Elizabeth Howell and Dean Biasucci in the Wyoming Theatre Festival workshop of “Hollywood, Nebraska.”

Hollywood, Nebraska, the rueful romantic comedy about show people, small towns and coming home, will dawn in a summer presentation by Actors Community Theatre (ACT) of Davie, FL. This is the play’s sixth booking through playwright Kenneth Jones following an Equity workshop at Wyoming Theater Festival. The title had a three-theater rolling world premiere in the 2022-23 season.

The most recent booking for the six-character play was a unique presentation in Canada by Naked Stage Readers Theatre, a company known for its barebones concert stagings of scripts. The play with music about two actresses returning to their hometown for separate family emergencies played Surrey, British Columbia in February 2024. A similar staged reading will be presented by ACT in Davie, FL, Aug. 3-4, 2024. Carla Jackson Heller will direct. Dana Fredebaugh produces.

Available for licensing through the playwright, Hollywood, Nebraska enjoyed a rolling world premiere at three American theaters in the 2022-23 theater season — at Oak Ridge Playhouse in Tennessee, Lamb Arts Theatre in Sioux City, Iowa and with Wetumpka Depot Players in Alabama. The play was later presented by North Street Playhouse in Onancock, Virginia.

“I keep hearing from theater leaders who are looking for relatable, human comedy-dramas,” says playwright Jones. “They ask, ‘Do you have anything like Steel Magnolias? Something with laughter and tears and kindness?’ I point them to Hollywood, Nebraska.”

Nora Chester (seated) and Elizabeth Howell in the Wyoming Theatre Festival workshop of “Hollywood, Nebraska.”

Here’s how Hollywood, Nebraska is billed: “In the Great Plains of Nebraska, two actresses of a certain age are returning to their dying hometown. Jane’s in from L.A. to check up on her ailing mother. Andrea’s back from New York to bury her father. Can childhood friends overcome past hurts to find hope in a place they left behind? Fall in love with a new American comedy about the urge to be creative, the itch to move away and the power of coming home.”

Want to read Hollywood, Nebraska with the aim of possibly producing it? Inquire directly through the playwright, who’ll share a free perusal copy of the script and process any licensing agreements.

Joseff Stevenson and Michelle Jasso and Lance and Andrea in the Wyoming Theatre Festival staging of “Hollywood, Nebraska.”

The contemporary play about small towns, big dreams, moving away and coming home is a feast for four actresses who are eager to play complex, tough, aspirational characters: two women in their forties who left town years ago, a senior woman who stayed, and a star-struck teenage girl who wants out.

They’re abetted by two blue collar men — fiftyish and thirtyish, respectively — in a world that’s bittersweet, funny, sexy, hopeful and homespun. The playwright calls it a “hope-filled, heartfelt, sexy, tears-and-laughter play.”

Hollywood, Nebraska received early development at Off-Broadway’s TACT/The Actors Company Theatre, Wyoming Theater Festival (which produced a full workshop production), Actors Theatre of Indiana, Alma Theatre Company in San Francisco, Ground UP in New York City and Music Theatre of Connecticut. Learn more about the play’s history here.

Kenneth Jones is best known for his six-actor drama Alabama Story, the true story of a persecuted librarian in the Civil Rights era. The play has been produced in more than 65 cities around the country. It is published and licensed by Dramatists Play Service. It will appear in Oregon, Michigan, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Connecticut in the coming months.

The company of the Oak Ridge Playhouse world premiere of “Hollywood, Nebraska.”