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Full-Length Plays


72 miles to go...

2F, 3M

72 miles. It’s the distance between Tucson, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico—and the distance between deported immigrant Anita and her American-born husband and children. 72 Miles to Go... follows one family over a decade as they come of age, fall in love, fight in wars, and fight for each other, against the backdrop of deportation, DACA, and changing immigration laws.

World Premiere, Roundabout Theatre, Pels Theatre, 2020

Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, 2020

National Endowment for the Arts Grant, 2020

Finalist, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2019

Workshop Production, Alley All New Festival, 2019

Orlando Shakes PlayFest, 2018

Crossing Borders Festival, Two River Theatre, 2018

New Neighbourhood, 2017

Wildwind Lab, Texas Tech, 2017 


"Hilary Bettis’s 72 miles to go... is a quiet, conventional drama with a penchant for endearingly cornball humor, that suits the story of a family that wants more than anything to blend in, to live regular American lives. The play’s poignancy lies in how mercilessly difficult that is, and how precarious for all of them." - NY Times

"Bettis can write encounters with real power... She writes sympathetically and with an ear for strain, particularly the constant tension in people who can’t afford a single busted taillight, a single speeding ticket." - Vulture

"With sensitivity and insistence, Bettis shows how prohibitive "the right way" really is, and how it requires sacrifices that few native-born Americans would ever tolerate." - TheaterMania 

Queen of Basel

2F 1M

It’s Art Basel, Miami’s weeklong party for the rich and famous, where real estate heiress Julie reigns over the blowout her mogul father is throwing at his South Beach hotel. But after tangling with her father and a run-in with a tray of cocktails, Julie plots her next move in the hotel’s barely used storage kitchen. Her companions are Christine, a cocktail waitress who recently fled violence in Venezuela, and Christine’s fiancé John, an Uber driver with ambitions. This explosive elixir of power, class, and race within the Latinx community is a bold and contemporary take on Strindberg’s Miss Julie.

Production, Kitchen Dog Theater, Dallas Texas, 2020

World Premiere, Studio Theatre D.C., 2019

Workshop Production, Miami New Drama at Colony Theatre, 2018

Alley All New Festival, 2018

Bay Area Playwrights Conference, 2017

The List, The Kilroys, 2017

SLAC Lab, 2017

Commissioned by Miami New Drama, 2016

"...Bettis’ play gives “Miss Julie” a makeover that is sometimes amusing, often harrowing and intensely engaging." - Miami Herald


"Bettis' Queen of Basel... is so wholly fresh and new... the themes and issues are interwoven so expertly and flawlessly into the story that it would be incorrect to say this is a play about immigration, a play about class, or a play about race." - Broadway World

"... Each character leaves after a brief moment of improbable connectedness that has left them with a degree of hope, or at least thoughtfulness, about the course of their very different lives. For an audience, sharing such moments is what makes it worthwhile to attend theater." - DC Metro

"If every copy of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie spontaneously combusted, and from each pile of ashes emerged phoenix-like a copy of Hilary Bettis’s Queen of Basel in its place, I could be persuaded this is an overall net gain for literature... Bettis takes Strindberg say problematic play... and levels the playing field for gender, class and racial politics to roil together in an impressively balanced kettle." - DC Theatre Scene


3F 3M 1 Alligator (any gender)

Emerald and her twin brother, Ty, are orphaned ‘gator wrestlers living in the backwoods of the Florida Everglades. One night a doe-eyed runaway, Lucy, shows up on their porch with promises of unlimited whiskey. As her desperation to win Emerald over intensifies, she will do whatever it takes…even if it leads to murder. The only hope left rests on Emerald who must face the demon that haunts her every waking moment. Alligator is a play that weaves together sex and enemies, blood and whiskey, hope and murder. It is a play that asks the question: How do we truly love one another in the face of our deepest, darkest monsters?

Nominated, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2017

Drama Desk Nomination Outstanding Music in a Play, 2017

NY Times Memorable Theater List of 2016

New Georges and The Sol Project, Off-Broadway, 2016

Honorable Mention, The Kilroys, 2016 

The Flea, Reading, 2014

Honorable Mention, The Kilroys, 2014

O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, 2012

Great Plains Theatre Conference, 2012

The Lark, Reading, 2011

"...a bold and fresh new play by gifted playwright Hilary Bettis about the struggles and triumphs in defining ourselves... Bettis ambitiously and wondrously succeeds in taking her audience to a part of America seldom seen on the stage, screen, or page." - Theatre Is Easy

"Gutpunch-powerful..." -Talkin' Broadway

"Stunning... seeks to show us the lives of people we otherwise wouldn't think about, the same disenchanted disillusioned people whom the system has failed so often." - StageBuddy

Blood & Dust
2F 4M
It’s 1986 in Atoka, Oklahoma. Stormy Proctor, a rough-swearing, hard-living cowgirl on the verge of middle age, is determined to become the first female professional bull rider before her body breaks down. But in order to do that she’s got to fight her way through the rodeo circuit, out cowboy the cowboys and confront a past that haunts her every waking moment.

Runner-Up, American Blues Theater Blue Ink Award, 2016

The Lark, Reading, 2015

Juilliard, Reading, 2015


The Ghosts of Lote Bravo
4F 4M

In Cuidad Juarez, Mexico young girls often disappear. Many turn up murdered. Juanda Cantu’s daughter, Raquel, is one of these girls. Through visions offered by La Santa Muerte, Juanda is shown Raquel’s past only to discover that her daughter had hopes, dreams and courage Juanda knew nothing about. The Ghosts of Lote Bravo is a play about great hope in the midst of relentless violence, poverty and grief.

Cal Rep, Long Beach California, 2018

Unicorn Theatre, Kansas City (NNPN Rolling World Premiere), 2016

Borderlands Theater, Tucson, AZ (NNPN Rolling World Premiere), 2016

Workshop, El Circulo Teatro, Mexico City (Supported by NNPN), 2015

Playwrights' Week at The Lark, 2015

The List, The Kilroys, 2015

Runner-Up, Leah Ryan Prize, 2015

Reading, Project Y Parity Plays, 2015

Reading, New York Theatre Workshop, 2015

Second Place, KCACTF Latinidad Playwriting Award, 2015

Finalist, Alliance/Kendeda National Competition, 2015

Finalist, Bay Area Playwrights Conference, 2015

Third Place, MetLife Nuestras Voces National Competition, 2014

NNPN National Showcase, Florida Studio Theatre, 2014

Crossing Borders Festival, Two River Theater, 2014

Kennedy Center MFA Workshop, 2014

Reading, Juilliard, 2014 

"Bettis weaves a metaphor-rich tale of the economic and social impact of maquiladoras on impoverished women, personal sacrifice for the greater good, religious and folk beliefs, survival in city ruled by brutal organized crime, and murder in a place where boots are more important than the lives of others.... It’s a disturbing, grim story. However, Bettis infuses the play with happy memories, touches of humor and an overarching sense of hope."


"The Ghosts of Lote Bravo" offers an interesting portal into the lives of one family who stands in for many similar families. It is not a happy tale... The audience sees the price that may be paid by those who harbor the dream." -BroadwayWorld   

“The Ghosts of Lote Bravo” is a story that deserves an audience. The deaths of hundreds of people, most of them women, is a great unsolved tragedy, not only for Mexico but also the U.S. and the world... In a time when social media platitudes and prepackaged prayers are reflexive responses for far-away tragedies, it would benefit audiences to listen to the stories told in [this play]. And take action." -The Kansas City Star


The History of American Pornography
3F 4M

It’s Star Papapzian’s 40th birthday, and she’s finally ready to lose her virginity. But before she can get down to business, she must take a hard look at her past, growing up in her family’s porn empire, Dolls and Stripes. The History of American Pornography is a play about one woman’s journey to discover the meaning of intimacy in a world where sex, power, money and family collide.

Reading, Intar, 2015

The List, The Kilroys, 2015

DNA Series, La Jolla Playhouse, 2015

Workshop, Signature Theatre, 2014

Reading, Juilliard, 2014  

Dakota Atoll
2F 5M

It is October 1962. On a cattle ranch near the Badlands nuclear bombs are on the verge of explosion. The Huestead Family bunkers down in anticipation of the looming apocalypse, while their ranch hands, two rowdy brothers from East Texas, head to town in search of one last bourbon. That night a stranger shows up… A rodeo cowboy with a past and a secret. A secret that will force everyone to atone for their sins in their moments of reckoning. Dakota Atoll is a gritty, epic Western that explores perceived villains, hypocritical warriors, and the moral ambiguity of war in the American West.

Honorable Mention, The Kilroys, 2015

Honorable mention, The Kilroys, 2014  

Juilliard Playwrights Evening at Signature Theatre, 2014

Workshop, New York Theatre Workshop, 2014

Finalist, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, 2014

Workshop, New York Theatre Workshop, 2013

Workshop, Barefoot Theatre Company, 2013

Finalist, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, 2013

Reading, The Lark , 2011                                                                                                                               

EST/Sloan Commission Recipient        


1F 3M

In a small trailer in the middle of America, lives Beatrice, a woman born with one leg, her father, Charlie, the soon-to-be-owner of Dairy Queen, and her three-year-old son. Beatrice has never driven a car, had a job, or left the twenty-mile radius of her small town, but constantly imagines running away to Mexico with her high school crush, Wade… That is until he shows up at Dairy Queen one afternoon. As her fantasy collides with reality, she and Charlie are forced to acknowledge the horrifying secret that exists under their roof. Mexico is a play that pushes the boundaries of our capacity for forgiveness and redemption.

Nominated, Cherry Lane Mentor Project, 2015

Welcome Mat Reading Series, Partial Comfort, 2014

Reading, Pavement Group (Chicago), 2013

Reading, Project Y, 2013

Reading, Ensemble Studio Theatre, 2010

Nominated, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2010

American Girls
2F 1M

Amanda and Katie are good teenagers. They get straight A’s, go to church every Sunday, and love their parents. When they discover a local dance competition with the chance to meet a Hollywood talent scout, they will do whatever it takes to win… Even if that means selling their souls to the devil in the name of the Bible. American Girls explores the coming-of-age landscape in a modern world that blurs our thirst for fame with our thirst for religion. Published by Original Works Publishing.

The Edge Theater, Denver, 2015

Staged Reading, Barrow Street Theatre, 2011

ART On Air Radio Show, 2011

Reading, Abingdon Theatre, 2008

45th Street Theatre, 2008

Scenes published in The Best Stage Scenes of 2008, Smith & Kraus, Inc.

Monologues published in The Best Women’s Monologues of 2009, Smith & Kraus, Inc.

Published in Plays From New River 1, McFarland & Company, 2011

Published by Original Works, 2013

"American Girls" is a thought-provoking, squirm-inducing, very funny meditation on sexual politics among America's youth, and I highly recommend it... Bettis has written an important and fascinating play, and she is without doubt a writer to keep an eye on."

"Bettis’s "American Girls"...proves that while teenagers may be clueless and silly, with sparkly barrettes in their hair and fan posters on their bedroom walls, they also have more complexity: more nastiness, genuine caring, sorrow and joy... [The story communicates something] deep and hard to verbalize, something about the plasticity of the teenage mind, the complexities of human friendship, and the ease with which all of us can confuse or conflate evil with good." -Westword 

"Bettis' dialogue is note-perfect, capturing the hilariously banal concerns of day-to-day school life, as well as the girls hunger for fame." -BroadwayWorld




Short Live-Action Narrative

Official Selection and Screening/Won Best Actress, IFS Festival, Los Angeles, 2012

Official Selection and Screening, Williamsburg Film Festival, NYC, 2012  


The Iron Warehouse
Short Live-Action Narrative

Official Selection and Screening, NY Shorts Fest, 2016

Official Selection and Screening, Dominican Republic Global Film Festival, 2015

Official Selection and Screening, Mallorca International Film Festival, Spain, 2015

Official Selection and Screening, LA Shorts Film Festival, LA , 2015

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