Meet The 2022 Playwrights

Introducing the Playwrights and their plays for the 2022 Newmarket International Festival of One Act Plays! 


Val Stulman

The Booth  – Playbill Date: Thurs Sept 8 –  Written By Val Stulman  – A Television sound mixer for a Hollywood sitcom and his female assistant work together inside a claustrophobic sound booth, day in, day out, week in, week out – tolerating, dealing, coping. They grow to despise each other and want to kill each other until….the two now single co-workers realize they’ve found each other! The Trailer.

About the Playwright…After performing in L.A. Theatre, commercials and print ads, most notably as one of the beleaguered wives in a series of Virginia Slims print ads, Val ( she/her) realized she had not come a long way, baby so went to work in TV Production. She worked as an audio girl long before the time of “me too”, and would often write in the booth during long production days. As an actor, she trained with Austin Pendleton at HB in New York, RADA in London, in L.A. with Roy London and Ivana Chubbuck. She studied writing at the Beverly Hills Playhouse Writers Workshop and eventually earned an MFA in Playwriting and Screenwriting from University of California, Riverside. Her play, Mercy Mission was a 2017 Humanitas New Voices Finalist, while Triggers won 3rd place in the Los Angeles Ebell Playwright’s Competition. She started The Booth as a grad student. It won Best of the Fest at local regionals for KC/ACTF in 2006. She rewrote it during the pandemic, turning it into the period piece it is today.


Dana Hall

David Lipschutz

AHAVAH – by Dana Hall and David Lipschutz – Playbill Date: Fri Sept 9 –  After his Bubbie’s death, Saul returns home from a prolonged absence to visit Shiva. Alice, Saul’s girlfriend, joins him. He is Jewish, she is not. Saul tries to portray the perfect version of what he thinks his family wants. However, a message from the beyond leads both Saul and Alice to some meaningful realizations!

About the Playwrights – Dana Hall (she/her) is a playwright, actor, and mental health therapist. Dana has had dozens of plays produced across the US and internationally. She took home a Best of Fringe award at the Women’s Theatre Festival (NC) for her examination of social disparities with the play, No Justice. She is the 2022 Femuscript (FL) Monologue Winner performing her original piece Snowglobe. New York Journal recognized her on their 50 under 50 most influential creators during the pandemic list 2022.  Instagram: @DanaHallCreates

David Lipschutz (he/him) is a Chicago-based artist and company member of Hell in Handbag, where he co-wrote The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, Vol. 3. He has written works performed across the United States and UK, and his play, hYdration, has been selected for publication in “The Best-Ten Minute Plays 2022” (Smith & Kraus, publisher).

Paul Pasulka

The Sun the Moon and Selena – Playbill Date: Thurs Sept 8 – The story of the love of the Sun, the Moon, and their daughter, Salena: the treacherous, predatory Ocean; and the budding love of two drama students Jennifer and John as they create Salena’s story. (Note: The story of Salena is original). The Trailer

About the Author...Paul Pasulka is a playwright (, amateur photographer, and psychologist on faculty at Northwestern University. His plays have been produced throughout the United States. He is excited to have his first Canadian production with The Very Useful Theatre Company / Newmarket International Festival. He has told autobiographical stories at the Goodman Theatre Chicago, the American Writers Museum, and the International Storytelling Festival in San Miguel Allende, Mexico.

Cary Pepper,

Death Does Larry – Playbill Date: Sat Sept 10 Larry is sitting on a park bench wondering if he wants to live or die, when DEATH sits down next to him and informs Larry that he was supposed to kill him yesterday but forgot. “Sorry. My bad day”. However Death has a way to make it up to Larry: It’ll be quick, painless, and before he goes, Larry can pick another person to die. The Trailer

Playwright Cary Pepper  ( he/his) has had work presented throughout the United States and internationally. Among his full-length plays, How It Works, won the 2012 Ashland New Plays Festival and Cufflinked was a semifinalist for the 2014 festival. Among his one-act plays, The Walrus Said won the Religious Arts Guild Playwriting Competition; Small Things won the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival 2006 One Act Play Contest; Party Favors won the 2016 Goshen Peace Play Contest. Most recently, Death Does Larry became his second production by Drip Action Theatre Trail in their Arundel Festival (UK) presentation, Crossed was named a winner in Drury University’s 2019 One-Act Play Competition, and What Do They Want? made Cary the first (and to date only) playwright to be included in The St. Louis Actors’ Studio’s LaBute New Theater Festival three times. Cary is a member of the Dramatists Guild, and  a four-time contributor to Applause Books’Best American Short Plays series (Small Things; House of the Holy Moment; Come Again, Another Day; Irish Stew).

Peter A Balaskas

From the Membrane of the Nucleus – Playbill Date: Fri Sept 9 – A singer helps a poet regain his faith in his art, resulting in an experience that potentially changes their lives forever. Trailer.  

By Peter A. Balaskas’s (his / he) – Peter’s theater credits include Out of the Mouths of Poets (Lab Theater Project; Nominated: Creative Loafing’s 2019 Best of the Bay in Tampa Bay in the Playwright category), The Boulder of Sisyphus Roles Upon Me Yet Again (TheatreOne/Hickman Theatre, Voted Audience Favorite/Best Play), Confessions at the Ave. P Barbershop (Weathervane Theater), and Call These Delicate Creatures Ours, and Not Their Appetites (Theatre Odyssey). His full-length play, A Masquerade for All, was awarded second place in the Writer’s Digest 90th Annual Writing Competition in the Script category. Peter’s fiction, poetry, essays, and feature articles have been published internationally, including his novels The Grandmaster and The Chameleon’s Addiction. His story collection, In Our House: Tantalizing Tales of Terror, was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. This is Peter’s testimonial video and his website is 

Len Cuthbert

107 – Playbill Date: Sat Sept 10 – A rare find in the woods while hiking creates havoc and tests an ambiguous relationship between two estranged, and not so friendly to each other, teen cousins.

Len Cuthbert’s ( he/him) plays have seen the stages of Canada, US and Europe. His 2019 Fringe show, Reunited Shorts, was published by Dramatic Publishing in 2020. In response and retaliation to COVID, he created Garage Theatre ( and staged and recorded 9 of his short plays in his garage. He received an Ontario Arts Council grant for his present writing project of short historical fiction plays about significant Canadian aviation events

Jim Geoghan

UG and The Boar – Playbill Date: Thurs Sept 8 – When Ug killed the Boar he wrote the story on his wall. But when he got bored of the old ways of telling it, and acted it out instead with his fellow cave-dwellers, it became the first play ever! Trailer

Playwright Jim Geoghan (him/he) wrote Only Kidding, Off-Broadway, Drama Desk nomination for Best Play. Published by Samuel French, bought by Home Box Office. Light Sensitive, Old Globe Theater, San Diego.  Joseph Jefferson Theater Award nomination in Chicago. Published by Samuel French Of Men and Cars, Eugene O’Neill semi-finalist. Opens in Texas in October. Creator and Executive Producer of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody on the Disney Channel and he had Two Emmy nominations. This is the fourth consecutive year the festival has produced a Jim Geoghan one act play

Ben Scranton

The Back Porch Gang – Playbill Date: Sat Sept 10 – By Ben Scranton (him/he) – One summer morning, four residents of the Bluebonnet Village Retirement Community wave at cars for the fun of it. Lifelong friends juggle good natured insults. Verbal barbs fly as the excitement leads to a revealing ‘literary’ conclusion

Ben Scranton is a New England-based playwright and actor.  His plays been performed across the U.S. most recently at the Overtime Theater in San Antonio Texas, and the Equity Library Theater NY Summer Virtual Play Festival.  His plays have appeared in the Stonecoast Review Literary Arts Journal and Fresh Words Literary magazine.  Ben is the recipient of a Dramatic Writing Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.  He is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, and Actors’ Equity Association.

Donna Sorbello

Waiting – Playbill Date: Fri Sept 9 – By Donna Sorbello – An elderly woman caught in the past, an elderly man who offers humor and grace, a son, wanting change. A rural setting peopled with three characters who appear to be at odds over a common enough issue: to sell or not sell the family farm. Through reminiscence, sharing, confession, and connection, we come to realize that what each of these three people is waiting for is not about money or giving up the farm. The Trailer

Donna Sorbello is delighted to have “Waiting” presented in the Newmarket International Festival. A playwright, novelist, and professional actress, her work in theatre has been varied.  Her plays have been produced by Equity Library Theatre Series at Lincoln Center Library, Boston Theatre Marathon, Priscilla Beach Theatre, Studio 620, Women’s International Peace and Justice Festival,  Tampa Bay Festival, Hovey Players, and  Women on Top Festival, among others. Her historical novel for middle schoolers, Daughter of Liberty, focuses on a journey to Boston in the American Revolution. Many of her interviews and theatre or film related articles have appeared in N.E. Film and Actor’s Equity Newsletter. She is a professional actress with over  20 years of experience on stages and in film and television.  For several years she has taught playwriting and acting at BunkerHill Community College. She is a recipient of the Robert Pickering New Play award and has been a past finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Center, New Dramatists, the  Kennedy Center New England College Festival, and the  WCVB Prime-Time Drama Contest.  Her degrees are from Emerson College (Theatre) and Boston University Graduate Degree  (Writing/Playwriting with Derek Walcott and Kate Snodgrass) She is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild, NPX, Actors Equity Assoc., SAG-AFTRA, and MTA.

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