The Sauk is dedicated to the development of new theatrical works. Each year, we present staged readings of new plays still in the process of being written. After the readings, we invite the audience to respond to what they have heard. When they can, the playwrights attend these readings and join the discussion. These works may include adult themes and/or strong language. This is a free event. 

Plays-in-Development is a Pay What You Can event. No advance ticket sales. 

Seating is first-come, first-serve. Seating begins at 7 p.m. each night. 

Photo Gallery (Click an image to englarge and begin scrolling)

Friday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m.

Their Great Magic

By Terence Patrick Hughes (Lake Hill, NY)

Directed by Tim Ambrose


John - Mike Sutton

Violet - Denise McCosh

Robert - Bruce Crews

Helen - Loren Corbin

Samuels/Father - Tom Corbin

Stage Directions - Emily Crews


A year ago, acclaimed American novelist, John Irwin, and his wife suffered a terrible car crash near their mountain-top home in Woodstock, NY. He survived, she did not. After months of mourning, insurance litigation, and tabloid harassment, Helen’s ghost has returned to constantly haunt John and keep him from writing, sleeping, and staying sober. His daughter, Violet, and her new boyfriend arrive to try and rescue John from his downward spiral, only to be caught up in a wild war of words and wit that reaches far beyond our material world. A comic romp of a ghost story wrapped around a drama about love, death, and family. 



Saturday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m.

Desert Song

By Mark Cornell (Chapel Hill, NC)

Directed by Trinity Bird


Carlos - Jacob Boswell

Elizabeth - Roene Trevisan

Stage Directions - Anne Conners


​Desert Song is about a young, struggling musician who seeks out the reclusive muse for one of the most famous love songs ever written, an early seventies tune called “The Ballad of Eliza.” It’s a song that he has loved all his life. This muse, a woman now in her sixties, has long retreated from public view, and lives as a simple maid. Set in the sparse lodgings at Ghost Ranch, a remote retreat in Northern New Mexico, the play explores the elusive and magical nature of inspiration.


Pre-Existing Condition

By Tiffany Thatcher (Homer, MI)

Directed by MJ Dulmage


Kate - Gianna Green

Jonah - Timothy Green

Stage Directions - Pat Bogusz


​Kate is doing her best to get over her fiancé Jonah, but he is not making it easy. He keeps popping in whenever her guard is down. As the couple tries to make sense of their separation, they quickly realize that their relationship is not at all what it seems.

Watch our 2020 Plays-in-Development readings here:

Previous Plays-in-Development


2021
  • Their Great Magic By Terence Patrick Hughes (Lake Hill, NY)

  • Desert Song By Mark Cornell (Chapel Hill, NC)

    • ​This play will receive its world premiere production at The Sauk in September 2022. 
  • Pre-Existing Condition By Tiffany Thatcher (Homer, MI)


2020
  • Gravity: A Union By Alexander Wolfe (Nebraska)

  • Raising Sebastian By Edward DeBuvitz (Albuquerque, NM)

  • Clear Blue Sky By Bruce Karp (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

  • The Long Wait By Sarah Gray (Jonesville, MI)


2019
  • On Pine Knoll Street by Mark Cornell (Chapel Hill, NC)

    • ​This play was produced as a fully-staged production in February 2020. A world premiere!
    • This play was an award-winning play in the  AACT NewPlayFest 2020. 


2018
  • The Pattern of All Patience by Jacqueline Loy (Fort Myers, Fl)

  • ​Tipping Point by Paul McKinley (Bronson, MI)

  • Timmy's Big Kiss by Matthew Weaver (Spokane, WA)

  • ​Acts of Expiation by Joseph Allen Smith (Ocala, FL)


2017
  • ​Trees by Penny Neer (Hillsdale, MI)

  • ​On Art by Josh Oberlander (Atlanta, GA)

  • ​Twelve Wild Swans by Kathryn Willis (Lansing, MI)

  • The Flower Girls by Lindsay McNair Patton (Fletcher, NC)

    • ​This play was produced at The Sauk in September 2018. A world premiere!
    • The first act of this play was taken to AACTFest state competition in February 2019. 


2016
  • Ember by Max McCreary (Atlanta, GA)

  • Zombie Apocalypse: A Love Story by Tim Ambrose & Jeffrey Connolloy (Pittsford, MI)


2015
  • Ephemera by MJ Dulmage (Hillsdale, MI)

  • The Inheritance by Bud Vear (Hillsdale, MI)

HILLSDALE COUNTY'S COMMUNITY THEATRE