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The statewide service organization for
all nonprofit theatres in Texas.

Link to the
Texas Playwriting Hall of Fame

TNT New Play Project:
Playwriting Project 2014

Meet the 2014 TNT POPS!
Winning Plays & Playwrights

The Invention of the Living Room
by Andrew R. Heinze
Produced by Tyler Civic Theatre Center, November 15 - 18, 2015

A proud Texan-by-marriage, Andrew R. Heinze grew up in New Jersey. For many years he was a professor of American History, and his books include JEWS AND THE AMERICAN SOUL (Publishers' Weekly choice: "Best Books of 2004"). Andrew's full-length plays include HAMILTON (Semi-Finalist, 2012 O'Neill Playwrights Conference) and MOSES, THE AUTHOR (New York International Fringe Festival 2014). His award-winning one-act plays have been produced in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Austin, Denver and Albuquerque. Andrew holds a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, belongs to the Dramatists Guild of America, has two daughters and one grandson, who was born in Texas.

Chasing Waves
by Quinn D. Eli
Produced by Baytown Little Theater
September 11 - 20, 2015
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Quinn Eli grew up in the Bronx, NY and lives now in Philadelphia. His short plays have appeared in Best American Ten-Minute Plays and been produced throughout the country. Longer works include the award-winning MY NAME IS BESS, produced by Trustus Theatre; and HOT BLACK/ASIAN ACTION, a satire about sexual and racial stereotypes that premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival. The two-time recipient of Fellowships in Literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Eli has served as a Playwright-in-Residence at Plays & Players Theatre in Philadelphia. He and his wife Theresa have two children who prefer Pokemon to plays.

The Living Mrs. Del Vecchio
by Larry Ukolowicz
Produced by Henderson County Performing Arts Centerin Athens, TX, May 14-17, 2015

Larry Ukolowicz transplanted to Texas in 1986. Prior to Texas, he had many productions and years under his belt as an actor, producer, director and writer in community and professional theatre. More recently from home in Fort Worth, he has won competitions throughout the U.S. for his one-act plays The Color in the Bathroom and May-December. The Living Mrs. Del Vecchio is his first two-act play to win a major competition. Larry is a member of the American Association of Community Theatre, Texas Nonprofit Theatres, and the Dramatist Guild. He lives with his cat, Maggie Mae, who thinks he is absolutely brilliant!

Book by Paul Elliott
Music by Jeanie Cunningham
Lyrics by Elliott & Cunningham
Produced by
Ohlook Performing Arts Center in Grapevine, TX
October 2 - 11, 2015

Paul Elliott, the head of the Fierce Backbone Writer's Unit in Hollywood, is a respected novelist, television writer and published playwright. His "Ledge, Ledger and the Legend" was recently honored as one of the 25 most highly produced one act plays in America. His latest comedy, Exit Laughing, a 2013 AACTNewPlayFest winner, just broke all house records for a non-musical at the historic Landers Theater in Springfield, MO and is now scheduled to open in New York. His award-winning drama, "Finding the Burnett Heart," which premiered during the 50th season of the Detroit Repertory Theatre, is now being performed coast to coast, and always garners rave reviews from critics and audience alike.

Jeanie Cunningham's music has been heard worldwide as part of several high-profile product campaigns. Mitsubishi, Epson, Yamaha, Toshiba, and Chevron are among the many companies that have recruited Jeanie's musical talents. Jeanie's first calling however, is to her own original music as a singer/songwriter/performer. She continues to move forward in her musical pursuits with the new musical, DULA, for which she wrote 23 songs. Her most recent accomplishment has been to create the Steinway Society's "Ukes In Schools" program-devoted to bringing musical instruments and education to underprivileged elementary students in the Coachella Valley of California.


Interview with Paul Elliot and Jeanie Cunningham, creators of DULA which was a winner of the 2014-15 TNT POPS! New Play Project and produced by OhLook Performing Arts Center in Grapevine, Texas, playing October 2 - 11, 2015.  
Quinn D. Eli, who resides in Philadelphia, PA, traveled to Baytown, Texas for the premiere of his play, Chasing Waves, at Baytown Little Theater on Friday, September 11, 2015. Here he talks a little about his experience.  
Larry Ukolowicz, who resides in Fort Worth, Texas, traveled to Athens, Texas for the premiere of his play, The Living Mrs. Del Vecchio, at Henderson County Performing Arts Center on Thursday, May 14, 2015. Here he talks a little about his experience.
Andrew R. Heinze, who currently resides in New York City, traveled to Tyler, Texas for the premiere of his play, The Invention of the Living Room, at Tyler Civic Theatre on Saturday, November 15, 2014. He stayed the full four days of performances and participated in a 30 minutes talkback after the performance on Sunday, November 16th, 2014. Here he talks a little about his experience.

Robin Haynie, a former reader for the TNT POPS! New Play Project, decided to enter the 2012-13 contest. Her play, The Fauvist's Child was one of the four winning plays and was produced at Tyler Civic Theatre on October 11-13, 2013. Here she talks briefly about her experience.
Interview with Kim Martin, Director of Dream Date

Baytown Little Theater produced Dream Date by Dan Borengasser on October 4 - 6, 2013 as part of the 2012-13 TNT POPS! New Play Project. Director Kim Martin talks about the program and the benefits for the playwright and the theatre.
Interview with TNT POPS! New Play winners Barbara Klaskin Silberg and Bob Silberg
September 25, 2013 - THIS JUST IN: Mr. Potcher's Holiday has been selected by the Westchester Playhouse in L. A. for another production!
Bob and Barb traveled from Los Angeles, California to Bastrop, Texas to attend the world premiere of their new family musical comedy, Mr. Potcher's Holiday. Produced by Bastrop Opera House at the Jerry Fay Wilhelm Center for the Performing Arts, the musical had three performances from April 25 through 27th, 2013. This is the first full-length musical for the duo, whose professional credits can be viewed here.
Interview with TNT POPS! New Play Project winner Marjorie Bicknell
Marjorie made the trip from Camp Hill, PA in March 2013 to attend the world premiere of her play, The Boys Club at Henderson County Performing Arts Center in Athens, Texas. She is a working playwright, director and actress and holds a BA in Theatre and English Literature from Mundelein College in Chicago, and an MA in Speech from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. Marjorie is a member of the Dramatists Guild and a founding member of The Playwrights Alliance of Pennsylvania.
Interview with TNT POPS! New Play Project winner Michael Greenberg
First-time playwright Michael Greenberg of San Antonio, Texas, didn't know what to expect when his play, "Three Views of a Waterfall" was selected as one of the four winners in the 2010-11 TNT POPS! New Play Project. The play received its world premiere on Friday, October 14th, 2011 at Bastrop Opera House in Bastrop, Texas. After the show and the subsequent talkback with members of the audience, Mike talked about his experience.
Interview with TNT POPS! New Play Project winner Jeff Stolzer
Playwright Jeff Stozer talks about the creation of his play, The Lost Tribe, one of the winners of the Texas Nonprofit Theatres' 2010-11 TNT POPS! New Play Project. His play received its premiere at Baytown Little Theater, Baytown, Texas in May 2011. Post production letter from Jeff.
Interview with TNT POPS! New Play Project winner Carl Williams
Houston playwright Carl Williams talks about his experience with the TNT POPS! New Play Project, for which his play, A Thirties Affair, was chosen and had its premiere at Henderson County Performing Arts Center in Athens, Texas on April 1, 2011.
Interview with TNT POPS! New Play Project winner Micah McCoy
Playwright Micah McCoy talks about submitting his play Homegrown Tomatoes to the Texas Nonprofit Theatres' 2010-11 TNT POPS! New Play Project. His play was selected as a winner and received its premiere at San Pedro Playhouses' Cellar Theatre in San Antonio, Texas in October 2010.
Bill Evans, whose play, No. 5, was one of the winning plays in 2008, attended the performance at San Pedro Playhouse in San Antonio on February 14, 2009. While on the No. 5 set, he speaks of his experience . . .

In 1996, the Texas Nonprofit Theatres Board of Governors adopted a resolution stating:

    We, the members of the Board of Texas Nonprofit Theatres, Inc. agree that a goal of our member theatres is to promote and improve live theatre.

    In order to achieve this goal, we recognize the value of showcasing new plays. Playwrights provide the heart of the creative dramatic process, but most do not have a theatre available to them to see their works come to life.

    We hereby recognize that local playwrights, as much as other local theatre professionals, need a place to develop and use their talents. We believe the theatre will gain prestige, expanded audiences, and extra publicity by presenting premiere productions of new plays by local authors.

    In support of this resolution, TNT Board members will encourage TNT member organizations to nurture this playwriting talent at their own theatres.

Encouragement developed into an actual pilot project in the Houston area, where former TNT Board member Diana Weeks began the process of matching playwrights with theatres. Eventually, twenty-one theatres participated. Some of those were:
  • Gypsy Productions - Rosemary Poole-Carter, Resident Playwright
  • Harbour Playhouse - Matt Carlin, Resident Playwright
  • Express Theater - Kate Paxton, Resident Playwright
  • Rice University Drama Dept. - Bren Dubey, Resident Playwright
  • Prairie View A & M Drama Dept. - Je' Caryons Johnson, Resident Playwright
  • The Ensemble Theatre - Celeste Bedford Walker, Resident Playwright
  • Company on Stage - Fredrick Keyser, Resident Playwright
  • Country Playhouse - Diana Howie, Resident Playwright
  • Renaissance Performing Arts Center - Tyrone Dargins, Resident Playwright
  • Unicorn School of Acting - Hope Shiver (musicals), Robyn Drake (adult), and Kati Lamkin (children's), Resident Playwrights
  • Pasadena Little Theatre - Pat Morgan, Resident Playwright
And, outside the Houston area:
  • S.T.A.G.E., Inc., Bulverde - Tim Hess, Resident Playwright
  • Angelo Civic Theatre, San Angelo - Chris Ellery, Resident Playwright

This initial program accomplished many things, but basically the program sought to connect a theatre with a local playwright, creating the connection between the people who write for the stage and the professionals who bring the words to life.

Please note that the program was not about money, but rather "encouraging new works to preserve live theatre for our grandchildren's children, luring the eighteen to thirty year old movie market into theatres, generating more publicity for local theatres, and capturing a greater share of the tourist market and grant monies for all theatres."

For those wishing to connect with a theatre, sample guidelines for your negotiations are below.

In 2002 the TNT Board embarked on a new program dubbed the TNT POPS! New Play Project, with a pilot project that took place at the TNT Annual Conference in Arlington. New play submissions from Texas playwrights were solicited, four were chosen for staged readings during the conference. This project became a biennial favorite.

In 2008, the TNT POPS! New Play Project was expanded to included full length submissions and added productions by TNT member theatres. Currently four plays are chosen every two years, given staged readings at the annual TNT Conference and then produced by a TNT member theatre.

In 2012, TNT again expanded its programs to create the Blooming Briefs: Fruit of the Plume comedy short play competition, and established the Texas Playwriting Hall of Fame with five inaugural inductees: Diana Weeks, Beverly Hutchison, Walter Boyd, Carl L. Williams, and (postumously) Eddie Cope.

Guidelines for relationships between Theatre & Local Resident Playwright

Advantages for Theatre

  • Development of new audiences interested in seeing new works.
  • Increased creative activity for resident Actors and Director.
  • Chance to discover "hot" new plays for world premieres.
  • Enhance eligibility for funding by philanthropic community.
  • additional publicity in the media.

Theatre Provides

  • Public announcements of selection of Resident Playwright.
  • Inclusion of Playwright's name in public listings of Artistic Staff.
  • Rehearsed public readings of Playwright's new work.
  • Stipend for Playwright (Optional).

Playwright Provides

  • Right of first refusal for Theatre to produce any new plays written during residency.
  • Right of first refusal for area production of any plays written prior to residency.
  • Percentage of future royalties from plays Theatre premieres.
  • Mention of Theatre's name in media interviews and biographies.
  • Introduction of Theatre to potential sources of funding.
  • Evaluation of unsolicited scripts submitted to Theatre (Optional).
  • Coordination of public series of rehearsed readings of new plays (Optional).

Please refer all inquiries to TNT at (817) 731-2238 or E-mail

1300 Gendy Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107  Phone: (817) 731-2238  E-mail:
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