The 2017 Pacific Playwrights Festival
Launched in 1998, South Coast Repertory’s annual Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF) is a major national showcase for new plays. The 20th festival in April 2017 will bring the total number of plays presented in PPF to 130, including many that have become mainstays of contemporary American theatre. Each year’s three-day festival attracts theatre professionals from across the nation, who are drawn by the chance to be the first to see some of the best new plays in the country. These artistic leaders, along with SCR’s devoted new play audiences, take advantage of the opportunity to engage with seven new plays that traverse the theatrical spectrum. And, in between plays, PPF offers a gregarious gathering place for the sharing of ideas with colleagues and friends, old and new.
This year’s festival takes place April 21–23 and features four staged readings and three fully staged world premieres during an action-packed weekend.
The New York Times calls SCR “an incubator of major talent … South Coast has mounted an impressive list of acclaimed plays, long before the East Coast establishment got wind of them.” SCR’s 19 previous festivals have included such award-winning plays as Qui Nguyen's Vietgone, Jordan Harrison’s Marjorie Prime, Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel, Nilo Cruz’s Anna in the Tropics, Julia Cho’s The Language Archive, Noah Haidle's Smokefall and David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Rabbit Hole.
Tickets for readings are $17 each. Tickets for full productions range in price from
$30 to $79. Packages to see all four readings are available (above, right) for $70.
by Amy Freed
directed by Sharon Ott
dramaturg, Mead Hunter
Friday, April 21, at 1 p.m., on the Segerstrom Stage
What do you call a woman who is smart, ambitious, quick-witted and strong-willed? In Shakespeare’s England they called her “shrew” (unless they called her “Your Majesty”)—but Amy Freed has a different idea when she applies her wickedly funny spin to the unorthodox romance of Kate and Petruchio.
ANACOSTIA STREET LIONS
by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm
directed by Michael John Garcés
dramaturg, Kimberly Colburn
Friday, April 21, at 4 p.m., on the Segerstrom Stage
Washington, D.C., 2049 AD: the feral cat population has been neutralized, and now the M.A.N. turns its attention to the “undesirables” in the human population. But twins Fable and Korinna and their Grandthang don’t intend to go down without a fight. Funny. Fierce. Frighteningly imaginable.
by Donald Margulies
directed by Daniel Sullivan
dramaturg, Jerry Patch
Saturday, April 22, at 10:30 a.m., on the Segerstrom Stage
David has a brilliant career in finance, a beautiful, successful wife, an exceptionally promising son … and a long-lost brother who threatens to blow everything up when he unexpectedly walks back into David’s life. The latest from a masterful observer of the fault-lines within families.
CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND
by Lauren Yee
with music by Dengue Fever
directed by May Adrales
dramaturg, Andy Knight
Sunday, April 23, at 10:30 a.m., on the Segerstrom Stage
In 1978, Chum fled Cambodia and narrowly escaped the murderous Khmer Rouge regime. Thirty years later, he returns in search of his wayward daughter and is forced to finally face the music. A play with horror, humor, pathos … and songs by the best unknown rock band in Cambodia!
by Michael Mitnick
directed by Casey Stangl
dramaturg, Jerry Patch
March 24–April 23 on the Segerstrom Stage
Ethan Siegel is in love. Tonight he’s going to ask Alice’s parents for permission to marry her. There’s just one hitch. Ethan and Alice broke up two years ago—and she’s in a serious relationship with someone else. But Ethan is undaunted. An irresistible comedy about modern love and the need to go back in order to move forward.
A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2
by Lucas Hnath
directed by Shelley Butler
dramaturg, Kimberly Colburn
April 9–30 on the Julianne Argyros Stage
In the final scene of Ibsen’s classic A Doll’s House, Nora makes the shocking decision to leave her husband and children. A door slams. The curtain falls on a stunned audience. Lucas Hnath continues Nora’s story in this intriguing play with a decidedly modern perspective. Fifteen years have passed when there’s a knock on that same door. Why is Nora back—and what will her return mean to those she left behind?
by Dipika Guha
directed by Crispin Whittell
dramaturg, John Glore
April 19–30 in the Nicholas Studio
Joan has been hired to stabilize Jojomon, a yoga apparel giant, after its CEO is brought down by a fat-shaming scandal. But just as she finds her stride, more trouble surfaces and sales plummet. Joan comes up with a plan so risky that it could make or break the company and her career—and what it requires from her CFO, Raj, is far beyond the call of duty. This sharp comedy asks what it takes to find your own authenticity in a world determined to sell enlightenment.
Read more about the Pacific Playwrights Festival.
See the list of play titles presented during previous Pacific Playwrights Festivals.