Award-winner Lindsay Joelle premiers sci-fi play at Ingram New Works festival

The Messengers Feature Image

Photo by Rachel Overby.

Award-winning playwright Lindsay Joelle, one of four outstanding writers featured in the 2019 Nashville Repertory Theatre’s Ingram New Works Festival, will premiere her new play, The Messengers, in staged readings tonight (May 16) at Nashville Children’s Theatre.

Loosely inspired by the Iliad, The Messengers takes place during a time of intergalactic war, featuring a soldier and a translator in a spaceship hurtling toward an unknown mission and, across the universe, a messenger and a refugee striking a deal on an alien planet. The play is a dark comedy about messages sent through time, space, generations, and genetics.

Audiences at the Ingram New Works Festival will help Joelle discover and determine how her play will evolve. “First drafts are like clay before the kiln,” she says. “First audiences shape new plays into what they will become.”

Earlier this year, Joelle was named part of the Audible’s Emerging Playwrights Fund new play commissions. The $5 million fund, sponsored by Amazon’s digital audio content service Audible, enables the creation of original plays driven by language and voice, keeping with Audible’s core commitment to elevating listening experiences. Joelle’s play The Messengers will be featured on the service.

“Plays developed through the Ingram New Works Project go onto to receive full productions and win awards across the country, but it is rare that we know what the next step of a play will be before the Festival even begins,” says Nate Eppler, Director of the Ingram New Works Project. “We’re thrilled that Amazon’s global audience will get to hear Lindsay’s play on Audible later this year, and we’re delighted Nashville audiences get to see it first.”

Nashville audiences can be the first to see The Messengers at the Ingram New Works Festival tonight. The festival runs through May 18. Tickets, schedules, and more information can be found at

Ingram New WorksAbout the Ingram New Works Project

The Ingram New Works Project is a nationally recognized new play development program designed to empower new voices in the American theatre with transformative support and expand the creative capacity of Nashville by connecting artists and audiences across extraordinary new works. The project was created with the support of co-founder Martha R. Ingram to provide an opportunity for theatre artists to develop new theatre works while in residency at Nashville Rep. Since 2009, the Ingram New Works Project has supported the development of over sixty new plays for the stage that have gone on to development, awards, and production across the United States. The continuing journey of each of those plays and playwrights is made possible through the early support of Nashville audiences and artists and the Ingram New Works Project.

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