AlterLab 2018-2019

Laura Shamas, Diana Burbano, Julie Hébert, and Elana Dykewomon (with Alice the dog) gather for their first writers' weekend. 

  • A story of three siblings and family secrets separated by time, language, and geography.

    Winner, Rella Lossy Award

    Premiered with AlterTheater January/February 2020.

  • Untitled

    Award-winning novelist and author crafts a new play about the moral dilemmas we encounter when asked to help those close to us die.

  • Drunk at the Base of the Bodhi Tree

    Two women meet at very different crossroads.

  • Merrion Square

    Back when Bram Stoker was a theater critic and before Oscar Wilde was a wit about town...


Like our artists, our plays include works by the best playwrights of today--including Pulitzer Prize winners Arthur Miller, Lynn Nottage, Nilo Cruz--and the best emerging playwrights.

Larissa FastHorse

AlterLab supports playwrights at every stage of the development process. Each cohort of writers is diverse—from early career writers to award-winning established writers; from ages 23 to 93; writers from all backgrounds—and each cohort of writers chooses how to work together, supporting each other in creating adventurous, honest work. 

In each AlterLab cohort, AlterTheater commissions one playwright to write a new play  for and with our community. Commissioned playwrights work closely with our ensemble to create a story that tackles issues in our community, and that can shine in our unique storefront performance spaces.

An AlterTheater dream since our inception has been playwrights creating new work for our ensemble of artists. It took us four years: in 2008 we commissioned our first playwright, award-winning San Francisco poet/playwright Brian Thorstenson.