2023 Pacific Playwrights Festival
Launched in 1998, South Coast Repertory’s annual Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF), part of The Lab@SCR, is a major national showcase for new plays.
The 25th festival—May 5-7, 2023—features two world premiere productions and five staged readings during an action-packed three days. PPF weekend attracts theatre professionals from across the nation, as well as SCR’s devoted new play audiences, who are drawn by the chance to be the first to see some of the best new theatrical works in the country.
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 24 previous festivals have introduced such award-winning plays as Lucas Hnath's A Doll's House, Part 2, Lauren Yee's Cambodian Rock Band, Qui Nguyen's Vietgone, 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.
created by Anika and Britta Johnson
music and lyrics by Anika and Britta Johnson
book by Nick Green
directed by Logan Vaughn
dramaturg: Otis Cortez Ramsey-Zöe
Friday, May 5, at 1 p.m., on the Julianne Argyros Stage
The day has come. It is time for Dr. Silver and his followers to drink the divine tonic and join the heavenly orchestra. But in order for his congregants to face the end, they must first think back to how it all began.
CHAPTERS OF A FLOATING LIFE
by Clarence Coo
directed by Jesca Prudencio
dramaturg: Sonia Desai
Friday, May 5, at 4 p.m., on the Julianne Argyros Stage
In 1940s New York City, two couples from China struggle to make ends meet. Uptown, Shen Fu and Yun long for their former lives as an academic and writer. Downtown, Tom and Elsie toil in their tiny restaurant. Chance meetings bring them together—and unlock the possibility of new beginnings.
by Bleu Beckford-Burrell
directed by Lili-Anne Brown
dramaturg: Gabrielle Randle-Bent
an SCR commission
Saturday, May 6, at 10:30 a.m., on the Julianne Argyros Stage
In New Market, Jamaica, stood a house on the hill. There, lived Granny and her five grandkids. In Granny’s house, there was something to fear. The kids are now grown and far away, but something still remains in the shadows.
written and directed by Eleanor Burgess
creative collaborator: Lisa Rothe
Sunday, May 7, at 10:30 a.m., on the Julianne Argyros Stage
With Yeshua dead, his disciples are determined to keep spreading his message. The only trouble is the Roman Empire might want them dead. And they don't have a leader. And they can't quite agree on what Yeshua's message was...
(formerly titled A Small Man)
by Noa Gardner
directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch
cultural consultant: Mehanaokala Hind
an SCR commission
Friday, May 5, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, May 6, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, May 7, at 2:30 p.m., in the Nicholas Studio
Mother and Son spend every night playing cards and telling Hawaiian stories about the world’s creation. Better those stories than their own, which are more complex…and challenging. But without facing their past, they’re stuck without a future.
written and performed by Michael Shayan
directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel
dramaturg: Abigail Katz
April 29 - May 27 on the Segerstrom Stage
Meet Roya, our fabulous hostess, as she welcomes you into her home to celebrate Nowruz, the Iranian New Year. She’s preparing a feast, but the main attraction is Roya sharing her great American journey from Tehran to “Tehran-geles,” California. Get ready for the time of your life with this hilarious and deeply personal tribute to the playwright’s mother, deliciously portrayed by the person who knows her best—her son. Traditions, humor and passionate storytelling transform this tale of family bonds into an unforgettable theatre event!
by Charlie Oh
directed by Chay Yew
dramaturg: Andy Knight
April 23 - May 14 on the Julianne Argyros Stage
Jenn, Michelle and Joey look back at the summer of 1972, when their Korean American family piled into the Buick for an All-American road trip—spontaneously orchestrated by their father. From Milwaukee to Los Angeles and back again, they hit the open plains, stocked with kimchi, banchan and lemon drops, rickety Coleman camper in tow. But Korean parents and American kids hold conflicting ideas of what they’re looking for and the real purpose of their journey comes to light. A funny and touching world premiere by an exciting new voice.
2023 PPF Playwrights Panel
Sunday, May 7, at 9 a.m. (location TBA)
Join us for a conversation with the PPF playwrights, moderated by SCR's Artistic and Audience Engagement Associate, H. Adam Harris.
See the list of play titles presented during previous Pacific Playwrights Festivals.