Passage’s PlayLab creates and develops new work in order to advance and diversify the art-form and our collective culture, affording emerging and established playwrights a platform for sharing diverse perspectives on complex and important issues. Passage’s PlayLab has two main components:
Passage is committed to creating mainstage theatre productions that reflect the true stories of our community. In devised work, we are working with a team of artists to create a script from scratch.
New Play Development
Sometimes when we develop new work, a playwright brings us a script that already has a completed first draft. We then help to further develop the piece.
Through our work, Passage patrons have had the opportunity to see the world premiere productions of 23 plays and counting!
Our online PlayLab Preview videos take viewers through the process of how each show is created. View The OK Trenton Project's video here.
Help Us Produce New Work
Each professional artist involved in PlayLab is paid for their time in helping to create new and innovative work. Creating and producing this work takes an enormous amount of time and resources. Often, these plays take years to develop before they sell even one ticket.
If you would like to sponsor a specific PlayLab show in development, please contact Managing Director Brishen Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Passage Theatre is no longer accepting unsolicited submissions. As a small regional theatre, we have limited resources and believe that this policy will best serve our mission to collaborate with a diverse group of artists within our community and maximize the support we are able to provide.
Through our Play Lab program, we are actively exploring ways to cultivate relationships with new playwrights connected to the greater Trenton area.
We are so grateful for the interest in Passage Theatre and wish we had the resources to serve an unlimited number of writers. For agents who have scripts by writers living within the greater Trenton Area (New Jersey, Philadelphia and New York City), please contact Artistic Director, Ryanne Domingues at email@example.com with submissions.
a bright light
Written by marcus d. harvey
Directed by Tai Verley
A Black man on the journey of becoming a father meets a Black mother who has lost a child to suicide. Based upon interviews with those in the Trenton community, a bright light follows these two characters as they navigate their mental health and adjust to new ways of living.
marcus d. harvey,
playwright of i am not okay
Written by David Lee White, Richard Bradford &
the members of The OK Trenton Ensemble
The OK Trenton Project is a documentary-style
play about the reaction to a sculpture entitled
“Helping Hands,” which was installed in August of
2017 on a vacant city-owned lot at the corner of
Perry and Montgomery streets in Trenton, NJ.
The sculpture was designed and built by 17 students from a summer camp run by the nonprofit group HomeFront, in collaboration with
Isles, Inc., and artist Eric Schultz of Grounds for Sculpture. Following concerns that the sculpture too closely resembled a gang symbol and could send the wrong message to residents, the piece was removed and placed back in the artist’s studio. Told through the words of Trenton’s law enforcement, city officials, artists, residents, and students, this play tells the story of what one piece of art can mean to a community.
A new musical with music by Aleksandra M. Weil, lyrics by Eloise Govedare, and book by Julia B. Rosenblatt
In Group!, six women from vastly different worlds come together to battle the great the great equalizer: addiction.At a time when the opioid crisis continues to build, and sexual assault and trauma have risen to the forefront of our country’s consciousness, Group! explores the terrifying, desperate and often funny journey toward women’s mental health and sobriety.
Who will make it? Who will fall off of the proverbial wagon? And what happens when brutal budget cuts threaten the very place they’ve come to for healing?
2010 saw the production of Trenton Lights, a musical play conceived and created by June Ballinger and David Lee White that reached beyond the headlines, history books and news reports. Trenton Lights captured the stories of Trenton residents through extensive interviews with diverse members of the community: white, black, Hispanic; young and old; rich and poor. Their words were transposed onto the stage in story-theatre format, often verbatim.
Following on the success of Trenton Lights, Ballinger and White held interviews with members of the community to create Profiles. This play featured professional actors and community members on stage together, bringing life to Trenton’s unseen facets in their own words.
In 2017, Passage produced Fixed, also by White. Drawing on hours of interviews with local residents, mental health professionals, and people who struggle with mental illness, Fixed threw an unflinching light on the stigma surrounding mental illness and the impact of a diagnosis – or lack thereof – on family and friends alike.
Ross Beschler, Kala Moses Baxter, and June Ballinger in Trenton Lights
Illustration by Jonathan "Lank" Conner
Illustration by Ebony H. Flag