The 201​​7 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 201​​7 will bring the total number of plays presented in PPF to 1​​30, 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 2​​1–2​​3 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 1​​9 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.


by ​Amy Freed

directed by ​​​Sharon Ott
dramaturg​, Mead Hunter

Friday, April 2​1, 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.

by ​Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm
directed by ​​​​Michael John Garcés
dramaturg​, ​Kimberly Colburn
Friday, April ​2​1, 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 Casey Stangl
dramaturg​, ​​Jerry Patch
Saturday, April 2​2, 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.

by Lauren Yee
with music by Dengue Fever
directed by ​​May Adrales
dramaturg​, ​​Andy Knight
Sunday, April 2​3, 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!


World Premiere
by ​​Michael Mitnick
directed by ​​Casey Stangl
dramaturg, Jerry Patch

March 2​​4–April 2​3 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.

World Premiere
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?

World Premiere
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.

​2017 PPF P​LAYWRIGHTS PANEL: Why this play now?

Madeleine Oldham is the director of The Ground Floor, Berkeley Rep’s Center for the Creation and Development of New Work. She’ll moderate a conversation with 2017 festival playwrights, including Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm, Amy Freed, Dipika Guha and Michael Mitnick.

Join us for a conversation that explores the point of inspiration behind each of the playwrights’ festival plays, and how their plays resonate in the world today—and during this 20th Pacific Playwrights Festival. The Playwrights Panel will take place on Sunday, April 23 from 9-10 a.m. on the Julianne Argyros Stage. No tickets or reservations required.

​Watch the panel livestream here.

Read more about the Pacific Playwrights Festival.

See the list of play titles presented during previous Pacific Playwrights Festivals.

The 201​​7 Pacific Playwrights Festival is made possible with support from:
The Shubert Foundation​
Time Warner Foundation
The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust​
The National Endowment for the Arts​
The Elizabeth George Foundation ​

Pacific Playwrights Festival Honorary Producers:
Sarah J. Anderson & Thomas B. Rogers​
Sophia Hall Cripe & Lawrence Arden Cripe
Yvonne & Damien Jordan​
Sue & John Murphy
Samuel & Tammy Tang
Linda & Tod White

Costa Mesa Marriott
Official Hotel
The Capital Grille
Restaurant Partners