The 2019 Pacific Playwrights Festival
Launched in 1998, South Coast Repertory’s annual Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF) is a major national showcase for new plays. The 22nd festival in April 2019 will bring the total number of plays presented in PPF to 141 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 26–28 and features five staged readings and two 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 21 previous festivals have included such award-winning plays as Lucas Hnath's A Doll's House, Part 2, Lauren Yee's Cambodian Rock Band, 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 and David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Rabbit Hole.
PRELUDE TO A KISS
music by Dan Messé
lyrics by Sean Hartley & Dan Messé
book by Craig Lucas
directed by David Ivers
dramaturg, John Glore
Friday, April 26, at 1 p.m., on the Segerstrom Stage
Craig Lucas’s adult fairy tale is reborn as a musical. A roller-coaster romance goes off the rails when a mysterious twist of fate on their wedding day takes Rita away from Peter, sending him on a quest to win her back.
by Adam Bock
directed by Jaime Castañeda
dramaturg, Jerry Patch
Friday, April 26, at 4 p.m., on the Segerstrom Stage
Life is good in Port Alison, Manitoba—precisely why Gordy has never left. But then opportunity knocks, and he has a chance to go on a cruise with his pal, Brendan. A comedy about how one small chance leads to big changes.
by Ana Nogueira
directed by Mike Donahue
dramaturg, Andy Knight
Friday, April 26, at 8 p.m., Saturday, April 27, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, April 28, at 2:30 p.m., in the Nicholas Studio (No late seating)
You always know where to find Jeff and Judy—at an audition or camped out by the stage door of Broadway’s latest musical. But their friendship gets tested when a new man comes into Judy’s life and a new woman comes into Jeff’s drag routine.
by Melissa Ross
directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch
dramaturg, Kimberly Colburn
Saturday, April 27, at 10:30 a.m., on the Segerstrom Stage
Diana, the new president of Kensington College, can barely get her pictures hung in her office before she’s caught in the crossfire between the old guard and the student body over a controversial class. "Time-Honored" collides with "Time's Up" in this new play by Of Good Stock's Melissa Ross.
by Chisa Hutchinson
directed by Sarah Rasmussen
dramaturg, Amrita Ramanan
Sunday, April 28, at 10:30 a.m., on the Segerstrom Stage
Strange things are happening in Rebecca’s new apartment—poltergeist strange. And it’s not easy being on the front lines of gentrification. Now Yvette, a homeless woman, keeps intruding on her life. But even the best home-security system can’t save Rebecca from what’s really haunting her.
POOR YELLA REDNECKS
by Qui Nguyen
directed by May Adrales
dramaturg, Kimberly Colburn
March 30 – April 27, on the Segerstrom Stage
In the award-winning Vietgone, Qui Nguyen recounted his parents’ hot and hilarious courtship in a Vietnamese refugee camp in 1975. Now, six years later, Tong and Quang are building new lives in a foreign land called Arkansas. But marriage is hard—especially when she’s having doubts and his first one isn’t over yet. One family’s history makes for a raucously funny, deeply moving take on the immigrant story, told with hip-hop style.
Recommendation: High school and above. Contains adult language, smoking and a recap of Vietgone.
by Kevin Artigue
directed by Leah C. Gardiner
dramaturg, Jerry Patch
April 14 - May 5, on the Julianne Argyros Stage
What begins as a love story about two Cleveland cops—an African-American woman and her white partner—changes when he shoots a young black man in the line of duty. Amina loves Ryan. But can she trust her heart when the truth about the shooting, and her man, becomes more and more slippery? A relationship gets shaken to the core in this riveting drama by an up-and-coming playwright.
Recommendation: Age 14 and above. Contains adult language.
2019 PPF PLAYWRIGHTS PANEL:
Playwrights and Institutional Change
Playwright Aditi Brennan Kapil will lead a broad conversation with the 2019 festival playwrights about their plays. They’ll also touch on a topic impacting many theatres today: Across the country, theatres of all sizes are experiencing leadership change. The panel will discuss what that means for playwrights. As writers, what impact do they hope this sea change has on the field, and on their future work?
The 2019 festival playwrights include Kevin Artigue, Adam Bock, Sean Hartley, Chisa Hutchinson, Craig Lucas, Dan Messé, Qui Nguyen, Ana Nogueira and Melissa Ross.
Read more about the Pacific Playwrights Festival.
See the list of play titles presented during previous Pacific Playwrights Festivals.