Perlberg Festival


January 15-19, 2025


The Perlberg Festival of New Plays exemplifies one of the core missions of regional theatre: to nurture, develop, and bring to life thoughtful, stimulating, and entertaining new American plays. The festival enables playwrights to hear their words read in front of a live audience as they continue to shape their emerging work. New plays are the future of theatre, and the goal of the festival is to become a leader in fostering the future.


This annual event features professional readings of five developing plays. Each reading is followed by a post-performance discussion in which patrons offer feedback.

2024 Festival

Special Guest: Actress Estelle Parsons, In Conversation
Academy Award-winner Estelle Parsons, who appeared at PBD in 2014 in My Old Lady, has originated roles in numerous plays during a career that spans more than seven decades. She won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Bonnie and Clyde, and is perhaps best known for her role as Roseanne and Jackie's mother on the sitcom Roseanne.

Special Guest: Playwright Mark St. Germain, In Conversation
Mark St. Germain’s plays include Freud’s Last Session, Camping With Henry and Tom, and Becoming Dr. Ruth. Freud's Last Session was developed in part at PBD, and received its Southeastern premiere here. A film of Freud's Last Session, with a screenplay by St. Germain, stars Anthony Hopkins and will be released in December.

PROXIMITY by Harrison David Rivers

Newly divorced and sheltering at home with her two children at the height of the pandemic, Ezra hasn't been touched by another adult in eight months. At a virtual PTA meeting, she is introduced to the charismatic Irie, another single parent, and their immediate attraction causes Ezra to reconsider the limits of her Covid bubble. 

STOCKADE by Andrew Rosendorf

Five years after the end of WWII, a group of gay soldiers gathers for a reunion on Fire Island. They are met by an outsider with a surprise that will cause them to question whether history is best left in the past. At a time when “security risk” is government code for “homosexual,” it will take courage for them to step out of the shadows and confront their present and future.

COLOR BLIND by Oren Safdie

In 2009, a jury was tasked with selecting an architect to design the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. This play is a fictionalized account of how that panel of diverse people and ideas may have come together – or been pulled apart – in making its decision, and in so doing, challenges the audience to consider the state of our current civil discord.


Ezra is a successful children’s book writer. Nancy is his longtime editor. They are always on the same page, until someone new threatens to disrupt their friendship and influence Ezra’s next book. Set in 1980s Manhattan, this play explores the legacy of an artist, the meaning of intimacy, and the stories we tell ourselves to survive.

LITTLE ROW BOAT by Kirsten Greenidge

When 14-year-old Sally Hemings travels to Paris as nursemaid to her half-sister’s young daughter, the world appears to have opened much wider than Thomas Jefferson’s post-revolutionary Virginia plantation on which she was born. It is not until Sally’s brother James, also in France as he trains to be a chef de cuisine, points out the peculiarities of their circumstances that Sally begins to question the kindnesses their “master” has extended to them. 



PBD Presents the Perlberg Festival of New Plays

Diane and Mark Perlberg - Executive Producers

Penny Bank, Sandra and Bernie Meyer - Associate Producers

Sponsored in part by the Maurer Family Foundation