Players by the Sea resumes New Voices program


2 ‘Voices Unheard’-themed showcases set for May 13-16

Players by the Sea community theater is bringing its New Voices program back to the stage. Created in 2016 and inspired by new play development programs across the country, New Voices aims to develop the next wave of American voices in the Jacksonville area.

In previous years, the program selected one-to-two established or aspiring playwrights to embark on a year-long developmental journey and pairs them with mentors who help guide the process from conception to final draft. The program culminates in a fully mounted production of their new play. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to take center stage, Players by the Sea reimagined New Voices and pivoted to a virtual process. This year’s theme is “Voices Unheard.” Players by the Sea selected three playwrights through a blind submission process and began a 12-week development and writing journey. Through mentorship, workshopping and writing sessions, two of the selected playwrights are now ready to rehearse and showcase their 45-minute short plays that uplift and highlight the voices of the unheard. The third selection will be released later this summer as a special presentation.

“The Space Between” written by Chelsea Black

“Nina is a young woman who just wants her mother Maria to accept her. When they find out her brother Kenneth’s spinal injury may be cured by a new medical breakthrough, Maria takes the opportunity to talk to her daughter about her weight. Mother and daughter must navigate their fraught relationship while also being there for Kenneth.”

“God’s God” written by Ken Pedersen

“Do you sometimes wonder about what really happens once you die? What if you arrived in the afterlife and you discovered that God himself was praying for a better life? That is the situation we encounter in ‘God’s God.’ GG delivers an avant garde exploration of what might happen once we ‘meet our maker.’ Its world is populated with a passive agnostic, a prickly non-believer, a deity overwhelmed by his day-to-day responsibilities and the angels that run the place. ‘God’s God’ examines the role of hope, belief and purpose in a 30-minute package that seeks to get its audience to reconsider how their choices here on Earth might best bring out the divinity in all us.”

The two showcases will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, May 13-15, and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 16.

Tickets are $20. To purchase tickets or for more information, go to or call the box office at
(904) 249-0289.