St. Louis Actors’ Studio (STLAS) is pleased to present its ninth annual LaBute New Theater Festival celebrating new works by emerging professional and high school playwrights July 7-23 at The Gaslight Theater. STLAS received hundreds of submissions worldwide and selected four to be produced on the stage at The Gaslight Theater, along with a brand new piece by esteemed film director, screenwriter and playwright Neil LaBute, for whom the festival and is named and who serves on its creative team. This year’s productions include the following works/playwrights:

§  The Mockingbird’s Nest by Craig Bailey of Vermont

§  One Night in the Many Deaths of Sonny Liston by JB Heaps of New York

§  Da Vinci’s Cockroach by Amy Tofte of California

§  The Blind Hem by Bryn McLaughlin of Oregon

§  Safe Space by Neil LaBute

“We are pleased to once again share the works of some of the country’s best emerging playwrights, as well as Neil LaBute,“ said William Roth, founder and artistic director of St. Louis Actors Studio. 

Shows will be performed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. and on Sundays at 3 p.m. General admission tickets are $30 each plus fees, $25 each plus fees for students with valid ID and seniors 65+, available via Ticketmaster or at the theater box office one hour before show time. For more information, visit or email

John Pierson, Neil LaBute, William Roth. Photo by Russ Rowland.

About St. Louis Actors’ Studio

St. Louis Actors’ Studio was founded to bring a fresh vision to theatre in St. Louis. Housed in The Gaslight Theater in historic Gaslight Square, STLAS is committed to bringing engaging theatrical experiences to our community of actors, writers, producers, filmmakers and all patrons of the arts; and to provide a strong ensemble environment to foster learning and artistic expression.

St. Louis Actors’ Studio, through the use of ensemble work, will explore the endless facets and various themes of the human condition by producing existing and original collaborative theatre. For more information, visit

Nancy Bell and Chauncy Thomas in Carter Lewis’ “Percentage America,” which won Best New Play from the St Louis Theater Circle in 2018. Photo by Patrick Huber.

COVER PHOTO of Jane Paradise and Reginald Pierre in Neil LaBute’s “Safe Space” by Patrick Huber

The Gaslight Theater is still closed due to the pandemic, but St. Louis Actors’ Studio will be presenting a free Zoom play by Hanna Kime, She is a John Burroughs graduate and currently resides in Chicago as a playwright. The play is called “Now More Than Ever” and will be screened for three nights only March 18-20 at 8 pm.

It is free to watch the live stream event, but you must register here: What’s On Stage | St. Louis Actors Studio ( Donations are encouraged.

It is roughly a 45-60 minute one act directed by Annamaria Pileggi and starring: Colleen Backer, Jens Tulio, William Humphrey, Phil Leveling and Ebby Offord. Stage manager is Amy Paige.

Premise of the play: After the coronavirus crisis forces a major regional theatre to go remote and lay off half their staff, their remaining box office associates must attend an emergency Zoom training session from marketing on how to cold call patrons to solicit donations while promoting the theatre’s thrilling new slate of online content.

Her recent works include THE TARGETED (2020 O’Neill Finalist, 2021 BAPF Semifinalist, Selected for Broken Nose’s “Off/Nights” Development Series), THE BEST DAMN THING (2021 O’Neill Semifinalist, Selected for the Up: Renewal Reading Series), and DROP (Produced through Side Street Studio Art’s Going Dutch Festival).

She has been fortunate enough to develop her full-length works with Jackalope Theatre Company, Sideshow Theatre Company, The New Colony, Broken Nose Theatre, and First Floor Theater, where she currently serves as Literary Manager. She is a member of the Wampus Cat Collective. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 2018 with degrees in English and Gender and Sexuality Studies.