who share their valuable time and extraordinary talents with our community.

Program Breakdown

The selected playwright(s) will participate in the following program for eight months:

April – Playwrights finalize their most recent draft for the development period.

May – Closed meeting with playwright cohort, producer, dramaturg, and artistic staff to discuss current drafts and to identify development goals for each piece.

June/July – Table readings of each piece with discussion and feedback session afterwards.

August through October – Playwrights will continue work on their draft and will participate in an exploration workshop with actors and a director.

November – Final workshop draft is rehearsed leading up to the public reading on Nov.11, 2023.

Artists involved in the NOW Lab will receive compensation for their efforts/talents.

Qualifications to Apply

  • The application process is now closed. We will be accepting our next round of submissions in fall 2023.
  • Applicants must reside in the Omaha metro area.
  • Applicants must be willing to meet the responsibilities set forth above.
  • Submissions must be previously unproduced and unpublished.