First Flight 

First Flight Festival

ATC’s annual festival of all-new, all-original, all-local short plays!

Angels Theatre Company Presents

The Eighth Annual First Flight Festival!

New short plays written by members of the Angels Playwriting Collective

Presented at UNL’s Studio Theatre

first floor of the Temple Building 12th & R Streets in Lincoln

Admission $20.00 per Flight, or $35.00 for a Festival Pass (both Flights)

First Flight Festival Tickets

Thank you to our 2023 First Flight Festival Sponsors

First Flight Festival 2023 Plays!


July 13-15 at 7:30 PM
July 16 at 2:00 PM

  • A Letter  by John Burkhart
  • Signs  by Jillian Carter (monologue)
  • Green Room  by Elbert Traylor
  • Tragic Women  by Robin Buckallew 
  • Gimp  by Jamie Bullins 
  • Shiny Shoe Day  Book and Lyrics by Adrien Loehring
    Music by Adrien Loehring & Vince Learned

Play Descriptions:

Flight A

A Letter by John Burkhart

Two close friends, Ben and Emily, meet daily at a park bench. Today, they are discussing the contents of a disturbing letter Emily received from a relative

Signs by Jillian Carter (monologue)

A middle-aged woman believes God sends her signs to guide her through life, to mixed and often funny results.

Green Room by Elbert Traylor

Auditions for a feature film are down to the finalists. Only the best of the best will land the plum lead roles. Or the cleverest.

Tragic Women by Robin Buckallew

In a waiting room reserved for tragic women, four characters from classic tragedy meet. They collaborate on plans to try and stop playwrights from killing any more women.

gimp by Jamie Bullins

People come and go and it hurts like hell. Cling to those who are still around.

Shiny Shoe Day ( a ten minute musical)

Book and Lyrics by Adrien Loehring
Music by Adrien Loehring & Vince Learned

Shiny Shoe Day is a coming-of-age story that follows a mother and daughter throughout school picture days. This story exposes insecurities and reminds us to wear our shiny shoes even if they can’t be seen.


July 20-22 at 7:30 PM
July 23 at 2:00 PM

  • Mix and Machinate  by Clay Farris Naff 
  • Still Strong  by Ben Arenz (monologue)
  • Prophecy  by Steve Enersen 
  • Merry Commitment & A Happy Neurosis
           by Linda Howard Cooke 

Play Descriptions:

Flight B

Still Strong by Ben Arenz (monologue)

Jay is fighting with the idea that he is getting older. His wallet was stolen recently, and that brings forth a lot of his concern.

Merry Commitment & A Happy Neurosis by Linda Howard Cooke

When Fred tries to get Dr. Holiday to declare his elderly uncle mentally incompetent, it reveals a new extension to a classic literary tale, and a surprising side to its characters.

Prophecy by Steve Enersen

The tail end of a bad first date in a Chinese restaurant — a date that has been filled with awkward silences. The fortune cookie ritual, which one endorses but the other does not, leads to a lively philosophical discussion and a possible third date (since they had already agreed there would be no second date).

Mix and Machinate by Clay Farris Naff

Opposites Detract: America’s polarization problem erupts in unintended hilarity when budget cuts force radically different people to share the mic on community radio station KOMM-FM.

Or Would You Rather Be by Cecilia Burkhart

Two people in a waiting room start talking to each other. Mystery and tenderness happen in the most unlikely way.

What is the First Flight Festival?

  • First Flight is a playwright-driven festival, unique to our area. All the submissions come from the Angels Theatre Company Playwriting Collective.
  • Each play is directed by a different director
  • We emphasize minimalism, so there is usually limited set, scenery, lighting, costumes, and sound. The scripts speak for themselves!
  • The plays are all short plays, ranging from five to 30 minutes in length. Depending on the submissions, we may decide to include four or 24.
  • Playwrights are integral to the process.
  • After each performance, there is a facilitated discussion with the playwrights. This allows the audience to ask questions and learn about the writing process from our talented artists.

The Midwest’s Finest in Original Works

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