LaBute New Theater Festival


2018 Finalists Announced!

Six plays were chosen: one group to be performed in the first two weeks of July, the balance in the second two weeks. “The Fourth Reich”, a US Premiere from Mr. LaBute will be performed every night for the run of the festival. 

Click HERE for Tickets, $35 for adults, $30 for Students (with valid ID) and Seniors (65+) and the Military

Playwright - Play - State

Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich, Shut up and Dance , NJ

Norman Kline , Advantage God , NY

James McLindon , Hipster Noir ,MA

Michael Long, The Gettier Problem , VA

Sean Abley, Unabridged , CA

Peter McDonough, The Process , IL

High School Finalists

Playwright/ Play/ High School

Sydney Cimarolli, Prodigal,  (Webster Groves High, Senior)

Erica O'Brien, This Is Piracy, (Webster Groves High, Senior)

Nick Kime, Our Last Kiss, (John Burroughs, Senior )

Ann Zhang, In Utero, (John Burroughs,Sophomore)

“We are thrilled to work with Neil on this festival. Lending his name and talents to foster new works in the theater is just another example of his generosity and commitment to the arts, and we could not be more proud to host this on-going event.”-William Roth, Founder and Artistic Director of St. Louis Actors’ Studio

Neil LaBute

Neil LaBute received his Master of Fine Arts degree in dramatic writing from New York University and was the recipient of a literary fellowship to study at the Royal Court Theatre, London and also attended the Sundance Institute’s Playwrights Lab.

His films include: In the Company of Men  (New York Critics’ Circle Award for Best First Feature and the Filmmaker Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival), Your Friends and Neighbors, Nurse Betty, Possession, The Shape of Things (a film adaptation of his play by the same title), The Wicker Man, Lakeview Terrace, Death at a Funeral, Some Velvet Morning and Dirty Weekend.

LaBute’s plays include: Bash: latter-day plays , The Shape of Things , The Mercy Seat , The Distance From Here, Autobahn, Fat Pig  (Olivier Award Nominated for Best Comedy), Some Girl(s), This Is How It Goes, Wrecks, Filthy Talk For Troubled Times , In a Dark Dark House, Reasons To Be Pretty  (Tony Award Nominated for Best Play), The Break of Noon, In a Forest Dark and Deep, Reasons To Be Happy, The Money Shot  and The Way We Get By. He has also adapted Woyzeck, Dracula, Miss Julie and Antigone for the stage.

For television he has written the series Full CircleTen X Ten and Billy & Billie for Directv.

LaBute is also the author of Seconds of Pleasure, a collection of short fiction  which was published by Grove Atlantic.




  • Neil LaBute – Film Director, Screenwriter and Playwright
  • William Roth – Actor, Founder, Artistic Director St. Louis Actors’ Studio
  • Nathan Bush – Actor, Professor of Theatre Arts -Oregon State University
  • Emily Baker - Actor, High School Performing Arts Teacher
  • Ann Haubrich – Writer, Arts Administrator
  • Michael Hogan – Actor, Director
  • Edward Scott Ibur – Middle School English Teacher (Webster Groves), Novelist and Co-Founder of the Gifted Writers & Artist Project for Middle School & High School
  • John Pierson – Actor, Teacher English and Theatre Departments John Burroughs School
  • Julie B. Schoettley – Documentary Film Editor, Script Development Editor
  • Elizabeth Helman – Actor, Writer, Director, Professor of Theatre Arts -Oregon State University
  • Patrick Huber – Associate Director, St. Louis Actors’ Studio-Set Design and Lighting, Teacher Theater, Design and Architecture Mary Institute, Country Day Prep School


Submissions will be accepted October 1 through December 31, 2018(High school through April 19, 2019).


Successful entries will have no more than four characters and be crafted specifically to exploit our intimate performance space. (18′ x 18′ stage) Changes in scenery or setting should be achievable quickly and with few major set moves. Our focus is on fundamental dramaturgy: plot, character and theme.

Professional, new and previously unproduced one-act play submissions should include a letter of inquiry, a synopsis and a 10-page sample from the script. Running time for each performance should not exceed 45 minutes. Up to Eight plays will be chosen. In addition, a new piece from Mr. LaBute will be performed every night for the run of the festival.


Winning plays by high school students will be presented in readings. The guidelines are straightforward: The one act should include no more than four characters featuring a clearly developed plot and distinctive characters. No longer than 15 minutes in length. Non-Professional, new and previously unproduced one-act play submissions should include a letter of inquiry and complete script.

Submissions should be sent to:
LaBute New Theater Festival, St. Louis Actors’ Studio, 360 N Boyle Ave, St. Louis, MO 63108
For more information: 314-458-2978 or