DNA 2018

The Playhouse’s acclaimed new play development initiative, the DNA New Work Series, is back for its sixth year, running March 22 -25, 2018.

The DNA New Work Series allows playwrights and directors the opportunity to develop a script by providing rehearsal time, space and resources – all culminating in readings which are open to the public. All projects in the DNA New Work Series take place with little or no scenic, costume or staging elements, and actors may have scripts in hand. It’s a rare chance for theatre-lovers to be a part of a new work in its earliest stages of development.

Tickets for this event have been underwritten through the generosity of our sponsors: Denise and Lon Bevers, Stephanie Bergsma and Dwight Hare, Robin and Larry Rusinko, Margaret and Anthony Acampora, Judy and Bill Garrett, Wendy Pincus and the Walter J. and Betty C. Zable Foundation. If you would like to join with them in supporting New Work at the Playhouse, please consider a tax-deductible donation. Gifts of $150 or more receive benefits. All gifts are appreciated and admired. Thank you!

Support DNA

» Creative Team Bios

All DNA readings take place in the Rao and Padma Makineni Play Development Center. General admission seating. FREE, reservations required.


Lyrics by David Clement
Music by David Clement with Rob Bailey
Book by Kate Moira Ryan and Doug Wright
Directed by Christopher Ashley

Thursday, March 22 at 7:30pm
Rao and Padma Makineni Play Development Center


Diana went to Bryn Mawr and grew up with all the trappings of a privileged life. But in 1968, war is raging and sides must be taken. Seduced by a charismatic revolutionary, Diana gets sucked into the life and ideology of the Weathermen, even as peaceful protests give way to days of rage and violence. Inspired by the true story of the Weather Underground and featuring a dynamic original score, Weatherman examines a moment of radical political extremism that feels unmistakably and urgently of the present.

This DNA Reading is currently full.


3 Farids

By Ramiz Monsef
Directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh

Friday, March 23 at 7:30pm
Rao and Padma Makineni Play Development Center

Three actors — Farid, Fareed and Faread — audition for the role as a Middle Eastern terrorist (named “Farid”) in a schlocky action movie. But when the cameras start rolling, the three Farids find themselves sucked into a surreal nightmare that threatens to subsume their identities entirely. Ramiz Monsef’s new play is a wildly theatrical and savagely satirical comedy about the roles we’re forced to play, and the twisted way we create — and consume — popular culture in America.

This DNA Reading is currently full.


The Luckiest

By Melissa Ross
Directed by Jaime Castañeda

Saturday, March 24 at 7:30pm
Rao and Padma Makineni Play Development Center

Peter is Lissette’s chosen family. Cheryl is Lissette’s mom. They both have very strong and conflicting opinions about how Lissette should get her life together. When an out-of-nowhere shock of tragic news explodes her world into pieces, Lissette is forced to figure out how to listen to both and neither. Tender, moving and keenly-observed, The Luckiest interrogates our need to have ownership over the way we want to live – and die.



La Jolla Playhouse Commission

The Coast Starlight

By Keith Bunin
Directed by Christopher Ashley

Sunday, March 25 at 2:00pm
Rao and Padma Makineni Play Development Center

California is a state of new beginnings. It’s also the place where people running from something finally run out of land. For six strangers aboard The Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Seattle, California is 1,000 miles of train tracks on which they’ll be forced to reckon with the choices they’ve made and try to chart a possible path forward. Keith Bunin’s new commission for La Jolla Playhouse is a smart, comic and compassionate play about our capacity for invention (and re-invention) when life goes off the rails.


Photo credit: The 2016 DNA New Work Series reading of MK-ULTRA; photo by Grace Madamba.

2024 June
2024 July
2024 August
Great deals, exclusive pre-sales and behind-the-scenes fun for you.

Get the latest news about the most exciting new shows in San Diego delivered to your inbox.

When you provide your cell, you will get useful reminders about your upcoming tickets, and very occasional texts about big announcements. Rates may apply.