Living Room Series


Given the current restrictions on live performances in Los Angeles, the Fall lineup of LRS will be produced digitally and streamed for your enjoyment!

Now in its 30th year, The Living Room Series is a New Play Development program embodying The Blank’s commitment to developing new work by diverse voices from both established and emerging writers. Submissions by women, playwrights of color, and other under-represented voices are strongly encouraged. The Blank is firmly committed to supporting gender parity and diversity.

The Living Room Series (LRS) normally takes place on Monday evenings between Labor Day and Memorial Day at our 2nd Stage Theatre in Hollywood. LRS offers a week-long rehearsal process for the playwright, director, and actors to explore and refine the play before presenting it to an audience.

The performances are minimally staged, with actors carrying scripts, and are a wonderful opportunity for the playwright to get a sense of the play’s full potential.


All performances for the Fall 2020 will occur online.

Normally, live performances begin at 8:00pm and take place at
The Blank’s 2nd Stage Theatre
6500 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood
unless otherwise noted.

For reservations click on the link below each play description.

You have the option to donate in advance.  Every donation counts for both your taxes and our theatre magic.



Monday November 30th


Written by Ariella Carmell
Directed by Allen MacLeod
Near the end of World War I, 18-year-old Clara returns to her bourgeois London home after a “rest for her nerves” has proven unproductive in helping her cope with the loss of her mother, but when she begins to undergo psychoanalysis, what she wants to help her might only push her further over the edge.

Writer Bio:
Ariella Carmell is a graduate of the University of Chicago, where she was named the 2019 recipient of the Olga and Paul Menn Prize in Playwriting. A writer since the age of 12, she attended the 2014 Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop and the 2015 Iowa Young Writers Studio. In the past, she was named a 2014 Foyle Commended Poet of the Year, a 2015 recipient of three National Scholastic Gold and Silver Medals, and a finalist for the LUMINA Fiction Prize. Her prose, poetry, and dramatic writing have been published in The Brooklyn Review, Spry, Words Dance, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and Bare Fiction, among other journals. After having her one-act plays staged as part of the 2015 and 2016 Blank Theatre Young Playwrights Festival and holding internships at 21 Laps Entertainment and Red Wagon Entertainment, her main ambitions now lie in playwriting and screenwriting. As the 2019 Michael Collyer Memorial Fellow in Screenwriting, awarded by the Writers Guild of America, East, Ariella will spend the year after graduating writing a new full-length screenplay.



Written by Matthew Ackles 
Directed by Christopher James Raymond 
In Wake the Body, three brothers battle over inheritance during their father’s funeral vigil. The play’s central tension rises between Owen Cowper, who’s lived his whole life shackled to this dying Texas town, and his older brother Ford, who left years ago for a rambling existence. To secure his freedom, Owen will have to get through his brothers, who harbor agendas of their own. The ensuing clash unearths a surprising relative, a buried secret, and a loss of faith. As the three siblings battle, they become increasingly aware of a fourth person in the room—the body lying in the corner.
Writer Bio:
Matt Ackels is a Los Angeles-based television writer and playwright. He is currently writing the first season of his debut drama series for Amazon and recently sold a second series to Skydance Studios. Other screen credits include work on two seasons of Netflix’s Trolls and an upcoming feature written for Bobby Goldstein Productions. His stage credits include seven produced plays – four at Tony Award-winning theatres – which have been touring continuously since 2012. His newest play is being developed through a commission from the Alley Theatre in Houston. Matt’s work has received awards from the Planet Earth Arts Foundation, the BlueCat Screenplay Competition, PlayGround-LA, and elsewhere. His short fiction has appeared in The Athenaeum, The Southern California Review, and Nix Hydra. He is a native Texan of Lebanese heritage.


Monday December 14th


Written by Karen Saari
Directed by Victoria Hoffman

Marie returns to her hometown in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to plan her oxy-addicted mother Lorraine’s funeral. When she arrives, she discovers “Rain” left a final request for Marie, a failed musician, to carry out with help from her cousin Caleb, a meth user who had been helping ‘Rain in her final months. ‘Rain was a closet poet who left a song for them to perform at her funeral, as a sign that there was more to her than her loved ones believed. But the meaning of the song is hurtful to Marie as she copes with her loss and anger. Marie and Caleb work on the song, under the always-wary eye of their aunt Nan. As Marie faces unpleasant truths about her family and herself, she finds that love and art can heal us, even when they are rough around the edges.

Writer Bio:Karen Saari’s newest play ‘Rain on Fire was a 2018 Austin Film Festival “second rounder” and was recently awarded a two-week workshop residency through Renaissance Theaterworks’ Br!nk Festival in Milwaukee. Her play In a Clearing celebrated its professional world premiere in 2018 (Magnetic Theatre Company, Asheville, NC) and was a 2018 semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Playwriting Conference. Karen is a 2015 Wisconsin Wrights New Play Festival winner, a 2017 Last Frontier Theatre Conference PlayLab awardee and a 2017 ATHE Award finalist for Excellence in Playwriting. Her comedy Bad in Bed (A Fairy Tale) had its developmental premiere in 2018 (Acadiana Rep, Lafayette, LA) and was a semi-finalist for the Garry Marshall Theatre New Works Festival. One-act plays Joyland, The Ones Who Stay and A Robot, a Clown and a Turban have been performed across the country. She is currently on commission to co-write the musical Ten Days in a Madhouse for Music Theatre of Madison. She is a member of Dramatists Guild and Playwrights Center, and is a voice talent, actor and mother of two.


The submission period for our 31st season will open in summer 2021.

All submissions must be done via Submittable.


  • Submission must be full-length (we regret that one-acts or ten-minutes will not be considered at this time).
  • Submission must not have received a full production. Submissions that have received full productions, even if they have undergone significant post-production revisions, will not be considered. The Blank considers staged readings and academic productions exceptions to this rule.
  • Playwright may only submit one script per submission period.
  • If a script was declined for a prior season, please note what significant revisions have been made (in your Artistic Statement).
  • Materials must be submitted as PDFs. For information on how to create a pdf, please visit: