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"One of those cool newbies on the block, Next Iteration Theater Company, founded a year ago by theater director and visual artist Dianne K. Webb and writer and business consultant Tayyba Maya Kanwal, has taken it upon itself to give a very unusual theatrical gift to the city, an absolutely free, three-day play reading festival."



"With six plays, six theater companies, three nights and one venue, ReadFest will allow audiences to experience intriguing new and new-to-Houston theatrical works while maybe also giving them an introduction to some of the smaller and most innovative theater companies in town."


"ReadFest might also turn out to be the theatrical social event of the fall."



“ReadFest created the first forum ever in Houston where theatre professionals from various underground theatres arranged staged readings - which helped diverse playwrights develop their play.”

- William R Duell, Houston regional rep for the Dramatists Guild

& a board member of Wordsmyth Theater Co. in Houston.


“I never before saw the idea of multiple, smaller theatre groups banding together under one umbrella like that of ReadFest.  It really was inspiring to open up the program and see the names of up-and-coming and established small companies who are already well-respected in the community sharing the same stages under the ReadFest banner.” 

- Seán Patrick Judge, Actor (Houston: Black Lab, Catastrophic, Main Street, Mildred’s Umbrella, Stages Repertory, Texas Repertory), Member of the Actors' Equity Association.


“Supports local artists. Interesting, new work.”


“I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I did. Fantastic!" 


“Entertaining, different, thought provoking.”


“A great idea of getting a group of theaters to participate, would like to see more collaborations like that.”

ReadFest audience members


"I will feel the beautiful energy of this presentation, and be graced by it! I'm so honored that you guys are reading Time is the Mercy of Eternity! How I wish I could be there to listen, to celebrate the concept behind the ReadFest offering, and to thank you for your work in the world! Joy onstage always!"

Deb Margolin, Playwright & Performance Artist,

Yale Theater Studies Faculty 



Highlights from 2015 Readfest Houston




Beth Kills Birds by Jordan Jaffe,

directed by Troy Scheid

Save the planet, save the birds or hook up trying?  Wind energy specialist Beth Greenbridge meets her match in eco-crusader bird expert Michael Zrinski in Beth Kills Birds, a romantic comedy about environmental politics and the blood red side of "going green"


FRIDAY 10/23



Exit Strategy by Ike Holter

directed by Julia Traber

A fiery, riveting work from the award-winning writer of Hit the Wall, Exit Strategy is a taut, edge-of-your-seat drama about the future of public education from a vital new voice in American playwriting.



 Daughters of the Moon

by Reginald Edmunds

directed by Timothy Eric

Daughters of the Moon follows a runaway slave girl and a former plantation mistress wanted for murder as they embark on a perilous journey North towards freedom, guided by an Ancient African Goddess.




 Dreams/ D-E-F-E-R-R-E-D

written by Mihály Magz

directed by Melissa Flowers

lonely, but never alone.                                    

alone, but always lonely.



Front Porch Society by Melda Beaty

directed by Eileen Morris

Marks, Mississippi, November 4, 2008. America is on the eve of electing its first Black President. Amidst the town's excitement over Barack Obama, Carrie Honey grieves her son's tragic death and after years of failed attempts to seek justice, Carries is no longer interested in life's celebrations, but when a scandal in town rocks this historic day, a past secret is revealed that renews her faded faith. 



Time is the Mercy of Eternity: A Meditation in Four Acts 

by Deb Margolin

directed by dianne k. webb

A suicide bomber, a bereft couple, a murderous ex-fiancé, and a woman ensconced on a department store bed unwilling to budge come together in Deb Margolin’s quartet of interconnected short pieces examining the nature of violence, and its relation to the psyche and the human body. “Like a cameo with an opera inside…a testament to the power of passionate utterance. ”—Village Voice

What people are saying about the first

ReadFest Houston...6 Plays, 6 Companies,

3 Days, 1Venue

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