In addition to world and US-premiere productions, PlayCo hosts an eclectic slate of community events and artistic development opportunities that bring our global community of artists, changemakers, and audience members into conversation in dynamic and impactful ways.

Idea Labs








We partner with cultural, educational, social justice and social service organizations to leverage stories for positive change, co-programming public events and activities. ARTIST CONVERSATIONS delve into creative process with playwrights, directors, designers and actors. Or artists might lead ACTIVITIES with audience members to share playlists, play a game or try out a foley sound technique. PANEL DISCUSSIONS investigate themes raised in a play with journalists, scholars, activists and community leaders. PLAYBACK sessions welcome audience members into a conversation with each other about the show they’ve just experienced, facilitated by a PlayCo staff member or guest artist.

ANYTIME: Idea Lab occasionally presents staged readings, teach-ins, and other special events.

All Idea Lab events are free and open to the public.

Christopher Chen and Geoffrey Jackson Scott at an Idea Lab event
for Caught, 2016


Since 2020, PlayCo has created several digital programs to support artists and keep our community connected while we could not gather in-person. Check out a selection of our programs below!

Lunch Table Talks

Lunch Table Talks is a series of free conversations facilitated by a rotating cast of PlayCo staff members and associated artists with panelists from a myriad of fields during the lunch hours. Previous guests have included writers Viet Thanh Nguyen and John Keene; theatre & radio artists Madhuri Shekar, Megan Sandburg-Zakian, Katie Brook, and Trish Harnitiaux, and translators William Gregory, Jeremy Tiang, and Paula Wing. Lunch Table Talks make public the intimate-yet-casual moments of lunchtime and the exchange of ideas and inspirations that comes from sharing a meal with others. Watch previous Lunch Table Talks on Facebook Live or Youtube!


During shelter-in-place, PlayClubs were a virtual gathering to talk about a contemporary play with an intimate group, and a rotating slate of special hosts including lighting designer Tyler Miloceau, director Dan Rothenberg, playwright Phillip Howze, and culture writer Diep Tran. Like a book club, participants read a designated play from our treasure trove of contemporary plays from around the world and then came together via Zoom to discuss.

Pep Talks For A New World

Is it possible to have pep right now? Can we at least rally around the things that humanity needs? Curated and conceived by William Burke, Season 1 of PlayCo’s first podcast series brings you 7 artists in short podcasts episodes (PEP Casts). Maybe it will help us heal the world. Or get up and do the dishes. Both are important. All episodes of Pep Talks can be downloaded or streamed wherever you get your podcasts.


An arena for artists to explore ideas and generate new work. Developmental tools range from in-house readings to workshops, design explorations and public lab productions.

Contentious Woman (spring 2022)

This June, we joyfully welcomed playwright & costume designer extraordinaire Celeste Jennings to the PlayCo Studio program for a one-week development workshop of her new play “Contentious Woman“! Along with director Stevie Walker-Webb, music director Maya Sharpe, and a radiant group of collaborators, the company explored the lived experiences of a community of Black women working at a tobacco plantation in 1918. Celeste describes the play as a choreopoem, utilizing interweaving and work songs to create a deeply poetic exploration of love, resilience, and origins of labor movements.

Lauren Worsham in Sky-Pony: Raptured, 2012. Photo by Colin Shepherd

Universal Voices

Our commissioning program for both original works and new translations of plays from abroad.

Current Commissions

Linda Bartholomai for a translation of Seymour, or I’m Only Here by Accident by Anne Lepper
Abhishek Majumdar for his new play 9 Kinds of Silence
Lee Sunday Evans for a new work with Christopher Chen

Saori Tsukada and Yuki Kawahisa in Aya Ogawa’s Ludic Proxy, 2015
Photo by Carol Rosegg


PlayCo is an international theatre for new writing. We host residencies for visiting collaborative artists, and introduce them to the local community through events such as artist roundtables, audience conversations, and informal receptions. The Residency Program also offers local students unique educational opportunities to engage with visiting artists in special classes and workshops. Students of theatre, literature and foreign studies see the work of visiting artists in production and interact with them directly in subsequent classes to learn about different theatre traditions, practices and points of view.

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Toshiki Okada