St. Louis Actors’ Studio Releases Book “Unlikely Japan and Other Plays”

 St. Louis Actors’ Studio (STLAS) and esteemed film director, screenwriter and playwright Neil LaBute have published a new book, “Unlikely Japan and Other Plays: Ten One-Acts from Ten Years of the LaBute New Theater Festival.” Since 2014, STLAS has worked with LaBute to produce the annual festival bearing his name celebrating new works by emerging professional and high school playwrights, as well as a new piece penned each year by LaBute himself.

In honor of a decade of this successful collaboration, the book features ten one-act plays by LaBute, created and staged exclusively each summer by STLAS at The Gaslight Theatre in St. Louis. The festival has also had successful runs in New York City at the 59E59 and Davenport Theatres.

“The ten shorts contained in this volume are quite diverse, from comedy to drama, from dialogue to monologue, and all written with a passion for the actors who would go on to breathe life into the many characters on display. It has been a great pleasure for me to work with William Roth and STLAS for ten years on this project and to spend time creating a collection of short plays, a form that is always a challenge but one that I both love and admire,” said Neil LaBute.

In subsequent printings, STLAS hopes to publish many more short plays by a variety of participating authors.

“I so value my 12-year creative relationship with Neil. 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 ongoing event,” says William Roth, Founder and Artistic Director at St. Louis Actors’ Studio.

The book is currently available in electronic form for Kindle on Amazon. The print version will be available beginning on May 24 via Amazon and direct order from St. Louis Actors’ Studio. Email to order direct.

LaBute and Roth will do a reading and book signing event at The Drama Book Shop in New York City on Wednesday, June 12 at 7:30 p.m.

The 10th Annual LaBute New Theater Festival is set to take place July 12-28, 2024 at The Gaslight Theater with featured plays to be announced in the coming weeks. Stay tuned to for updates and ticket information.

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

John Pierson, associate artistic director at STLAS, Neil LaBute and William Roth, artistic director STLAS. Provided photo.
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