Palm Beach Dramaworks Announces Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Season

West Palm Beach, Fla. – Twenty-fifth anniversaries are traditionally commemorated with a gift of silver. But when Palm Beach Dramaworks marks its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2024-25, what the company has in store for its audience is pure gold. PBD will celebrate this milestone occasion with a stimulating roster of plays that epitomize its commitment to “Theatre to Think About.”

Two of those plays, Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser and Mark St. Germain’s Camping with Henry and Tom, were performed by PBD early in the company’s history. Over the years, longtime patrons have frequently expressed an interest in seeing them again, and Producing Artistic Director William Hayes decided that this special season provides the perfect opportunity to reach back into the company’s past and introduce new audiences to these estimable works. At the same time, the company continues its commitment to new plays with the world premiere of Gina Montet’s Dangerous Instruments, which was enthusiastically received when it was given a reading as part of the 2023 New Year/New Plays Festival (now the Perlberg Festival of New Plays). Rounding out the season are two critically acclaimed and much honored works: Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Lost in Yonkers – the first of his plays ever to be performed by PBD – and Stephen Karam’s Tony Award-winning The Humans.

“Where has the time gone?” said Hayes. “I know it’s a cliché, but it seems like only yesterday that we conceived of starting a theatre company in West Palm Beach that would produce classic, contemporary, and overlooked plays that appeal to the head and heart: provocative, thought-provoking, and moving. We believed that there were local audiences hungry for challenging work, plays that illuminate the human condition and resonate in deeply personal ways. We were naïve enough to think, ‘If you build it, they will come.’ It turned out that we were correct. We are so grateful to the community for their steadfast support and encouragement as we have expanded and evolved.”

Since its founding in 2000 through the end of the 2024-25 season, Palm Beach Dramaworks will have produced some 120 shows and several concert versions of classic musicals. From the outset, Hayes knew he wanted to challenge audiences with provocative material. In its third season, PBD featured a pair of plays by Edward Albee; in its fourth season, the company did a piece by Jean-Paul Sartre. These were not the kinds of mainstream plays that are considered commercial; in fact, they were risky choices for a young regional company still trying to establish itself. But they helped grow the audience and establish PBD’s reputation as a theatre company eager to tackle an ambitious repertory. A very short list of the playwrights whose works have been produced at PBD include Eugene Ionesco, Samuel Beckett, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Lorraine Hansberry, Tom Stoppard, Lynn Nottage, Brian Friel, Paula Vogel, Sam Shepard, Stephen Sondheim, Lillian Hellman, Suzan-Lori Parks, Tracy Letts, Harold Pinter, and August Wilson.

PBD started small but there was always an ambitious agenda lurking, as is evident today with its robust education department offering a variety of inspiring programs to students throughout Palm Beach County; appealing community engagement programs; and a workshop to nurture and develop new plays. But the game plan during PBD’s first decade was to establish itself as a valuable theatre company; all its money and resources went into the product rather than the venue. PBD played its first season at Palm Beach Atlantic University, then moved into a 45-seat theatre on Clematis Street. For several years after that, home was an 84-seat theatre on Banyan Boulevard. The goal was to create an upscale image, to be known for quality. That image has been burnished since PBD moved into its current state-of-the art home, the Don & Ann Brown Theatre at 201 Clematis Street in 2011. Originally the Florida Theater, a movie house that opened its doors in 1949 (with The Heiress), and later the Cuillo Center for the Arts, the interior was gutted and rebuilt to PBD’s specifications. The larger theatre enabled PBD to populate the stage with larger casts, giving Hayes a broader range of plays from which to choose. Each season, the company produces five plays, all of which are generated in-house by talented set, costume, lighting, and sound designers, and brought to life by gifted actors. From the beginning, PBD made a commitment to employing many of the wonderful, professional actors who reside in South Florida; to this day, PBD casts are generally made up of a mix of Florida-based and New York-based actors.

As PBD’s reputation has grown, its repertory has evolved. Hayes always believed that regional theatres must encourage new work and new voices in order to regenerate the art form and reflect the times in which we live. When the company was in a position to do so, PBD made play development and world premieres a significant part of its profile. In 2014, the company established The Dramaworkshop, its lab for developing new plays. The annual New Year/New Plays Festival, followed in 2019. During the past six seasons, PBD has produced nine world premieres by playwrights including Christopher Demos-Brown, Michael McKeever, and Jenny Connell Davis, who was named resident playwright in 2023.

PBD’s twenty-fifth anniversary season features an eclectic array of invigorating plays, beginning on November 1 with Simon’s Lost in Yonkers (1991). This thoughtful, sad, and funny coming-of-age tale will be directed by Julianne Boyd, founding artistic director of the renowned Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA. Boyd retired from the company in 2022, and is making her PBD debut. Next up, on December 20, is Harwood’s The Dresser (1980), previously performed by PBD during the 2003-04 season, about the relationship between an actor near the end of his career and his loyal, protective dresser. The play is directed by J. Barry Lewis, who also directs Karam’s The Humans (2016), opening February 14, one of the most celebrated plays of the twenty-first century. It tells the story of a loving family fracturing at the seams, and is imbued with a hint of the supernatural. The fourth production, opening April 11, is the revival of St. Germain’s Camping with Henry and Tom (1995), a fictional work inspired by an actual camping trip that President Warren G. Harding took with Henry Ford and Thomas Edison in 1921. PBD first staged the piece in the 2001-2002 season. Hayes directs. The season concludes with the world premiere of Dangerous Instruments, opening May 23. Montet, a South Florida-based playwright, takes a pointed look at social services, and educational and mental health care systems in this country, as an anguished mother tries to save her son. Director TBA.

2024– 2025 SEASON


By Neil Simon

November 1-17, 2024

When their widowed father heads south to try and earn a living, two teenage boys, Jay and Arty, are left in the care of their autocratic Grandma Kurnitz, whose four adult children have been damaged by her cruelty. Set during World War II, this funny and heartbreaking Pulitzer Prize-winning memory play is both an exploration of the wounds inflicted by family, and a testament to the power of familial love and resiliency.


By Ronald Harwood

December 20, 2024 – January 5, 2025

It’s 1942, bombs are dropping over England, and a renowned but fading actor is bringing Shakespeare to the provinces with a ragtag troupe. Sir, scheduled to give his 227th performance of King Lear, is in no condition to go on, but his devoted, self-sacrificing dresser, Norman, is determined to get him onstage. Sir and Norman’s co-dependent – if unequal – relationship is the heartbeat of this warts-and-all, tragicomic valentine to the transcendent magic of theatre.


By Stephen Karam

February 14 – March 2, 2025

There’s a sense of disquiet in the air when the loving, if dysfunctional, Blake clan gathers for Thanksgiving dinner in daughter Brigid’s dingy Chinatown apartment. “A family play that is sort of infected by my love of the thriller genre,” is how the playwright once described this Tony Award-winning comedy drama, in which the foibles, fears, and fragilities of an American family play out with great insight, humor, and compassion.


By Mark St. Germain

April 11 – 27, 2025

Warren G. Harding, eager to get away from the press, prying eyes, and the presidency, accepts an invitation to join Henry Ford and Thomas Edison on their annual camping trip. Stranded in the woods, they converse about politics, ambition, family, and fame, revealing three starkly different personalities and world views. A work of fiction inspired by an actual 1921 excursion, the play deals with issues and ideas that remain as relevant today as they were 100 years ago.

World Premiere


By Gina Montet

May 23 – June 8, 2025

Laura, a determined single mother, faces the ultimate test of love for her exceptionally bright son, Daniel. When Daniel’s brilliance spirals into darkness, Laura finds herself thrust into a gripping battle against a broken system. In a race against time, she must confront a parent’s deepest fears and sacrifice everything to rescue her son from the brink of becoming America’s next tragic headline.

Palm Beach Dramaworks is a professional, nonprofit theatre company founded in 2000 and located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach. Each season, the award-winning company produces five mainstage shows and offers a wide variety of programs for students at the theatre and in schools. Committed to fostering the future of theatre, PBD has become a hub for playwrights in Florida and around the country to nurture their work through initiatives including The Dramaworkshop and the Perlberg Festival of New Plays. PBD is a member of Theatre Communications Group, Florida Professional Theatres Association, the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County, and NNPN.

Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, and Friday and Saturday at 8pm. Matinee performances are Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2pm. Post-performance discussions follow Wednesday and Thursday matinees.

Tickets for all performances are $92, except for opening night ($107) and previews ($72). Student tickets are available for $15 with a valid K-12 or university/college ID, and anyone under 40 pays $40 (no additional fees) with a photo ID. Tickets for educators are half price with proper ID (other restrictions apply). Group rates for 10 or more and subscription packages for four or five plays are also available. Subscriptions for the 24/25 season will go on sale later this spring, and single tickets will be available in the summer. Once available, tickets can be purchased through the box office, in person or by phone (561.514.4042 ext 2), and online 24 hours a day at

The Don & Ann Brown Theatre is located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach, at 201 Clematis Street. For ticket information contact the box office at (561) 514-4042, or visit

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