Studio R&d

Building on 41 years of producing powerful contemporary theatre, Studio supports new writing from inception to first production: commissioning new work from both writers and directors; giving artists time and resources to develop their work; and hosting them in residence during the rehearsal process. Our intimate spaces are uniquely suited to the immediacy of new work—they’re small, and they provide a direct relationship between the actor and audience.

Studio R&D is our incubator for new plays, new relationships, and new modes of collaboration. Encompassing the full range of Studio’s commissioning and new work development activities, Studio R&D supports artists through both the writing and development of their work, offering commissions, residencies, and artistic retreats. Studio R&D provides artists the resources and tools they need to create, and allows Studio to introduce aesthetically diverse new work into the international repertoire.

Beginning with Lungs in the 2011-2012 Season, Studio has published all of its world premiere plays, broadening the reach of these new works, and launching them onto the international stage. The work Studio has premiered has gone on to productions across the US, Canada, and Europe, playing Off Broadway, touring the UK, and entering the permanent repertoire of the Schaubüehne in Berlin.


In 2012, Artistic Director David Muse began a commissioning program, inviting new and established writers from the US and beyond to develop work specifically for Studio’s intimate spaces. Past commissions include established and emerging writers from the US and abroad: Stew and Heidi Rodewald, Vivienne Franzmann, Rachel Bonds, Clare Lizzimore, Mary Elizabeth Hamilton, Ike Holter, Aaron Posner, Sarah DeLappe, Abe Koogler, Qui Nguyen, Steph Del Rosso, Emily Schwend, James Ijames, and James Fritz. Beginning in 2016, Studio began to extend commissions to directors as well, offerings artist whose work we admire the time to reflect, read, and develop projects for Studio. These directors are Lileana Blain-Cruz, Carl Cofield, Mike Donahue, Jackson Gay, Eric Ruffin, and Lila Neugebauer.

Studio produced its first play from this program in 2014, The Wolfe Twins by Rachel Bonds. 


Studio supports new writing from inception to first production. We commission new work from both writers and directors, give artists time and resources to develop their work, and host them in residence during the rehearsal process. Through the Studio R&D: Work in Process, we’re opening up the creative process a little early to another critical component of artmaking: the audience. Learn more about the Work in Process series.

Commissioned Artists

  LILEANA BLAIN-CRUZ                    Jackson Gay JACKSON GAY                           ERIC RUFFIN

 CARL COFIELD                                   JAMES IJAMES                          steph del rosso

Sarah Delappe SARAH DELAPPE                                JAMES FRITZ                             LILA NEUGEBAUER               

Kate Mulvaney KATE MULVANEY                              Anne Washburn ANNE WASHBURN                   Erika Dickerson-Despenza ERIKA DICKERSON-DESPENZA

David Cale. Photo Credit: Albie Mitchell DAVID CALE                                        Ike Holter IKE HOLTER                              KIMBERLY BELFLOWER

Liliana Padilla LILIANA PADILLA                             Marti Lyons. Photo Credit: Joe Mazza and Bravelux MARTI LYONS                          Brittany K. Allen BRITTANY K. ALLEN

Staceyann Chin STACEYANN CHIN                              STEPH PAUL                          

past commissions

 rachel bonds                                 mary elizabeth hamilton   Aaron posner

 mike donahue                                ike holter                                   heidi rodewald          

 vivienne franzmann                   clare lizzimore                    stew

Abe Koogler ABE KOOGLER                                    emily schwend

recent world premieres at studio

P.Y.G. or the Misedumacation of Dorian Belle                              Queen of basel

Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm                                                          Hilary Bettis

A SHORT SERIES OF DISAGREEMENTS                                                       The Remains

Daniel Kitson                                                                                     Ken Urban                                                                                                         

No Sisters*                                                                                                   I wanna fucking tear you apart

Aaron Posner                                                                                   Morgan Gould

Animal*                                                                                                          laugh

Clare Lizzimore                                                                                Beth Henley

The Wolfe Twins*                                                                                      red speedo

Rachel Bonds                                                                                   Lucas Hnath

Dirt                                                                                                                   Lungs

Bryony Lavery                                                                                   Duncan Macmillan

A History of Kisses

David Cale

*Studio-commissioned work

Contact Us

Studio Theatre

1501 14th Street NW
Washington, DC 20005

Box Office

Phone: 202.332.3300
Fax: 202.332.1187


Phone: 202.232.7267
Fax: 202.588.5262


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