Literary Series

Emerging Artists. Exciting new works


Playwrights’ Playground


About The Series

At the core of the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Literary Series is the belief that theater has the transformative power to challenge the status quo, connect disparate worlds of thought, and, ultimately, change the world. Thus, we are invested in the development of work that shifts the conversation around representation in the theater and are dedicated to providing a platform for those voices traditionally underrepresented on the American Stage.

CTH’s Literary Series is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the Jarvis & Constance Doctorow Family Foundation and the Axe-Houghton Foundation.

Selected playwrights submit 10-12 pages of a new work in the early stages of development. Actors are cast on the spot and perform a cold reading, followed by a moderated audience feedback session. In addition to serving the development of new work, these readings give audiences a sneak peek into how new plays are created.

CTH asserts that a “Future Classic” promotes courageous and open-minded examination of controversial and critical topics that are at the heart of society. Designed for the emerging professional playwright, Future Classics offers participating writers the opportunity to showcase their new completed works and receive dramaturgical feedback.  Participants work with CTH’s resident dramaturge, a professional director and a dedicated group of actors to showcase a new full-length play.

Submit your work to Ms. Shawn René Graham, Literary Director at No phone calls please.

  • Plays/Excerpts may not have been previously produced.
  • Playwrights may submit up only to fifteen (15) pages only for Playwrights’ Playground, or up to one full play for Future Classics.
  • Plays must be submitted as a PDF or as a Word document.
  • Playwrights will not receive comments on plays once submitted.
  • Playwrights should also include a brief author’s bio and/or resume.
  • Playwrights may also submit a play synopsis (250 words).

No phone calls please.

  • Actors can volunteer to be cast in a Playwrights’ Playground reading by arriving thirty minutes early and signing up with our reading coordinator.
  • Future Classics readings are cast in advanced.


Playwrights’ Playground

May 20th, 2019,7:00 PM


Actors arrive at 6:30 PM


Samuels Teaching Studio,
Samuel B. & David Rose Building,
70 Lincoln Center Plaza, 7th floor,
Rose Building


Seth Garben’s work has been performed in Chicago, LA and NYC. He was a runner up for the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference. His short film Out of Here premiered at the LA Comedy Festival. His short fiction has been featured in Protean Magazine. His play The Potemkin Play premieres at HERE Arts in July. 

Eric Serrano is a former spoken word poet turned playwright.  He has performed his work at the Bushnell theater, the Nuyo Rican Café and various greasy spoon joints along the east coast.  His first play, The Runners, incorporates his spoken word poetry and his storytelling abilities into a three-act play.  Eric holds a Masters Degree in Writing from Manhattanville College.

Kaaron Briscoe received her MFA from ART/MXAT/IATT at Harvard University. She is a current member of Project Y’s Playwriting Group. Her work has been seen as part of the Brooklyn Generator and Inviolet’s Second Mondays. Kaaron was a 2015 fellow for Target Margin Theatre’s Institute for Collaborative Theatre Making.

Christina Quintana (CQ) is a writer with Cuban & Louisiana roots. CITIZEN SCIENTIST (EST/Sloan Project) recently received second place for Barrington Stage’s Burman New Play Award. Other plays include: AZUL (Southern Rep), SCISSORING (INTAR, available Dramatists Play Service), & EVENSONG (APAC). Current member: WP Lab. For more, visit

© 2019 The Classical Theatre of Harlem
Site by Alessandro Chille