Plays in Bloom

A New Play Development Program at Bloomsburg University

Plays in Bloom

Plays in Bloom is a new play development program that provides opportunities for Bloomsburg University students to collaborate with fellow students and with guest professional theatre artists on the nurturing of new plays. The development of new plays is a vital part of the health of the American theatre and the theatre program at Bloomsburg University is eager to train student theatre artists to be successful new play practitioners. Students have the opportunity to learn by doing in Theatre 492: New Play Development and through new play opportunities throughout the year such as student-driven projects and mainstage plays, and in the annual Plays in Bloom Residency.

Plays in Bloom Residency

In the annual Plays in Bloom Residency, Bloomsburg University students and recent alums collaborate with guest professional playwrights in a week-long development of a full-length play and participate in a festival of short new plays written by student and alum playwrights. The staged readings of each of these plays are a chance for general audiences to respond to the plays-in-progress. Each reading will include a guided post-play discussion about the plays.

Participation in the Plays in Bloom Residency is open to all Bloomsburg University students. This year's residency will run Monday, May 15 through Monday, May 22, with a public reading on the evening of Monday, May 22.   

Monday, May 15 | Guest Professional Playwright Arrives & Company Dinner 
Tuesday, May 16 | Rehearsal for Full Length Play 
Wednesday, May 17 | Rehearsal for Full Length Play* 
Thursday, May 18 | Rehearsal for Full Length Play* 
Friday, May 19 | Rehearsal for Full Length Play* 
Saturday, May 20 | Rehearsal for Full Length Play* 
Sunday, May 21 | Rehearsal for Full Length Play* 
Monday, May 22 | Rehearsal & Public Sharing of Full-Length Play 
Tuesday, May 23 | Company and Guest Professional Playwright Depart 

*One of the days, Wednesday through Sunday, will be off. The day will be determined by the needs of the playwright and the project.

Plays in Bloom Residency 2023

A reading of The Appliance Department by Guest Playwright Bella Poynton
Monday, May 22 at 7:30 pm
Greenly Center, 50 E Main Street, Downtown Bloomsburg

Guest Professional Playwright for Plays in Bloom Residency 2023
Bella Poynton, Guest Professional Playwright

Bella Poynton is a playwright and director from Buffalo, NY. She is the Artistic Director of The Navigators, a small New York City-based theatre company focusing on feminist stories in science fiction, and the director of Queen City Playwrights, Buffalo’s new play development workshop. Recently, her work has been produced and developed by MadLab Theatre, Quantum Dragon Theatre Company, Alleyway Theatre, Anteaus Theatre Company, The Great Plains Theatre Festival, Otherworld Theatre, Post-Industrial Productions and has been named a finalist for the Woodward/Newman Drama Award, the Sam French OOB Festival, and the Maxim Mazumdar Playwriting Competition.

Plays in Bloom Residency 2022
Plays in Bloom Residency

A reading of The Astronots by Guest Playwright Mora V. Harris
Saturday, May 21 at 3:00 pm
Greenly Center, 50 E Main Street, Downtown Bloomsburg

A reading of Three Short Plays by Student and Alum Playwrights: Action by Lydia Hannibal, Dark Clouds by Russell Shelton, and The Great Princess Pilgrimage of Erwin Hall’s 23rd Birthday Party by Samantha Corcos
Tuesday, May 24 at 7:30 pm
Theatre Laboratory, Arts & Administration 036 on the campus of Bloomsburg University at the corner of E 2nd St & Chestnut

Guest Professional Playwright for Plays in Bloom Residency 2022

Mora V. Harris writes character-driven comedies under a blanket in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Her alien comedy SPACE GIRL has had dozens of productions in schools, colleges, and community and professional theaters throughout the United States. It is published by Playscripts Inc., alongside MIRCALLA—a TYA adaptation of the gothic vampire novel Carmilla, and her contributions to two ten-minute play anthologies for teens. Her work has received development and support through the Pittsburgh Public Theater, City Theatre Company, The Hangar Theatre, Alliance/Kendeda, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Pittsburgh Opera, the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, and the Kennedy Center’s Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center Fellowship. She was a two-time National Finalist for the Kennedy Center's John Cauble Award for Outstanding Short Play for her plays BOXED IN and ONDINE'S CURSE, and a Second-Place winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Script Competition for her screenplay, EGGHEAD GENIUS. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and Theater from Oberlin College and an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University, where she studied with Rob Handel. She teaches screenwriting at Point Park and La Roche Universities and serves as Pittsburgh's Regional Co-Representative for the Dramatist Guild.  She occasionally updates her website at

Theatre 492: New Play Development

In a new course offered in Spring 2022, student artists will exercise positive practices for developing new plays in collaboration with one another and with visiting professional playwrights. Participating students will engage with and contribute to the revision of Positive Practices for New Play Development, a handbook for students and emerging professionals on how to prepare for and participate in a new play development process. The handbook will include conversations with accomplished professionals in the field of new play development conducted by Prof. David A. Miller. 

Leadership for Plays in Bloom

Prof. David A. Miller, Artistic Director of Plays in Bloom and Director for Plays in Bloom Residency 2022
Dr. Carrie Winship, Associate Artistic Director of Plays in Bloom and Dramaturg for Plays in Bloom Residency 2022
Prof. Ethan Krupp, Producer of Plays in Bloom and Mentor for Plays in Bloom Residency 2022

Support for Plays in Bloom

Plays in Bloom is supported by a Faculty Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities Grant from Bloomsburg University and the Faculty Professional Development Council of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.


illustration of Carver Hall

Contact Information