Alley Stage Reading Series

Call for Submissions & Guidelines

You have a play. We have a stage.

Driftless Area playwrights are invited to share their works-in-progress for a staged reading and talkback at our intimate outdoor amphitheater Alley Stage. We’re looking forward to the third year of this series that provides playwrights and their works in development an opportunity to be performed with a cast, for an audience. For the performance, Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts provides a venue (with rain space) and post-performance reception.

Readings will take place June 24, July 29, and September 16.

Instructions to submit:
Playwrights who are current residents of the Driftless Area of Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota are invited to submit an original full-length play (60-page minimum, no musicals) that has not been produced. Scripts considered will be limited to four actors (playing as many characters as you wish!). If selected, playwrights will receive a stipend and a free one-night stay in our charming accommodations.

For priority consideration, submissions are due January 30, 2023. As one of the performance dates coincides with the celebration of Pride, we are interested in reading plays that celebrate LGBTQIA+ stories and voices for the June performance date, although that is not a requirement.

  • Complete the online application here telling us about yourself, your play, and your preferred reading date(s).
  • Email a PDF of the script in standard stage play format to
    • In the subject line, please note: 2023 Alley Stage Readings Submission. Hard copies of scripts will not be accepted.
    • Please label the PDF using your first and last name as well as the title, e.g., marysmithplaytitle.pdf

What to expect if your play is accepted:

  • Plays will be selected and playwrights notified in March.
  • One month before the reading date, playwrights will submit the working script.
  • Within two weeks of the reading, a rehearsal will occur via Zoom or in person at a location in agreement with the author and cast.
  • Readings will start at 4 pm with talkbacks following the readings; the afternoon will conclude with a public reception on the patio outside Shake Rag Alley’s Art Cafe.

For more information please contact Director of Education Christina Kubasta at or (608) 987-3292.

2023 Alley Stage Reading Series: Save the Date to Join Us!

Enjoy select Saturday afternoons at Shake Rag Alley for our third staged-reading series featuring original plays in progress on our intimate outdoor theater, Alley Stage. Besides being fun to watch, a staged reading is an important way a playwright can get important feedback from an audience (you!) and determine what their next steps are with the script.

What to expect:

  • 4 pm: The actors and moderator will take the stage with their scripts.
  • Talkback: Stay after the play and share your feedback with the playwright.
  • Reception: Mix and mingle with the playwright and cast at a post-reading cocktail reception on the Art Cafe patio.
  • Rain or Shine: In the event of inclement weather, we will move to the Lind Pavilion or Sardeson Studio.

2022 Season Performances

Our second season of staged readings was made possible in part by a grant from the Mineral Point Community Foundation and featured Afternoon Tea with homemade Cornish tea biscuits made by Dodge Baker of Mineral Point. Many thanks to the playwrights, cast members, musicians, and volunteers who participated in 2022!

Greg Minster

Charlie, Chastening Darwin

Marnie Bullock Dresser

Western Swing

with Afternoon Tea music by

Nath Dresser

Deb Meyer

The Whole Shebang

with Afternoon Tea music by

Shekinah King

Deanna Strasse

Write You Down

with Afternoon Tea music by

Amanda Zasada

2021 Season Performances

Our inaugural season of staged readings, A Picnic & A Play, was made possible in part by a grant from the Mineral Point Community Foundation. Many thanks to the playwrights, cast members, musicians, volunteers, and Mineral Point restaurants who participated in 2021!

Marcia Jablonski

Occam’s Razor

with picnic music by

Driftless Standard Time

Brendon Smith

Step Two

with picnic music by

Kurt Kieffer

Jan Levine Thal

Cassandra’s Gift

with picnic music by

The Firesides

Kurt McGinnis Brown

Love or Forever?

with picnic music by

Libby Dunn

Bob Curry


with picnic music by

Don Greenwood

Jeff Pfeiffer

Magnolia Star

with picnic music by

Backyard Yukes