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. 

Plays in Bloom Residency 2024

This year's residency will run Monday, May 13 through Sunday, May 19, 2024, with a public reading on the afternoon of Sunday, May 19, 2024.

Sunday, May 12 | Move-in for those in Dorms
Monday, May 13 | Guest Artist Arrival, First Read Through & Company Dinner 
Tuesday, May 14 | Rehearsal 
Wednesday, May 15 | Rehearsal  
Thursday, May 16 | Rehearsal 
Friday, May 17 | OFF
Saturday, May 18 | Rehearsal  
Sunday, May 19 | Rehearsal & Public Sharing 

Applications for the Plays in Bloom Residency 2024 Company

Applications will be available to students and recent alums by November 1, 2023. The application will be due on February 1, 2024. A link to the application will be available here. 

Guest Professional Playwright for Plays in Bloom Residency 2024
Monica Flory, Playwright

Monica Flory is a playwright, director, and educator. She is passionate about coming-of-age stories, mother-daughter tales, and femme-forward versions of classic works. She was thrilled to workshop Taking Space at Bloomsburg in 2022. Her adaptation of The Jungle Book, first directed by David A. Miller and published by Playscripts, has had over 300 productions worldwide. The New York Times called it “scrupulously faithful to Rudyard Kipling and completely original in its approach.”
Coming-of-age stories as writer-director include One Last Ride, a musical about a time-traveling roller coaster with composer Spencer Lutvak and Bank of Violets, a musical with composer Jacob Fjeldheim, about two productions of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night during the pandemics of 1918 and 2020. Her film Because of Dragons with puppet-maker Kat Caro was selected for the Reel Puppetry Film Festival 2023. Her mother-daughter works include Medea, a fresh take on Euripides, and Brown-Eyed Rapunzel, a fantasia in which a mixed-race daughter retells fairy tales with her white mother to sort the racial dynamics of their relationship. Recent femme-forward classics include her take on Frankenstein and Mary Shelley’s life, Monster, Little Rose, about Emily Dickinson, and Silence, inspired by the Edward Allan Poe story.
Monica’s recent directing includes Lost Girl by Kimberly Belflower, Boundless by Mary Fishburne, Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl, and Anon(ymous) by Naomi Iizuka, all for Ghostlight in Maine. She is an education consultant for Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C., and PennLive Arts at U Penn in Philadelphia. She is a member of The Playwrights Cohort at PlayPenn and of The Dramatists Guild. She lives in Philadelphia with her family. 

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

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