The Phoenix Theatre Company Presents
Text and Images Courtesy of
The Phoenix Theatre Company

Above: The Festival of New American Theatre concludes its 2021 season this weekend.

The Festival of New American Theatre is the premiere new theatre works festival in the southwest. Hosted annually by The Phoenix Theatre Company, the festival brings together artists from across Phoenix, the southwest and the country to amplify new voices and expand the canon of new American theater. The festival presents rehearsed readings, with script in hand, of new, un-produced plays and musicals and highlights the songs of emerging composers and lyricists at live cabaret performances. Audience feedback is central to the festival’s creative process, so guests are invited to join in and help launch an original new work.

This year’s Festival is being held outdoors in The Phoenix Theatre Company’s courtyard. After in-person and virtual readings, there will be talkbacks. In-person readings will not be live streamed. Out of an abundance of caution, attendees of in-person events are required to wear masks, practice social distancing and submit to temperature checks.

This weekend the festival concludes with two plays which will be performed outdoors in The Phoenix Theatre Company’s Courtyard.


A.R. Corwin, Playwright

William Partian, Director

Alice Stanley, Dramaturge

Andrea Small, Stage Manager

Saturday, March 27 at 12 p.m.

Sunday, March 28 at 3 p.m.

While waiting to enter the hot new dinosaur exhibit, a visitor to the Museum of Natural History stumbles upon the “Hall of Endangered Species.” At the push of a button, they’re* swept into the colorful personal lives of endangered animals who are doing anything and everything to stay alive and stay relevant: Manny the manatee is creating a new public relations campaign, Pole the polar bear is panhandling to tourists, Stack the Panamanian Golden frog is pleading asylum, and Blobby the blobfish is, well, dead…but loving it! With all their ingenuity and spunk, will these animals manage to survive?


A.R. Corwin is a graduate student of Dramatic Writing at Arizona State University. In her plays, she combines her passions for comedy and politics to examine how we experience our world. Corwin’s play, How to Save the Polar Bear, is a 2020 Theater Masters TAKE TEN Festival winner and will be published by Concord Theatricals – Samuel French in Spring 2021. The play was scheduled to premiere Off-Broadway at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater in May 2020, but was canceled due to Covid-19. The playwright is also a two-time regional finalist for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival’s Gary Garrison National Ten-Minute Play Award (2020 and 2021). Learn more about her work at


In collaboration with Arizona State University’s Music Theatre and Opera Department

Music and Lyrics by Vaibu Mohan and Raiah Rofsky

Musical Direction by Greg Paladino

Saturday, March 27 at 4 p.m.

Sunday, March 28 at 12 p.m.

NAYIKA is a new interpretation of an old story based on the Indian art and dance concept of the Ashtanayikas (Eight Heroines). These female characters have been immortalized through paintings, songs, and dance pieces. But they have always been seen through the eyes of men seeking to package them into eight perfect boxes. No more. Nayika seeks to bring these women into the spotlight and showcase them as who they are: three dimensional characters full of passion, desire, lust, sadness, rage, and everything in between. With an eclectic score that moves from disco to musical theater to Indian classical with ease, Nayika pays homage to the women who inhabited these stories before us and investigates the many faces of modern femininity.


Vaibu Mohan is an Indian-American writer, singer, songwriter, dancer, and storyteller. Currently based in Brooklyn, Mohan began her journey as a Bharatanatyam dancer (South Indian classical dancer) and Carnatic vocalist. She gained a deep appreciation for the stories she was told and portrayed as a child through music and dance and her love for storytelling brought her to the world of musical theater. Having received her BM in musical theatre performance from ASU, she is currently receiving her MFA in musical theatre writing at the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program where she met her current collaborator, Raiah Rofsky. This piece is dedicated to her artistic ancestors who continued to create and tell stories even in the face of adversity. For more information, visit

For more information, visit