For Immediate Release – August 20, 2018

Press Contact: Matt Bassett / 931.261.1801


The Hub Theatre Announces Season 11!

New leadership and all new plays


FAIRFAX, VA- The Hub Theatre, under new Artistic Director, Matt Bassett, announced their 2018-19 season and welcomed a new staff member today. Bassett will be joined by KELSEY MESA as Associate Artistic Director for this season featuring a regional premiere by a favorite Hub playwright, the world premiere of the inaugural play by a vibrant new voice, and a number of events both familiar and brand new to The Hub.


Kelsey Mesa's directing credits include The Pavilion, The Magi, and Wish List at The Hub Theatre, and She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchange, Riot Grrrls The Trojan Women, Charm, and dREAMtRIPPIN’ at Taffety Punk Theatre Company. She has also directed for The Inkwell, The Source Festival, Rorschach Theatre Company's Klecksography, Young Playwrights' Theatre, the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and Theater Alliance’s Hothouse New Play Development Series. Kelsey is a company member at Taffety Punk Theatre Company and The Hub Theatre Company, as well as the Manager of KCACTF and Theater Education at the Kennedy Center.


"The Hub is a theatre company and artistic community that welcomed me with open arms, challenging me to create intimate, magical, and hopeful theatre--which is also the theatre I love to see. I'm thrilled and honored to be working with The Hub in a greater capacity, and excited to support both Matt and the company as we grow into ‘Hub 2.0’." 


“Kelsey has been an asset to The Hub since our first collaboration during 2015’s Emerging Writers Festival,” says Artistic Director Matt Bassett, “and, with each project since, she has become more integral to The Hub’s mission and programming. She has served as a play reader and advocate for the company and I’m excited to bring her on staff officially so that we can shape this new era of The Hub together.”


Bassett had this to say about the upcoming season, his first since assuming leadership of The Hub: “These plays all address The Hub’s mission of exploring connections within our common humanity, whether within cultures, friend groups, nations, or families, and using these connections to nurture hope through adversity. In these times of division and struggle, our work this year aims to bring our audience together to celebrate diversity, acknowledge hardship, and move forward with hope. In our mainstage opener, I'm thrilled to welcome Philip Dawkins back to The Hub. Philip's FAILURE: A LOVE STORY remains one of my favorite plays and a high point in my Hub career. THE BURN has all the humor and heart of Philip's past work, but shot through with a charge of teenage rivalries, online bullying, and pain.  It's a different kind of play for him and it feels like a great kickoff to the new era of Hub. And what a delight to introduce Sam Hamashima's new, exciting voice to our audiences and the greater DC area! AMERICAN SPIES AND OTHER HOMEGROWN FABLES grabbed my attention and moved me with its use of comedy and magic to explore one of America's biggest mistakes and its implications for a certain kind of American family. Outside our mainstage season, we will explore plays that engage with connections to the world around us and our inner identities in a new series of play reading ‘events’ happening off-site this winter. The chosen scripts, to be announced soon, approach Hub's spirit of magic and human connection from wildly different angles. Every one of these plays puts The Hub at the center of current, important conversations that challenge how we face our past and present, relying on those we love to move into the future.”


For the first show of the mainstage season, Hub welcomes back playwright Philip Dawkins, whose play, THE BURN, is a contemporary examination of THE CRUCIBLE using social media as its lens. Dawkins brings his dynamic style to represent honest teens going through identity crises and bullying. THE BURN is at times brutal, at times humorous, with all of the heart Dawkins brings to every one of his plays. His  previous scripts under Matt Bassett’s direction – FAILURE: A LOVE STORY and THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH – were audience favorites that brought The Hub 6 Helen Hayes Award nominations. The Hub’s production of HAPPIEST (directed by Bassett and featuring his wife, company member Tia Shearer) will even enjoy a remount at Aurora Fox Theatre this season.


Philip Dawkins is a Chicago playwright and educator whose plays have been performed all over the world. His plays include Failure: A Love Story (Victory Gardens Theater), Le Switch (About Face Theatre, The Jungle), The Homosexuals (About Face Theater), The Burn (Steppenwolf for Young Audiences), Dr.Seuss’s The Sneetches, the Musical with composer David Mallamud (Children’s Theater Company, Minneapolis) and The Gentleman Caller (Raven Theatre, Chicago; Abingdon Theatre, NY). He received the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work for his plays Charm (Northlight Theatre; MCC) and Miss Marx: Or The Involuntary Side Effect of Living (Strawdog Theatre), as well as the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Solo Performance for his play, The Happiest Place on Earth (Sideshow Theatre/Greenhouse Theater Center). Philip has been a resident at the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers in Scotland and the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire. Philip has taught playwriting at Northwestern University, DePaul University, and his alma mater, Loyola University Chicago. Many of his plays, including his scripts for young performers, are available through Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, Inc. and Dramatic Publishing.  Philip also performs with the French/English bilingual improv group, Frogprov. 


Hub’s second mainstage production of season 11 introduces a bright new voice in contemporary theatre – playwright Sam Hamashima. Sam is a young, exciting playwright currently enjoying his Off-Broadway acting debut in COMFORT WOMEN. His play, AMERICAN SPIES AND OTHER HOMEGROWN FABLES is about a Japanese-American family before the term even existed. The piece follows them as they learn of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and have to choose between family traditions and survival. SPIES is heartbreaking, comforting, and utterly engaging. It has The Hub’s signature style of magical realism wrapped around achingly human stories, and we are proud to be the first professional company to offer a full production of a Sam Hamashima play.


Sam Hamashima’s plays include American Spies and Other Homegrown Fables, Good Intentions, Heat Wave, and Finding Earth. Hamashima’s work has been produced and/or developed by John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, National Queer Theater, Post Shift Theatre, Wall to Wall Theatre Festival, and University of Michigan. Besides playwrighting, Hamashima also writes poetry. Hamashima’s slams have been performed in venues throughout Washington, D.C., Ann Arbor, and New York City. Selected poems can be found in the Solos Literary Magazine. Awards include Roy W. Cowden Fellowship, Dennis McIntyre Prize, Kennedy Center Undergraduate Playwrights’ Workshop, and the coveted Hopwood Award in Drama at the University of Michigan. Member and founder: Asian College Theatre Ensemble (ACTE). Hamashima earned a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan.


For our season of Connection, we are excited to introduce SPOKES, a new Hub outreach initiative. SPOKES will bring two play reading events – a piece for Trans Awareness Month, and a family-friendly piece for the holidays – to locations beyond our Fairfax-based theater, partnering with local businesses, community organizations or other theatre companies this fall and winter.


Season 11 is rounded out by two Hub staples, the NEW PLAY FESTIVAL, featuring readings of new plays by professional playwrights, and the EMERGING WRITERS FESTIVAL, where professional actors and directors present new scripts by local high school and college playwrights.






Fall & Winter 2018

Spokes reading events


Jan. 2019

New Play Festival


Feb. 2019

Emerging Writers Festival


April 26 - May 12, 2019

The Burn | Regional Premiere

By Philip Dawkins

Opening night: April 26, 2019


July 12 - August 4, 2019

American Spies and Other Homegrown Fables | World Premiere

By Sam Hamashima

Opening night: July 12, 2019


Note: Programming and scheduling are subject to change.


The Hub Theatre

Theatre Address for Season 11: NextStop Theatre Company 269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon, VA 20170 

Season Subscription: Full Season - $50, Full Season Opening Night's - $85

Ticketing Information:

Press Inquiries:


The Hub Theatre is a professional, 501c3 nonprofit theatre organization, a member of Theatre Washington, and is generously supported by ArtsFairfax, The Kennedy Center's Keenan Fellowship, Fairfax City Commission on the Arts, Virginia Commission for the Arts, Integrity Applications, and Lake Anne Coffeehouse.