Banner showing Image from The Watson's Go To Birmingham. Caption states Creating The Next Great American Play.
Spaceship from We Want The Funk
Banner with photo of Missy in What Martha Did
Daffy Cafe

Welcome to LAUNCH PAD

        A Letter from our Artistic Director...

We started LAUNCH PAD in 2005 and are proud to have supported so many fabulous playwrights and plays on their journey from incubation to professional world premiere. And we know we can do better to widen the circle and welcome more diverse voices onto our stages. We've made an ongoing commitment to honor and amplify BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists through our workshops, readings, and preview productions. Together with National New Play Network, and UCSB's AMPLIFY and New and Reimagined Work, we are thrilled to have presented the second annual Festival on January 7/8, 2022. 

One of the excellent plays emerging from the 2021 BIPOC Festival was “A Medusa Thread“ by Candrice Jones. We are excited to announce this play as our Preview Production in Spring 2022. The concept of the “Preview Production” is unique in American theater: a fully realized production of a new play without the pressures of the commercial world; the play stays in previews throughout the run of the show, allowing the writer to continue revising as the piece evolves through performance. The combination of our talented students, faculty, and professional guest artists working side by side makes for a rich experience for all. More details about "A Medusa Thread" to come soon!

Thank you for helping us keep theatre alive during the ever-changing world of creating in a pandemic. We look forward to seeing you soon, whether on Zoom or in person one day soon. As we work to provide you with fresh, timely, provocative, and entertaining new plays, we wish you a healthy and happy new year.

- Risa Brainin, Artistic Director

Upcoming Events...

2022 BIPOC Reading Series Festival

headshot Lisa Dring, playwright headshot chris peña headshot playwright Caridad Svich headshot playwright Stephanie Walters
Lisa Sanaye Dring / christoper oscar peña / Caridad Svich / Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters

Click on the image above for an interview with this year's playwrights. Enjoy!


A new play by Franky Gonzalez

(February TBD)

As part of our partnership with Tofte Lake Center in their role with the 4 Seasons Residency
Franky explores a new play through our Pop Up Reading Program.


May 16-25, 2022

A Medusa Thread
by Candrice Jones
directed by Shirley Jo Finney

Once an academic year, LAUNCH PAD presents a Preview Production, a concept unique in the American theater.
As a fully-realized production without the pressures of the commercial world, the new play stays in previews
throughout the run of the show, and the writer continues revising as the piece evolves through performances.
This year, we welcome back playwright Candrice Jones and director Shirley Jo Finney with A Medusa Thread,
which was one of the six plays featured in our 2021 BIPOC Reading Series Festival


In The News...


The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963

written by Cheryl L. West
directed by Risa Brainin

MAY 6-22, 2022
Seattle Children's Theatre
Seattle, Washington

photo of THE WATSONS creative team MAY 2022

This is a co-commission: LAUNCH PAD, Chicago Children's Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre

marquis for Seattle Children's Theatre presentation of THE WATSONS


Exotic Deadly: Or The MSG Play written by Keiko Green

Chosen for the 2021 National Playwrights Conference

Keiko Green headshot (playwright)
Keiko Green, LAUNCH PAD Alum
2021 BIPOC Reading Series Festival

                                                      "...NPC 2021 represents some of the most exciting voices writing today.
                                                      I’m thrilled to be able to work with these playwrights and support their
                                                      bold and brilliant new plays through in-person opportunities this summer
                                                      ~ Wendy C. Goldberg, Artistic Director, National Playwrights Conference

                                                      Read more here.

Alone, Together flyer

Dramatic Publishing: publisher
and exclusive licensing of
LAUNCH PAD’s Alone, Together Festival
of short plays and monologues!

If you are interested in licensing the Alone, Together compilation,
please contact or visit their website.


For updates on the LAUNCH PAD Program like us on Facebook!

Take a moment to flip through the LAUNCH PAD brochure!

photo of the LAUNCH PAD brochure

A new play by Franky Gonzalez

(Date TBD)

As part of our partnership with Tofte Lake Center in their role with the 4 Seasons Residency
Franky explores a new play through one of our Reading Programs.