Z Space presents:

Problematic Play Festival

October 12-14, 2018 at Z Below

Z Space is proud (and a little nervous) to present the inaugural Problematic Play Festival.

The staged reading series will present three ambitious and provocative plays that have been deemed “problematic” by certain theater industry gatekeepers due to content believed to be too offensive or controversial to produce. Each staged reading will include facilitated discussions before, during, and after the reading with the playwrights, actors, and audience. Everyone will also be invited to throw rotten tomatoes against a wall, as they see fit.

The selected plays contain such “problematic” challenges as presenting graphic violence and nudity on stage, telling a story about the gray areas around rape, and confronting transphobia and polyphobia within the queer community.


Friday, October 12 at 8pm: Phosphorescence by Cory Hinkle
Saturday, October 13 at 8pm: Ripped by Rachel Bublitz
Sunday, October 14 at 5pm: Refuge by Rachel Lynett

Free to the public with suggested donation, RSVP's strongly encouraged. Book reservations for the individual plays at the menu to the left.


Kate Cortesi                    One More Less
Josh Drimmer                 Lady in the Cage
Michael Feldman            The Old South
Ted Malawer                   Daddy Issues: a gay romp through history starring Adolf Hitler
Radha Menon                 Learning to Swim
Mike Solomonson          Invasions and Penetrations

Throughout the process, we are asking what it means for work to be deemed “problematic”: Are these scripts “problematic” because they break some kind of universal rule, or have we personally deemed them “problematic” due to our own explicit or implicit biases around certain cultural, social, or political issues? Are there certain lines that playwrights simply cannot cross? Is there some work that simply should not be done?

Through an open submission process that went live in February 2018, Z Space received 175 problematic submissions from playwrights all over the country. A selection committee evaluated the plays and selected three to stage (and 6 other finalists to be recognized).  

The festival is supported by a LMDA Bly Creative Capacity Grant and the Venturous Theater Fund.

If you have questions about the festival, please email Associate Artistic Director Rose Oser at