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Press Release: 202​2 Pacific Playwrights Festival

Lineup for 24th Annual Pacific Playwrights Festival

One World-Premiere Production, Five New Readings and A New Experience Called ‘Samples from The Lab’

COSTA MESA, Calif. (Feb. 22, 2022)—South Coast Repertory (Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei) announces the lineup for its renowned Pacific Playwrights Festival. The highly anticipated showcase of new works, part of the theatre’s new-play development arm—The Lab@SCR—runs April 8-10. Single ticket and discounted ticket packages for SCR’s return to a live festival after last year’s digital readings are available at

PPF includes the world-premiere production of Clean/Espejos by Christine Quintana, with Spanish translation and adaptation by Paula Zelaya Cervantes. A co-world premiere with the Neworld Theatre in Vancouver, B.C., Clean/Espejos is performed in both English and Spanish with subtitles in both languages provided throughout the play. A reading of Clean/Espejos was featured in the 2021 streaming PPF.

The 24th festival includes five staged readings of works by Spenser Davis (A Million Tiny Pieces),Naomi Lorrain (how to roll a blunt), Katie Do [love you long time (already)], John J. Caswell, Jr. (Scene Partners) and Michael Shayan (avaaz).

Along with the production and readings comes Samples from The Lab. A new experience for audiences, Samples from The Lab is a special event that offers audiences an exclusive sneak peek of a new musical in development. The event includes a presentation of excerpts from Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life, by Anika and Britta Johnson (music and lyrics) and Nick Green (book), and a chance to hear from the creative team.

“We are so thrilled to have Anika, Britta and Nick join us as part of The Lab@SCR and PPF’s new initiative, ‘Samples from The Lab,’” Ivers said. “Their new musical, Dr. Silver, is so of-the-moment and promising! We are eager to share a sample from it and hear feedback from Festival participants. This should be an adventurous format as they begin the next development phase of their work at South Coast Repertory.”

Prior to the April 9 evening performance of Clean/Espejos, the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) will present the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award. One of the more prestigious honors a new play can receive, the Steinberg Award recognizes the best scripts premiering professionally outside of New York City. Recent award winners include Cambodian Rock Band, I & You and Vietgone—plays largely developed, in part, at South Coast Repertory. Both Cambodian Rock Band and Vietgone became SCR productions.

The American Theatre Critics Association will also present its Osborn Award to an emerging playwright. Given by ATCA in memory of Theatre Communications Group and American Theatre play editor M. Elizabeth Osborn (1941-1993), the Osborn Award recognizes the work of an author whose plays have not yet received a major production, such as off-Broadway or Broadway, nor received other major national awards.

PPF patrons are invited to a free panel discussion from this year’s festival playwrights Sunday, April 10, from 9 a.m. to 10

“This year’s festival is one with a lot of playfulness in it, and I think audiences are going to have a thoroughly different experience each time they step into the theatre,” said Andy Knight, literary manager and festival co-director. ”There’s a boldness of storytelling in the lineup, particularly in the writers’ use of form, genre and engagement. All in all, it’s a real celebration this year—of the ways in which theatre transports us, the ways in which characters speak to us (in a few cases, literally) and the ways in which experiencing a new play can be unlike anything else.”

Festival co-director and SCR Associate Artistic Director Kim Martin-Cotten adds how the 2022 festival offers new perspectives on familiar themes.

“This diverse group of playwrights leads us through a variety of conditions and identities into examining the complexities of home, love, aging, and—in one instance—a quest to uncover a deeply hidden truth. It is a buoyant set of stories that ask us to take a surprising ride, each in their own way.”

The full production at the 2022 Pacific Playwrights Festival is:

by Christine Quintana
with Spanish translation & adaptation by Paula Zelaya Cervantes
directed by Lisa Portes
Saturday, April 9, Julianne Argyros Stage
At a luxury resort in Cancún, a storm is brewing—and the lives of two women from different worlds are about to collide. Adriana, a Mexican floor manager at the hotel, reels from the news of her father’s death. Sarah, a Canadian guest attending her sister’s wedding, is haunted by a long-kept secret. Brought together by torrential rain, they’re forced to examine the past, envision the future and face the present. A gripping bilingual drama of female solidarity and survival,Cleanis performed in English and Spanish with subtitles in both languages throughout.

There are five staged readings scheduled for the festival.

A Million Tiny Pieces
by Spenser Davis
directed by David Ivers
An SCR commission
Friday, April 8, at 1 p.m., Segerstrom Stage
About this play: Assigned to an important cover story at the last second, two journalists hop halfway around the globe to answer the question: how’d a simple video game created by one man spark a worldwide legal battle and split the Iron Curtain? This is the true story of Tetris.

how to roll a blunt
by Naomi Lorrain
Friday, April 8, at 4 p.m., Segerstrom Stage
About this play: Roommates Maya Wright and James Wright are unrelated, unattached and underappreciated. Surviving as an artist in New York City is no easy feat—so they shouldn’t be underestimated either. By anyone. (Including their exes.) A witty exploration of Black art, Black love and the pursuit of Black excellence.

love you long time (already)
by Katie Do
directed by Mei Ann Teo
Saturday, April 9, at 10:30 a.m., Segerstrom Stage
About this play: A Vietnamese mother and daughter grapple with their immigration to America, infidelity and first love. Through it all, their rocky relationship remains the one constant in their lives. A play about navigating love with all its sharp corners and quiet complexities.

Scene Partners
by John J. Caswell, Jr.
Sunday, April 10, at 10:30 a.m., Segerstrom Stage
About this play: Winter 1985. 75-year-old Meryl skips town and leaves behind the ice-cold nothingness of Milwaukee for the warm sunny somethingness of LA. She’s got big dreams, a little money and a whole lot of nerve. Meryl’s finally going to get hers. Or is she?

by Michael Shayan
directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel
Friday, April 8, at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 9, at 8 p.m., Sunday, April 10, at 2:30 p.m., in the Nicholas Studio
About this play: It’s Nowruz—the Iranian New Year—and who better to spend it with than our fabulous hostess, Roya? She’ll show you how to celebrate in style. They say that during Nowruz, the souls of ancestors come alive and visit. Perhaps that’s what’s happening here tonight. Or maybe it’s just the strong Persian chai.

Samples from The Lab

Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life
created by Anika and Britta Johnson
music and lyrics by Anika and Britta Johnson
book by Nick Green
directed by Logan Vaughn
Friday, April 8, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 9, at 4:30 p.m., location TBA
About this play: Dr. Silver is gone. Or rather, the body that was called Dr. Silver is gone. Now, his devoted followers have gathered in a secret location to celebrate his legacy … and to reach the “Beautiful Part” themselves. You’re invited to sing his praises, too. A new musical experience about the dangers of absolute belief.

The Pacific Playwrights Festival is made possible with support from The Shubert Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts and the Pacific Playwright Festival Honorary Producers: Sally Anderson and Tom Rogers, Laurie and Steve Duncan, Kristen and Adrian Griggs, Samuel and Tammy Tang and Linda and Tod White. Special thanks to the Elizabeth George Foundation for supporting the development of new plays.


About tickets: The 2022 Pacific Playwrights Festival has several ticketing options:

  • Tickets for individual readings are $19
  • Packages to see all five readings and Samples from The Lab are $90
  • Tickets to see five readings are $80
  • Tickets to see Samples from The Lab only are $10
  • Tickets for the production of Clean/Espejos range from $26-$98 each
  • The Sunday, April 10 playwrights’ panel discussion is free and open to the public
    Tickets and ticket packages for the general public and theatre industry professionals may be purchased online at

Location: South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway in the David Emmes/Martin Benson Theatre Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Parking is available on Park Center Drive, off Anton Boulevard.

Complete information is available at

ABOUT THE LAB@SCR: South Coast Repertory’s comprehensive play development infrastructure provides resources with which artists can imagine, create and develop new work for SCR and for the American theatre. It includes the Pacific Playwrights Festival, the NewSCRipts play-reading series, development of new American musicals, commissions for emerging playwrights, as well as mid-career and established writers, playwright residencies, and additional in-house readings and workshops. Learn more at

ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY:  Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964, is led by Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei. SCR is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern plays and musicals, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program—The Lab@SCR—which includes one of the nation’s largest commissioning programs for emerging, mid-career and established writers. Of SCR’s more than 500 productions, one-quarter have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio.

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