Chicago Writers Bloc
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Chicago Writers Bloc, is a play development group that focuses on presenting new plays developed in monthly sessions and regular new play festivals. Led by Joanne Koch, a widely produced playwright and Director of the National Louis University Master’s in Written Communication Program, CWB has brought over 250 new plays and musicals to Chicago area audiences with its festivals of new plays, supported in part by grants from the Dramatists Guild Fund, Inc. and by festival attendees and contributors.  Many of these plays have gone on to win local, national, and international prizes with productions locally and around the country, including off Broadway, East Coast, Midwest, West coast, and publications. Our thanks go to all our participating playwrights and our supporters, who by attending our Festivals contribute to the evolution of “Theater” throughout the Chicago area and beyond.  For additional information on the group, contact Joanne at


2019 New Plays Festival

17 New Plays by 13 Chicago Area Playwrights

Chicago Writers’ Bloc with Stockyards Theatre Project

Chicago Writers’ Bloc with Stockyards Theatre Project presents the 2019 New Plays Festival at City Lit Theater, 1028 Bryn Mawr, Chicago in the historic Edgewater Presbyterian Church. Presentations take place each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening from June 4 through June 26 at 7:30 P.M. Seventeen new plays by thirteen distinguished Chicago area playwrights will be presented in a staged reading format. 

The festival kicks off with a benefit on Tuesday evening June 4 at 7:30 P.M. with The GlassHouseby June Finfer. The benefit featuring refreshments and a silent auction.  the non-profit Chicago Writers’ Bloc at Brown Paper Tickets www.brownpapertickets.comor at the door at City Lit covers the entire evening.

All other evenings for the festival begin at 7:30 P.M. Admission to each evening (other than the June 4 benefit) is $10. A flexible festival pass for $40 covers 11 admissions (one admission per evening or any other way you chose to use the 11 admissions. Tickets for all the festival staged readings are at Brown Paper Tickets at www.brownpapertickets.comor at the door at City Lit Theater.

Valet Parking for City Lit Theater after 6 P.M. at Francesca’s Restaurant at Bryn Mawr and Winthrop for $10.

The Chicago Writers’ Bloc has brought over 250 new works to Chicago and beyond - developing plays that have reached off Broadway, east coast, west coast and Midwest theaters, universities and communities. The 2019 Festival Coordinators are Joan Mazzonelli and Francesca Peppiatt.



Tuesday June 4                                               

WRITERS’ BLOC BENEFIT NIGHT - $25 - Refreshments, silent auction

The Glass House by JUNE FINFER                                                                       

Directed by Robert Brueler

Mies van der Rohe designs a dream house for Edith Farnsworth that turns into a nightmare. 

Presented in collaboration with Lost and Found Productions & Perennial Theatre

Wednesday June 5       

Oak Street Beach by BARBARA GEORGANS                                                    

Directed by Joan Mazzonelli

July 20, 1969, man landed on the moon, but back on earth, men behave as badly as they do today. 

Post-show discussion with Planned Parenthood and #MeToo

Monday June 10                                                                                             

Hell is Canceled!by WENCKE BRAATHEN                                             

Directed by Cecilie Keenan

What happens when Archangel Michael arrives in Hell to announce the department of Hell will be liquidated? Who’s the mysterious woman who walks about in Hell unscathed and unnoticed? What’s Lucifer to do?

Monday June 10

TWO PLAYS by HOPE HOMMERSAND                                                             

Directed by Joan Mazzonelli

Domestic Disturbance   

Just exactly what is going on in the house where a real estate appraiser shows up?           

Mother-in-Law Wit                

Leave it to a mother-in-law to explain the phenomenon of rare ripe garden seed. 

Tuesday June 11                                                                     

Raizel’s Return by GAYLE ANN WEINSTEIN                     

Directed by Claire Bauman

This fantasy follows a bereaved mother through Hell where she must decide whether to remain there as a suicide or return to the living.

Wednesday June 12

The Life and Times of a Hopeful Romantic by FRANCESCA PEPPIAT            

When a disastrous meeting turns into a lifelong romance…

A one-woman piece directed and performed by the author


Wednesday June 12

TWO PIECES by BLAKE  LEVINSON                                                                 

Directed by Nicholas Hamel

A Tale of Two Mamets         

This is the humorous true story of how some random encounters with a pair of talented brothers challenge a reclusive man’s decision to withdraw from our politically hot and divisive world.  

Paragraph 5                      

 The redlining laws of the 1950s resulted in banks rejecting all mortgage applications submitted by Black families. Thousands of these families turned to opportunistic real estate speculators who conned them into signing exorbitantly-priced and misleading sales contracts. Inspired by real events, this dramatic play chronicles the perfect storm of racism, greed and fear that ripped apart neighborhoods, families, and friends in Chicago, as well as many other northern cities across the country.


Monday June 17         

The Girls: Together Again!by FRANCESCA PEPPIATT                       

Directed by Francesca Peppiatt

A singing sister act reluctantly reunite for their first concert with their famous mother. Unfortunately, she dies just prior to the show. It’s a comedy.

Tuesday June 18         

Carole White and the Seven Deadly Sins by SAMUEL RADOM                          

Directed by Wilson Cain

The play reveals the 48 hours when the Sins try to turn a teetering soul over to hell. 

Wednesday June 19    

Translations by RICHARD REARDON                                                                 

The play explores the fragility of identity and belonging through the prism of three characters who must confront the difference between the homes they were born into and those they long to create.

Monday June 24                                                                                 

Minister of Loneliness by FRAN ZELL                                                                 

Directed by Susan Hamel       

In a world where loneliness kills and happiness comes in little green capsules, two teens find unexpected answers to questions of the heart. 

Tuesday June 25 

The Balance Must Be Paid by GERALD COLE                                                    

Directed by Brian Pastor          

President Lincoln, while deciding the fate of a young army deserter, encounters a trio of spirits who offer their perspectives on the Civil War. 

Tuesday June 25                                                                                 

I Do, I Do, I Do by JOANNE KOCH                                                                    

Directed by Joan Mazzonelli

A wedding doesn’t signify a marriage, but when the wedding is performed every Friday night for the old folks in the memory care unit, the young bride can begin to get a handle on her future.

Wednesday June 26 

THREE PLAYS by CHLOE BOLAN                                                                     

Directed by Gerald Bailey  

The Ninkasi Brewerya one act play about DNA vs. culture. 

The Uncertainty Principle - a one act play about testing Schrodinger's Cat theory.

Kudos for Mangos - a ten minute play for dog lovers.         

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