Guerrilla Playhouse
Dedicated to new, exciting, and innovative theatrical works of the highest quality, we provide a space where writers, performers, and an audience can come together in a spirit of community and collaboration to expand our understanding of what is possible in the theatre. We also offer educational programs and support for artist development for Southwestern Virginia. By working in concert with other arts organizations, we will strive to make Roanoke a nationally recognized home for new play development.
Box Office     Our People     Community     Support Our Mission     Press     The Callboard
Donate Get Tickets Event Calendar Lounges Lunchbox Readings

Classroom Casting Calls Volunteer Mailing List Submissions Photo + Video Art Gallery

30 Campbell Ave., SW

Roanoke, VA  24011

Guerrilla Playhouse!
Hosted by Ben R. Williams
We're offering the best dramatists in the area free rein to share their freshest, most daring work.  With everything from one-act plays to brooding monologues to comedy routines -- along with original, local music -- Sunday nights in Roanoke will rock!
Sunday, May 13, at 8PM sharp
General admission, $5


         Your host, Ben R. Williams                              Mark Perry, a frequent guest

from "Gentlemen of the First Water" by Ben R. Williams  (photo by Anita Allen)

Here's what you missed on June 12!

from "KONG:  A Goddamn 30-Foot Gorilla" by Adam Hahn
  (photo by Anita Allen)

from "KONG:  A Goddamn 30-Foot Gorilla" by Adam Hahn 
(photo by Anita Allen)



Submission Guidelines
by Ben R. Williams,
Director of Guerrilla Programming

Hello, and thank you for your interest in submitting your work to Guerrilla Playhouse! Guerrilla Playhouse is an exciting new theatrical performance/live music revue which takes place every second Sunday at 8PM at Studio Roanoke. Here are a few guidelines to help you figure out the sort of writing we're looking for.

On the mechanical side of things, we're looking for original work between 20 and 45 minutes in length. This can include short plays, monologues, sketches, performance art, dance (interpretive, exotic, etc.) and everything else in between. The sky is the limit when it comes to format. Additionally, we are very big fans of the First Amendment at Guerrilla Playhouse, and you will never have to worry about censoring your own work for language, content, or any other factor. Not even nudity is censored; in fact, it's strongly encouraged.

What We Are Looking For:
Inventive, daring, original work. Work that the audience will find compelling, even if they're compelled by the anger it provokes in them. We are looking for work that is challenging and provocative, unusual and noncommercial. It goes without saying that we would additionally like for the work to be "good," whatever that means to you. Having said that, if faced with a choice between an inventive and compelling piece that doesn't exactly work and a competent if forgettable workmanlike effort, we will choose the former every time. 

What We Are Not Looking For:
Work that does not challenge the audience or could be performed for a general audience. If your work could be shown to a large assembly of aged conservatives and not run the risk of offending a significant portion of them, we probably aren't interested. It's difficult to explain what we're looking for without relying on the adage of "we'll know it when we see it," so I've provided some examples below. 

NO: A man meets a woman and must overcome his biases in order to make their relationship work.
YES: A man meets a woman who has had acid thrown in her face by a lunatic and must overcome his aversion to her appearance in order to make their relationship work.
HELL YES: A hideous lunatic arranges to have acid thrown in the face of a beautiful woman so that she'll have no choice but to date him. She retaliates by having acid thrown in his face. They enjoy a relationship based on spite and rage. (Note: Please don't write this play, as I may write it in the future.) 

NO: An American G.I. falls in love with with a Parisian girl during World War 2.
YES: An American G.I. falls in love with Ilsa, She-Wolf of the S.S., during World War 2.
HELL YES: An American G.I. crafts a daring plan to dress as Ilsa, She-Wolf of the S.S., in order to romance and ultimately betray Adolf Hitler.

NO: A lovable old Appalachian woman tells the heartwarming tale of her family quilt.
YES: A lovable old Appalachian woman tells the tale of her involvement in the Ku Klux Klan.
HELL YES: A lovable old Appalachian woman sells crystal methamphetamine to make ends meet. 

NO: A one man show about the foibles of growing up in a small town.
YES: A one man show about working in a crematorium.
HELL YES: A one man show about being born a woman. Or vice versa.

NO: A tale of heroism set against the backdrop of a national tragedy.
YES: A tale of cowardice set against the backdrop of a national tragedy.
HELL YES: A tale of comedy set against the backdrop of a national tragedy.

These are just a few examples, but I hope they give you a loose idea of what we're looking for. If you have a work you would like to submit to Guerrilla Playhouse, please email it to, subject "Guerrilla Playhouse."

Please note:  Due to our small staff and busy schedule, we generally like for the creator of a work to take a hands-on role in overseeing the production of his or her piece. This is not a requirement, but if you are willing and able to do so, please mention it in your e-mail. Additionally, because we yearn for the days when artists were compensated for their work, if your piece is produced at Guerrilla Playhouse, you will receive 20 percent of the door (though you are certainly welcome to donate this money to Studio Roanoke). 

Music Submission Guidelines
Our music submission guidelines differ from our theatrical submission guidelines in that we are open to any and all kinds of music. Rock, alternative, hip hop, gospel, Tuvan throat singing  whatever you have to offer, we'd like to hear it. We attempt to pair musical acts with complementary theatrical pieces whenever possible, though this is not strictly necessary. If you'd like to play at Guerrilla Playhouse, email me at, subject "Guerrilla Playhouse." Include mp3 samples if possible or drop a CD off at Studio Roanoke. Also include your available dates. 

Thanks for your interest, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Your pal,

Ben R. Williams  

All content Studio Roanoke, 2011