developmental New Works program

Private Reading- June 18


Our Mission

The Undiscovered Works program is a developmental incubator series for new work. We support early-to-mid-career playwrights focused on creating work that is socially and politically charged, who are interested in asking risky questions, and who can bring new stories and voices to the theatrical canon. We do not shy away from plays that challenge or break the ‘accepted’ structure, form, or narrative of theater. We are passionate about amplifying historically underrepresented voices, and are dedicated to providing a creative team (director and dramaturg) who can fully support that vision and story. 

Next up for Undiscovered Works

2021 Undiscovered Works Readings 

All public readings will be held virtually until it is safe to gather again.

The Children’s Farm

by Sean Dunnington

 March 5

 The Re-Education of Fernando Morales 

by Justin P. Lopez

April 2 

 Tiny Fires 

by Aimee Suzara

May 7 | 7pm PST 






by Denmo Ibrahim




Learn More Below

Miss a show you wanted to see?

Become a subscriber and get access to On Demand recordings of all past UDW shows, the Pre-Show Questions and Answers with the Playwright and Dramaturg, and tickets to the world premiere of Jeffrey Lo’s Zac and Siah, or Jesus in a Body Bag!

 Support Artists Today

Every donation goes directly to the paying the playwrights, actors, directors, dramaturgs, readers, and creative team of Undiscovered Works. We believe artists should be paid for their creative genius and supported in this community. Artists are the backbone of society, their work is incredibly important not only to the Bay Area, but the theatrical canon as a whole.

Help us uplift and amplify these voices! 

Festival Sponsor- Bruce Colman

Undiscovered Works 2021 Line Up


The Tempest 

By Chris Steele

In-house Reading Only

Directed by Adam Sussman

Chris Steele

Chris Steele


Chris Steele is a queer trans nonbinary theatre creator, makeup artist, standardized patient, and drag queen. In theatre they have worked as an actor, director, playwright, fight choreographer, intimacy choreographer, makeup artist, dialect coach, dance captain, costume construction aid, and lighting designer. After studying theatre at Pepperdine University and The University of Oklahoma, they relocated to the Bay Area working with companies such as Summer Repertory Theater, Sierra Rep, Cutting Ball, Breadbox Theatre, New Conservatory Theater Center, Playwrights Center SF, Musical Café, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, and We Players. They are fascinated by visceral physical storytelling; theatre with roots in adaptation, devising, and improvisation; and the history of horror as a media genre. Most recently their writing was produced in Cutting Ball’s Variety Pack (‘Valley of the Dead’), and their fight and intimacy choreography can be seen in the upcoming ‘Galitea, a new rock musical’ at Counterpulse. As a drag queen, their persona Polly Amber Ross focuses on bringing theatrical performance theory to queer common spaces throughout the city. Chris seeks to deepen and uphold the rich history of queer/drag theatre in San Francisco, and to foster the development of an American Horror Theatre cannon.

Adam L Sussman

Adam L Sussman


Adam (he/him/his) is a director and creative producer whose work pokes at the unresolved questions and inequities within our culture. Recent directing credits include Sarah Ruhl’s ​”How to Transcend a Happy Marriage”​ (“One of the top six shows of 2020,” The San Francisco Chronicle) at CMTC, and his re-imagining of Shakespeare’s ​”The Merchant of Venice” (“The best Shakespeare production I have ever seen.” Austin American Statesman, nominations Best Director and Production Austin Critics Circle), “​Bread/Blood” (​Finalist SPACE @ Ryder Farm) and ​”a place called the middle” (​Finalist Sundance Theatre lab). Learn more at Adamlsussman.com

Leigh Rondon-DaviS

Leigh Rondon-Davis (they/them) is a performer, dramaturg, and director from both NYC and the Bay Area. They attended Wellesley College and was a member of Oakland’s Laney College Fusion Theatre Project. Leigh’s performance credits include: Quack (Shotgun Players), Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. and Inked Baby (Crowded Fire Theater), Variety Pack 2018 & 2019 (Cutting Ball Theater), Where The Boys Are (FaultLine Theater), A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (Curran and Magic Theatre). Leigh currently works for Shotgun Players and Crowded Fire Theater where they are a Resident Artist. They are also a Company Member at Shotgun and Oakland Theater Project.


Gabriel MonToya

Gabriel Montoya (he/him/his) is a Mexican-American actor-director-writer-producer who loves to create work that reflects the times. In 2014, Gabriel and his wife’s production company, The Department of Badassery, made theatre history by simultaneously premiering the play, “Don’t Be Evil,” live onstage and in virtual reality. In the Bay Area, Mr. Montoya has appeared in productions by Magic Theatre, Berkeley Rep, Brava Theatre, Central Works, The Custom Made Theatre Co., Word for Word, The Pear Theatre, and SF Playhouse, among others. He has most recently appeared in Cutting Ball Theatre’s virtual production of Charles L. Mee’s “Utopia.”


Tesia Bell

Tesia Bell (she/her) is a Bay Area native who was first introduced to acting in high school. She would go on to study Managerial Economics at the University of California, Davis. She has always been a bit risk averse and so took the safer path and began a career in Insurance. However, her love for acting never stopped and she just couldn’t stay away. She began to perform in local theatre productions such as Hela, The Education of Addy Jimenez, and I’d Kill for a Parking Space. She has also branched out into short independent films. She would like to thank her boyfriend and family for their support. She is very excited to be a part of a reading to help bring life into this gorgeous story written by Chris Steele.

Benjamin Lay

Benjamin (he/him) is thrilled to be part of this beautiful reimagining of The Tempest. Up till now his credits have been behind the curtain as trainer of his critically acclaimed dog, Rahja! Their credits include “Spot” in Shakespeare in Love at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and “Crab” in the Theatre Bug’s production of Two Gentlemen of Verona! When he isn’t in production, he’s running his company The Canine Academy, working with the ACLU, and is an Op-Ed guest contributor for The Tennessean, writing on inequality, injustice, and LGBTQ+ advocacy.

Nic A Sommerfeld 

Nic A. Sommerfeld (they/them) is an SF Bay Area based actor and playwright. They have acted in plays and musicals with companies including the California Shakespeare Theater, Berkeley Playhouse, FaultLine Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, and The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. When not writing or acting in shows, they frequently perform as their drag king persona, Chester Vanderbox.

To see this Private Reading, Subscribe Today! 



By Denmo Ibrahim

Friday | Fall 2021 | 7pm PST

Her father was a fisherman, her mother was a fish, or at least that’s what Raheem believes when her mother went out to sea and never came back. In this lyrical story on family, faith and food, we journey to the depths of one woman’s struggle of mixed heritage to understand who she is by where she came from. 

Denmo Ibrahim

Denmo Ibrahim


Denmo Ibrahim is an actor, playwright, screenwriter and short story author of Egyptian descent. She is a Sundance Theater Lab Finalist, a recipient of The Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts Award and National Endowment for the Arts Award. She has co-written seven ensemble-based projects, authored two full-length plays, and published a series of articles on theater, wellness, health and healing. Her devised work has toured to international festivals in Egypt, France and Germany. In the U.S., her work has been supported by New York Theatre Workshop, Under St. Marks, Playwrights’ Center, Noor Theatre, University of Oregon, Golden Thread Productions, EXIT Theater, Alter Theatre and Zawaya. Current commissions include Dream Thief, an immersive experience, a one-act adaptation from Brecht’s Fear and Misery of the Third Reich, an audio drama for Commonwealth Theatre Center.

As a playwright, she’s received a San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle Award (SFBATCC) for “Best Original Script” for BABA and Rabbit Causes Dog at San Francisco Fringe Festival. As an actor, she has collaborated with playwrights Mac Wellman, Eric Ehn, Yusef El Guindi, Kristoffer Diaz, Thomas Bradshaw, Melinda Lopez, Dustin Chinn, and Tanya Saracho and has originated roles with composers Claudio Bohorquez, Rinde Eckert, and Carla Kihlstedt.  Regional credits include Noura (Marin Theatre Company), The Good Book (Berkeley Repertory), The Who & The What (Marin Theatre Company), A Thousand Splendid Suns (Seattle Rep, The Old Globe, American Conservatory of Theatre, Theatre Calgary), and Much Ado About Nothing (California Shakespeare Theatre). 

Denmo holds an MFA in Lecoq-based Actor Created Physical Theater from Naropa University and a BFA in Acting from Boston University. She is a proud member of Actors Equity Association, Dramatists Guild, and New Play Exchange. Denmo is a founding artistic director of Mugwumpin, a resident artist of Golden Thread, serves on the board of directors at Marin Theatre Company and is a founding member of the steering committee for MENATMA (Middle East North Africa Theater Makers Alliance). She lives in San Francisco and Brooklyn.  

Undiscovered Works 2021

Past Shows


Did you miss a show you wanted to see?

Become a Subscriber for $45 and get access to On Demand recordings of all past UDW shows, the Pre-Show Questions and Answers with the Playwright and Dramaturg, and tickets to the world premiere of Jeffrey Lo’s Zac and Siah, or Jesus in a Body Bag!

The Children’s Farm

By Sean Dunnington

Friday | March 5, 2021

Directed by Karina Fox | Dramaturged by Linda Maria Girón

After a traumatic incident, Sam is sent to live with her cousins Joey and Lauren and their therapy sock puppets. While there, Sam wraps herself in a fantastical world of wonder called “The Funny Farm” where she finally begins to accept her queer identity. Traversing a decade of role-playing and therapy, these cousins find themselves caught in the blurred space between reality and fantasy and when buried seeds burst to the surface, it’s socks off for all. This drama traverses forced family, roots, and finding freedom on the farm.


Sean Dunnington

Sean Dunnington


Sean (he/him/his) from Hawaiʻi Island, recently received his experimental B.A. in Applied Playwriting from the University of Redlands’ Johnston Center for Integrative Studies. The stuff he loves most to write about is queer belonging. Recent workshop presentations include: The Children’s Farm (Dramatists Guild Footlights), Flat Fish (LabTheatre), Zap (Lounge Theatre), Bonkers for Bonkers (NYC LGBT Center), and The Undocumented, or a Far Too Brief History of Ravensbrück (Manhattan Repertory Theatre). Sean served as a Literary Intern at the Vineyard Theatre and just completed a Literary Apprenticeship at the Magic Theatre for their 2019-2020 season, where he assistant-directed Lloyd Suh’s The Chinese Lady, produced a workshops, of Joshua Harmon’s Prayer for the French Republic, and wrote and workshopped his own play, The Children’s Farm. Sean works as a Teaching Artist in San Francisco and Hawaiʻi, having taught playwriting at Prince Dance Institute, musical theatre at the Young Performers Theatre, literacy and theatre at Tenderloin Elementary School, and playwriting and acting the Kahilu Theatre Performing Arts Workshop, where he now serves as the Program Director. Currently, Sean is in the midst of a playwriting fellowship with the State of Hawaiʻi, where he’s workshopping his new play, Hawaiian Shake, which will be presented in early March. He is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild.

Karina Fox

Karina Fox


Karina (sher/her/hers) is a Bay Area-based director and is currently the NNPN Producer in Residence and General Management Associate at Magic Theatre.  She recently co-produced Magic Theatre’s Virgin Play Festival and You Had Me at Hello at FaultLine Theatre. Her recent directing credits include Visible From Four States for Magic Theatre’s premiere Tenderloin production, Yellow Wallpaper at Cutting Ball (Variety Pack), and Henry IV for A.C.T.’s  M.F.A’s Skyfest. Her recent assistant directing credits include Toni Stone, Top Girls, Rhinoceros, The Wolves, and Sweat at A.C.T. and The Gangster of Love and The Eva Trilogy at Magic Theatre. Karina graduated from Muhlenberg College with degrees in Directing and Business.

Linda Maria Girón

Linda Maria Girón


Linda (they/them/elle) is a queer, guate-americane performer, visual artist, playwright and dramaturg with a deep love for experimental work and new play development. linda’s work and collaborations include Memoria del Silencio en el País de la Eterna PrimaveraWHITE IRISDecolonize Your Sex Life! (with May Liang, Leigh Rondon-Davis & Natalia Duong), Port Stories (with Idiot String) and 3GT Investigates: Birth Rights (with Jennifer Roberts & Nia Fairweather). These works have been presented at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, Pianofight’s ShortLived VI, Cutting Ball Theater’s Variety Pack, the historic Port Costa School House and the 3Girls Theater New Works Festival. linda is currently under commision with Crowded Fire’s R&D Lab and the PlayGround SF 20/21 writer’s company.  www.lindamgiron.com

Sharon Shao

Sharon (she/her) is a Bay Area native actor, teaching artist, and musician. She holds a double B.A. in Theatre Arts and Psychology from UC Santa Cruz. Her favorite local credits include Good Person of Szechwan (CalShakes), Hamlet (Ubuntu Theater Project), Iron Shoes (Shotgun Players), and UTOPIA (CuttingBall Theater), her first virtual theater premiere during Covid-19. Aside from acting, Sharon is passionate about her SoulTalk Collective, an interdisciplinary troupe that gathers artists to meet and inspire personal and collective transformation. She also creates original work with The Forum in Oakland, devising, performing, and directing work that integrates theater and journalism. sharonshao.biz

Mākena Miller

Mākena Miller (She/Her) or “Mak” grew up in Honolulu, Hawai’i and misses diving into the ocean everyday.  She graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in 2014. Mākena is a mover and has trained with the American Ballet Theatre, Ballet Hawaii, and the San Francisco Ballet School. Mākena trained at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, performed weekly with her musical improv team CharlieClub Monika, and Bronson as well as sketch comedy. She has co-hosted shows at The Slipper Room, The Pit, Legion Bar, and Broadway Comedy Club. Makena is also a video editor and loves to create music video musical parodies. Mak is currently a third year MFA student at American Conservatory Theater and graduates this May!

May Ramos

May Ramos (they/them) is an Ilokano artist, educator, and activist based in Berkeley. They have worked with Shotgun Players, Killing My Lobster, Z Space, Cutting Ball, and other theatres around the Bay Area. They have also worked with San Francisco Strips and hope to continue burlesque/stripping after the pandemic. Favorite shows include Arcadia (Shotgun Players), Queering My Lobster (Killing my Lobster), and In The Heights (Saint Mary’s College). Currently May teaches preschool and continues to experiment with all kinds of art-making!

Andrew LeBuhn

Andrew LeBuhn (He/Him) was part of the Contemporary Theatre Ensemble program at Tamalpias High School . Highlights at CTE include Edward Ferrars in Sense and Sensibility and Sebastian in Twelfth Night. Andrew has attended educational programs at CalArts, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, A.C.T and Bay Area Theatresports. Andrew is a current student at the College of Marin where he recently was seen as Khlestakov in The Government Inspector and David Copperfield/ Traddles in David Copperfield. He is currently studying theater at Carnegie Mellon University. 

Liana Irvine

Liana Irvine (she/her) is playful, nurturing, and relentlessly optimistic in bringing underrepresented narratives to underserved audiences. She loves creation and language, focusing her energies as a dramaturg, literary manager, and producer for new work. Her most-recent work includes dramaturging the radio play, Pandemic, by Katie Lu. This week, she’s happy to enliven the Children’s Farm‘s environment with such a great company. 

The Re-education of fernando morales

By Justin p. Lopez

Friday | april 2, 2021

Directed by Richard A. Mosqueda | Dramaturged by Marisa Ramos

When young Fernando Morales is sent away by his family to a place that can “fix him” of being gay, he becomes split between the past, present, and future. Surrounded by flashes of electricity, love, and Mozart’s Requiem, he searches through time for some way to save himself. Will he succeed, or is the requiem for him?

Please read our Content Advisory for this show. This play deals with conversation therapy, elctro-shock therapy, abuse, conversations about trauma and suicide.

Justin P. Lopez

Justin P. Lopez


 Justin is an actor, singer, writer, and boba-milk-tea enthusiast, who loves to find true connection and humanity in each script and song. As a performer, he has acted extensively in multiple regions, including the world-premieres of Unbreakable by Andrew Lippa, and Kiss My Aztec! by John Leguizamo and Tony Taccone (as a lead understudy). He was also part of a workshop with Neil Pepe at The Atlantic Theater and has performed several concerts as a soloist with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.
As a writer, Justin is a proud member of The Playground Experiment. During the pandemic, he has also taken writing courses with Will Dunne at Chicago Dramatists and Winter Miller at Primary Stages ESPA. His goal is to continue to tell stories from his unique perspective, stemming from his unique family background, his personal traumas, and his eclectic education. Find out what else Justin is up to at www.justinplopez.com

Richard A Mosqueda

Richard A Mosqueda


Richard A Mosqueda (He/She/They) is a queer, Mexican-American director and producer based in San Francisco. They recently directed the World Premiere of C. Julian Jiménez’s Alligator Mouth, Tadpole Ass for Theatre Rhinoceros. He has worked with such companies as Portland Center Stage, New Conservatory Theatre Center, Halcyon Theatre, Shotgun Players,  and Marin Theatre Company. Richard was the recipient of an SDC Foundation Observership for the World Premiere of Soft Power, A Play with a Musical at Center Theatre Group, directed by Tony Award Nominee Leigh Silverman. Richard was also selected as a member for the SDC Foundation 2017-2018 Observership Class. They are a founder and Lead Producer for Epic Party Theatre. SDC Associate. BFA: The Theatre School at DePaul University. richardamosqueda.com

Marisa G. Ramos

Marisa G. Ramos

Dramaturg/ Visual Designer

Marisa (she/her/hers) is a director, producer, and filmmaker. She is currently the Development and Media Director at The Forum Collective where she aided in producing “ether”, a web series that follows POC as they navigate a changed world during the pandemic. Marisa directed a staged reading of La Paloma as part of the Bay Area Women’s Theatre Festival. She also assistant directed in FaultLine Theatre’s production of Where the Boys Are. Marisa’s video production company, LFK Media, has recently worked with Oakland Art Murmur to showcase Oakland artists. She is also currently the Audience Engagement Director at Mexican American Conservatory Theatre.


Jesus Pedroza-Moreno

Jesus (he/him) is a graduate from the University of California Santa Cruz with degrees in Theatre Arts and Psychology. Recent credits include touring around Santa Cruz County as Romeo in Shakespeare-to-go’s Romeo and Juliet, Footnote in Noah Haidle’s Smokefall, and Dougie in Rajiv Joseph’s Gruesome Playground Injuries.

Eric Esquivel-Gutierrez

Eric (he/him) is a Central Valley bred Bay Area reborn Actor and Teaching Artist. Since moving to the Bay Area in 2012, Eric has worked primarily with Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre performing in and facilitating theatrical experiences to catalyze health information supporting self-esteem and well-being. Before the world hit the pause button last year Eric was in “The Afterlife” with SF Youth Theatre. He is grateful to Custom Made Theatre for the opportunity to get back into community theatre and bring this important story to audiences addressing the dynamic nature of trauma and resilience.

Karen Offereins

Karen Offereins (she/her) was last seen in CMTC’s How to Transcend a Happy Marriage, having previously performed there in The Pain and the Itch and M. Butterfly. She was also seen in Elevada at Shotgun Players, having previously performed there in The Mousetrap, Top Girls, and Our Town. Past credits include Two Mile Hollow (Ferocious Lotus), Phèdre (Cutting Ball Theater), The Potrero Nuevo Project (PlayGround), The Rules (SF Playhouse), and Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Big Funk, and No Exit (AtmosTheatre). She’s also performed with Word for Word, Playwrights Foundation, SF Theater Pub, and Theatreworks.

Uma Channer

Uma (they/them and ze/hir) is a student, actor, and stage manager from Berkeley, California currently studying education at Mills College. Ze is honored to be a part of telling this moving story, and is so excited to be working with the folks at Custom Made for the first time! In the past ze has worked with the Oakland Theater Project, Berkeley Rep’s school of theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, and Pomegranate Arts. In college ze played #13 in The Wolves, and acted in several new works, while also producing and stage managing shows including No Exit and Dance Nation.

Tony Ortega

Tony is thrilled to join this cast! Tony has had the privilege of bringing new works to life including The Rella Lossy award-winning play Ghosts of Bogota by Diana Burbano at Alter Theatre, Garry Soto’s The Afterlife at San Francisco Youth Theatre, and is currently working with Playground SF’s Innovator Incubator program. He has had the honor of being a cast member of Theatre Bay Area Award nominated plays Take me Out (Dragon Productions) and La Posarela (SFBATCO). He is a proud member of The Latinx Mafia and Lisa Keating’s “The Tribe.”

Nathan Marken

Nathan Marken (he/him) is a singer, actor, and producer based in San Francisco. Nathan is currently a company member of drag a cappella troupe The Kinsey Sicks and appears on their latest album, “Quarantunes” (2020) and tours nationally with them. Regionally, he has performed the notable role of Eddie in the immersive experience The Speakeasy and the title role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Devil Boys from Beyond and Xanadu at the New Conservatory Theatre Center, and Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera on Tap:SF. Nathan holds a Masters of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Don Wood

Don Wood : A Bay Area actor for 37 years. Two recent shows are Utopia with Cutting Ball Theatre Co. and The Human Ounce with Central Works. Don is a company member of Shotgun Players.

Tim Bermudez Sanders

Tim (he/they) is a recent graduate from Emerson College’s Musical Theatre program and is now pursuing a career in directing and playwrighting. He is deeply invested in creating a new American theatre that openly challenges white supremacy culture. Directing work includes full-length productions of “The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee” and “Little Women”, as well as a number of concerts and revues. He is also the author of an award-winning thesis entitled “Latine Racial Protest in the American Musical Theatre” which explores the ways Latine artists are advocating for equity and change in the theatre industry.

Abigail Rosen

Abigail Rosen (she/her/hers) is a director, producer, and musician from Washington, DC. She recently graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and is currently the Artistic Direction Apprentice at Magic Theatre. She would like to thank her dogs for giving her the strength to continue each and every day. 

Tiny Fires

By Aimee Suzara

Friday | May 7, 2021

Directed by Nikki Meñez | Dramaturged by Caro Asercion

Sugarpie and Trixie live as scavengers at the edge of a landfill in the Philippines called Paradise Mountain. After losing their families in a major landslide, the young women have learned to survive on their own, until a young Filipino-American arrives and makes Sugarpie question whether there is more to life than just surviving. This play explores the nature of resilience and adventure, and asks, “what could justify keeping secrets from those you love?”

Aimee Suzara

Aimee Suzara


Aimee Suzara is a Filipino-American poet, playwright, and performer whose mission is to create poetic and theatrical work about race, gender, and the body to provoke dialogue and social change. Her first full-length book, SOUVENIR, was released in February 2014 (WordTech Editions) and was a Willa Award Finalist in 2015. Her plays A HISTORY OF THE BODY and TINY FIRES were selected as Finalists for the Bay Area Playwright’s Festival. A HISTORY OF THE BODY was also commissioned by the East Bay Community Foundation and supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.  She has collaborated with Amara Tabor Smith and Deep Waters Dance Theater for the food-justice themed dance theater piece, Our Daily Bread. Her poems appear in numerous journals and anthologies such as Kartika Review, 580 Split, Lantern Review and Walang Hiya: Literature Taking Risks Toward Liberatory Practice, Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets and Emcees and Poets (Lit Noire Press) and her chapbooks, the space between and Finding the Bones (Finishing Line Press). She’s been featured as a spoken word artist nationally, including at Stanford, Mt. Holyoke College, Portland State University, University of Miami and UC Santa Cruz.  Suzara received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Mills College.  An advocate for the intersection of arts and literacy, she teaches at San Francisco State University and other universities and colleges and leads workshops in poetry and performance for youth and adults. www.aimeesuzara.net

Nikki Meñez

Nikki Meñez


Nikki Meñez (they/she) is a director, movement artist, and arts administrator based in the San Francisco Bay Area who is moved to challenge what theatre looks like and how stories are told. Nikki is on staff at New Conservatory Theatre Center as Program Director for YouthAware Educational Theatre & Casting Associate as well as Casting & Outreach Director at Awesome Theatre. Creative affiliations include Queer Cat Productions, Custom Made Theater Company, Faultline Theatre, Epic Party Theater, & PianoFight. Select directing credits include “The Law of Attraction” by Patricia Milton (NCTC), “Let’s Kill Jessica” by Claire Rice (Awesome Theatre), & “The Gay Divorce Play” by Carson Becker & Nicole Jost (Queer Cat Productions).

Caro Asercion

Caro Asercion


Caro Asercion (they/them/theirs) is a dramaturg, literary manager, producer, and multidisciplinary artist based in the San Francisco Bay Area on unceded Chochenyo Ohlone land. A passionate advocate for emerging artists, they have been involved in A.C.T.’s New Strands, Magic Theatre’s Virgin Play Festival, Crowded Fire’s Matchbox Reading Series, and countless other new plays around the Bay Area and beyond. Caro is the Producing Artistic Associate at Crowded Fire Theater. They’re thrilled to make their Custom Made debut in such fine company!

Eliza Christine

Eliza (she/her) was born in Pangasinan, Philippines and grew up in the Bay Area where she works as an actor, model and singer. She began performing at the age of ten as a violinist. After college, she realized her passion for storytelling and embraced the challenges/responsibilities as a Filipina artist of color to tell stories that impact social change as well as cultivate space and cultural awareness of obscured groups and people. Work with Bay Area companies include: CuttingBall Theater, TheaterFIRST, Marin Shakespeare Company, SF Shakes, Shotgun Players, Faultline Theater, Cal Shakes and Playwrights Foundation, among others. Eliza is represented by NYLO Agency.

Kayla May Paz Suarez

Kayla May Paz Suarez (K/she/Siya/they) is a Pilipina American multidisciplinary artist. They were born and raised in San Lorenzo, Ca and now reside in Spanish Harlem, New York. Kayla May is also the Director of Education/Communications (Epiphany Dance Theater – SF based non profit) and Art Facilitator/Collaborator of Vaudevillian Ensemble (NYC). Kayla May debuted their 1 person show as Awesome Theater’s first Artist In Residence in 2019 with “The Kaylamay Project: Laughing Through My Trauma” it will have another virtual premiere Spring 2021. She is an alumna of the Pacific Conservatory Theater acting program (c.o 2015)

Mikee Loria

Michael “Mikee” Loria has been involved with various performance projects on and off the UC Berkeley campus. He is one of the co-founding members of ARC Rep Theatre, and serves as the acting liaison for DKA. Mikee also volunteers with Kollaboration SF on the Media Team. He is thankful for the support and guidance of his family, friends, and mentors. Mikee will continue to hone his craft to help tell stories that not only entertain, but also challenge the way we perceive the world.

Liana Irvine

Liana Irvine (she/her) is playful, nurturing, and relentlessly optimistic in bringing underrepresented narratives to underserved audiences. She loves creation and language, focusing her energies as a dramaturg, literary manager, and producer for new work. Her most-recent work includes dramaturging the radio play, Pandemic, by Katie Lu. 

Support Artists Today

Every donation goes directly to the paying the playwrights, actors, directors, dramaturgs, readers, and creative team of Undiscovered Works. We believe artists should be paid for their creative genius and supported in this community. Artists are the backbone of society, their work is incredibly important not only to the Bay Area, but the theatrical canon as a whole.

Help us uplift and amplify these voices! 

UDW Reading Committee

The Reading Committee was made up of a group of Bay Area professionals who read all submitted scripts and aided in chopsing works well suited for the festival based on the guidelines below.  This was a method put together in order to prevent bias.

Kieran Beccia, Brady Brophy-Hilton, Lucianne Colón, Gianna DiGregorio-Rivera, Vanessa Flores, Max Forman-Mullins, Karina Fox, Nailah Harper-Malveaux, Kate Leary, Gabriel Montoya, Kunal Pasad, Brennan Pickman-Thoon, Marisa Ramos, Leigh Rondon-Davis, Kenny Scott, Phil Wong

For playwrights

We are currently looking to collaborate with Bay Area* writers who have an unproduced script they are looking to develop. Each selected writer will be paired with a director and dramaturg (recommendations from playwright accepted) who will help to shape the writer’s piece over the course of a month. 

The process will consist of early developmental sessions with the director and dramaturg, an in-house reading, 3 developmental-style rehearsals with actors, and culminate in a final staged reading and talkback. We are dedicated to the continued success of the plays we pick, even after this series ends. This could mean the possibility of further development over the course of the next year; including additional workshops, staged readings, and a full production with Custom Made. If the play is not a fit for future development at Custom Made, we will make it our mission to matchmake the playwright’s work with another local company.

playwright Submission guidelines

Submissions not open until Fall 2021

The submitted play CANNOT have had its world premiere prior to being in the festival. The play should require no more than 6 actors. The play must be a full draft: scenes can be added/edited as development proceeds, but we are not seeking partial scripts. The work does not need to be “done” by any means, but there is value in having a draft fully thought out, so that the playwright can give their mind the creative space to focus on developing and shaping in the limited time available. 

We are relaunching and reshaping this program, which includes a change in leadership, funding, and resources. We are dedicated to paying all artists associated with the project. We currently  provide a $100 stipend, and are working incredibly hard to secure more funding to increase this stipend upon success. We want to be completely transparent with you. This program is for YOU as artists and your development, and we want to compensate you for your time, energy, and talent. 

*Bay Area playwrights are those writers who reside in any of the nine Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma.


Due to COVID-19, all rehearsals and public presentations have a possibility of being in a digital format, although our hope is to host rehearsals in person by Fall.  

Rehearsals for all plays will begin in Fall. Staged Reading will happen in late Fall/early Winter. 

Applicants for the New Works Program at Custom Made should submit:

As One Document

1) Your script (in PDF form)

-Please omit your name from every page, except for the title page

As a Separate Document

2) A one to two page cheat sheet of your work: (nothing fancy)

-A Character Breakdown

-A Synopsis 

-If developed elsewhere, please list where.

-An explanation of what you wanted to work on/expand in this development process. 

3) A theatrical resume and bio if you have one.


When submitting please put “PLAYWRIGHT’S FIRST NAME_LAST NAME, UDW Submission” (ex: CIERA_EIS, UDW Submission) in the subject line. The window for submissions is open from June 30th-August 30th, and you will be informed if picked for the series by September 6th. Please send all submissions to Ciera Eis at [email protected].

Playwrights of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, genders, and disabilities are encouraged to submit.  



Can I submit multiple scripts to the program?

We will not be taking more than one script from each individual submission.

How long will it take to hear back from Custom Made?

You will receive a confirmation of receipt email within the first three days of submitting your play. You will hear back from us by early September if your play was chosen for the development process.

Is there a limit on script length?

Please do not submit a script that is over 175 pages.

Is there something in particular the festival is NOT looking for?

At this time, we are less interested in plays that hew too closely to existing playwrights and traditional styles of theater.

Will you take my script if it has had a reading elsewhere?

Yes! We are here to support the next steps of the development of this piece. We will not, however, take pieces that have already been fully produced, had their world premiere, prior to this incubator series.


History of Undiscovered works

History of the UDW Series


CALAMUS by Patric Verrone, directed by Alejandro Torres
PREAPOCALYPTICA by Erin Marie Panttaja, directed by Rem Myers
VOZARA by Naseem Badie, directed by Mostafa Elmorssy
INTIMATES by Nicole Jost, directed by Deborah Murphy
CALAMUS by Patric Verrone, directed by Alejandro Torres
VOZARA by Naseem Badie, directed by Mostafa Elmorssy
PREAPOCALYPTICA by Erin Marie Panttaja, directed by Rem Myers
INTIMATES, by Nicole Jost, directed by Deborah Murphy

Workshop: THE MOURNER by Bridgette Dutta Portman, directed by Paul Stout. A co-production with the EXIT Theatre.


Development Program:
The Mourner by Bridgette Dutta Portman, directed by Paul Stout
The Sorrows by Carson Beker, directed by Juliana Lustenader
Erinyes/Eumenides by Rebecca Longworth, directed by Allie Moss

You’ll Not Feel The Drowning by Marissa Skudlarek, directed by Gabriel A. Ross


Development Program:
An Ear For Voices by Alina Trowbridge, directed by Nikki Meñez
The Princess and the Porn Star by Kirk Shimano, directed by Dave Sikula
Oceanus by Daniel Hirsch and Siyu Song, directed by Rebecca Longworth
You’ll Not Feel The Drowning by Marissa Skudlarek, directed by Gabriel A. Ross

Punk As Fuck by Barbara Jwanouskos, directed by Logan Ellis
Truest by Megan Cohen, directed by Ellery Schaar

Las Pajaritas by Jordan Ramirez Puckett, directed by Ted Zoldan
The Whitelisted by Jason Mendez, directed by Ted Zoldan
Siesta Key by Jonathan Spector, directed by Brian Katz

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