Hot House at the Playhouse

a theatrical botanical garden

HOTHOUSE is the signature new play development program at The Pasadena Playhouse. Launched in 2005, the program provides playwrights and audience with a living lab where new scripts are rehearsed, read aloud, revised, rehearsed and read again. Co-creation through our consensus organizing methodology, experimentation with and exploration of text, music and movement, and artistic bravery are embraced and encouraged through our process.

Introducing the HOTHOUSE projects of the 2014-2015 HOTHOUSE Reading Series. Producers interested in reading these scripts may contact Seema Sueko, Associate Artistic Director at  

images/outreach_and_education/hothouse_at_the_playhouse/Webv2_Lydia Stryk, photo by Nancy Barnicle.jpg

An Accident
By Lydia Stryk
Directed by Seema Sueko
Actors: Regan Linton and Greg Watanabe

A woman is run over and critically injured. The driver appears at her bedside. There are encounters in life that take you somewhere you’ve never been and never meant to go.

The Pasadena Playhouse is privileged to workshop this play in response to the lack of roles for actors who are wheelchair users.

Lydia Stryk, photo by Nancy Barnicle.

images/outreach_and_education/hothouse_at_the_playhouse/Webv2_Jacqueline E. Lawton, photo by Jason Hornick.jpg

Noms de Guerre
By Jacqueline E. Lawton
Directed by Diane Rodriguez

Noms de Guerre is a haunting, lyrical and passionate story of friendship, love and politics. Mira is a rising star in the Republican Party, but her campaign against women’s reproductive rights puts her at odds with her best friend, Jude, an award-winning journalist. At home, Mira struggles to run a campaign for Governor and help her war hero husband, Douglas, adjust to civilian life. When Jude discovers that Douglas is linked to a massacre of Afghan civilians, Mira is thrown into a whirlwind of political intrigue and must decide whether to hold on to her career or save her husband.

Jacqueline E. Lawton, photo by Jason Hornick.


The End Times
By Jesse Mu-En Shao
Directed by Nancy Keystone
In partnership with East West Players

Born and raised in the Lord’s Recovery, Tim has always been a devout follower to Witness Lee's ministry. However, after his best friend Evan is cast out of the Church in Pullman for "living in his mind", Tim’s life slowly unravels as he begins to question the foundations of his beliefs.

Jesse Mu-En Shao, photo by Kevin Vasquez.

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From Under the Tree
By David Myers
Directed by Nataki Garrett

A year ago, Cotton divorced his wife and returned home to live with his mother in Shreveport, Louisiana. Now, he’s got a pregnant girlfriend and is looking for a job; for a way up in the world; for a modicum of stability. He wants to be the provider he is expected to be.  As Cotton transitions roles from son to father, he engages his mother in a struggle to control the explosive power, wealth and energy buried – in the form of natural gas – thirteen thousand feet beneath their family home. Set in the contemporary South, the play is a portrait - both political and personal - of the battles we fight when trying to negotiate a growing family with a complicated past.

David Myers, photo by Jordan Matter.

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The American Women
By Velina Hasu Houston
Directed by Seema Sueko

Inspired by The Trojan Women by Euripides, The American Women transposes the Trojan women into black female slaves, the Trojan War into the slavery wars, and Ancient Greece to twenty years before the Emancipation Proclamation in 1840s Tennessee. Hecuba becomes Sunday, a black female slave; her daughter Cassandra becomes Caasi and her daughter-in-law Andromache becomes Annakiya, both “mulattas.” Helen of Troy becomes the quadroon Hadara of Tennessee. Just as the women of Troy’s future was in the hands of Greek men, the future of the slave women is in plantation owners’ hands, a group represented by Bedford Gordon.

Velina Hasu Houston, photo by Ken Matsui.

Greenhouse at the Playhouse


USC School of Dramatic Arts New Works Festival III

As part of the Greenhouse at The Playhouse program, a partnership between The Pasadena Playhouse and the School of Dramatic Arts at University of Southern California, USC will present their New Works Festival III at The Carrie Hamilton Theatre at The Pasadena Playhouse, featuring three new plays written by three graduating students from the MFA in Dramatic Writing program.

Please note, we operate the HOTHOUSE readings on the Equity Staged Reading Code, which requires that the readings are not marketed and are by invitation only. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.


Many plays that started out as HOTHOUSE at The Playhouse readings have since gone on to our Mainstage, as well as other regional theaters, the West End, and Broadway, including SISTER ACT, THE MUSICAL, which was nominated for multiple Tony Awards. Previous HOTHOUSE at The Playhouse artists include writers Suzan-Lori Parks, Alan Menken, Matthew Lombardo, Charles Randolph-Wright and Carol Burnett; actors Beau Bridges, Sharon Lawrence, Robert Forster, Loretta Swit, Scott Lowell, Enrico Colantoni, Danny Pudi, Angela Bassett and Steven Dietz; and directors Art Manke, Sheldon Epps, Oz Scott, Jeremy Cohen, Kappy Kilburn, Alexis Chamow and David Lee.

Full History of HOTHOUSE at The Playhouse Readings


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