Press Release - ​​2016 Pacific Playwrights Festival

2016 Pacific Playwrights Festival at South Coast Repertory
Seven New Plays in Three Days, From the Nation’s Hottest Young Playwrights

COSTA MESA, Calif. (​​Feb. ​23, 2016) - South Coast Repertory’s 19th annual Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF), April 22-24, features seven new plays in three days; the offerings include two full productions and five staged readings from some of the nation’s hottest playwrights including Julia Cho, Eliza Clark and Noah Haidle. Single and packaged tickets are available online at

“South Coast Repertory continues to lead in the commissioning and development of new plays,” said SCR Artistic Director Marc Masterson. “The Pacific Playwrights Festival is our primary showcase for works that we have been developing. These are works with vitality and a range of expression that reflect the best of new American theatre today.”

Four of the seven plays have come out of SCR’s renowned play commissioning program.

“After experiencing these seven plays, audiences are going to understand that PPF is binge-viewing of a whole different order,” said John Glore, festival co-director and associate artistic director. “This is Julia Cho’s fifth PPF appearance, the fourth for Noah Haidle and the second for Eliza Clark, Rachel Bonds and Meg Miroshnik—and then Jen Silverman and Kemp Powers are having their PPF debuts—so it’s a great mix of old friends and new ones, and also a great diversity of subject matter, styles and moods.”

Added Kimberly Colburn, festival co-director and literary director: “This cross-section of plays illustrates the breadth of storytelling from some of the hottest young playwrights working today. While the plays themselves are very different from one another, they share a common thread of theatrical imagination.”

The full productions featured at the 2016 Pacific Playwrights Festival are:

  • Future Thinking (world premiere)
    by Eliza Clark
    directed by Lila Neugebauer
    dramaturg: Kimberly Colburn
    March 25–April 24, Segerstrom Stage
    Chiara is a spoiled starlet, 23 going on 45, going on 6. Peter is a pet photographer. He’s also Chiara’s obsessed, middle-aged stalker-fan. It’s Comic Con time and Peter’s back—in spite of a restraining order—with visions of another dimension, a dream world where he and Chiara will live happily forever. All Chiara wants is for her stage mom and her bodyguard to get lost—preferably, together. Everyone has a fantasy, and soon they’ll collide with each other—and reality.

  • Office Hour (world premiere)
    by Julia Cho
    directed by: Neel Keller
    dramaturg: John Glore
    April 10–May 1, Julianne Argyros Stage
    He sits in the back of the classroom, wearing dark glasses, a baseball cap pulled down low…never speaking. His creative writing assignments are violent, twisted—and artless. He scares the other students. He scares the teachers. The kid is trouble. Or is he just mixed up, using his writing to vent, provoke, maybe even protect himself? Gina is the only teacher willing to get close. But at what risk?

The readings for PPF are:

  • A Perfect Circle
    by Noah Haidle
    directed by Evan Cabnet
    dramaturg: Kimberly Colburn
    Friday, April 22, at 1 p.m., Segerstrom Stage
    Jackie is trying desperately to deliver on a long-deferred promise of building a garden for his wife. She’s dying, their son is coming home after a lengthy absence, the weeds in the backyard won’t stop growing and that haunted train whistle keeps getting closer. Heartbreak with a twist of Haidle.

  • Little Black Shadows
    by Kemp Powers
    directed by May Adrales
    dramaturg: Andy Knight
    Friday, April 22, at 3:30 p.m., Segerstrom Stage
    Toy and Colis are children; so are the masters they silently serve on a Georgia cotton plantation. Only at night do the young slaves come alive, to tell stories and dream by the light of fireflies. But their world is about to change forever. Do they dare to come out of the shadows?

  • Curve of Departure
    by Rachel Bonds
    directed by Mike Donahue
    dramaturg: John Glore
    Saturday, April 23, at 10:30 a.m., Segerstrom Stage
    On a balmy New Mexico night in a too-small motel room, a “ragtag little group of humans” gathers in anticipation of the funeral that has brought them together. But the dearly departed is the least of their concerns as they all grapple with the curves life has thrown them.

  • Lady Tattoo
    by Meg Miroshnik
    directed by Marti Lyons
    dramaturg: Joy Meads
    Sunday, April 24, at 10:30 a.m., Segerstrom Stage
    At the beginning of the 20th century, tattooed lady Picky is commissioned by Lady Elizabeth Arterton to do some custom inking. It quickly becomes more than a transaction as desperation, regret and art collide in a world where a woman’s options are corseted. The high stakes of secret tattoos.

  • Wink
    by Jen Silverman
    directed by Bart DeLorenzo
    dramaturg: Jerry Patch
    Four readings: Friday, April 22, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 23, at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sunday, April 24, at 2:30 p.m. Nicholas Studio
    Sofie is distraught over the disappearance of her beloved cat Wink. Her husband, Gregor, knows what happened, but he’s not talking—except to Dr. Frans, the oddball shrink he shares with Sofie. But some things won’t stay buried, and when Wink turns up unexpectedly with plans for revenge, things get really wild. Repression is a bitch.

Playwrights Panel Discussion: The panel discussion will be moderated by Liz Engleman and will take place on Sunday, April 24, from 9-10 a.m., on the Julianne Argyros Stage. Participants will include playwrights featured in this year’s festival. The panel discussion is free.

Created in 1998, the Pacific Playwrights Festival has grown into one of the leading festivals of new plays in the country and showcases some of the best new work on SCR’s radar. The festival offerings generate lively conversation, future world premieres and subsequent productions for numerous playwrights.  Over the years, the festival has helped launch some of the most prominent plays in the American theatre, including Donald Margulies’ Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel, Nilo Cruz’s Anna in the Tropics,  Julia Cho’s The Language Archive, Noah Haidle’s Smokefall, Amy Freed’s The Beard of Avon, Jordan Harrison ‘s Marjorie Prime, Tanya Barfield’s Blue Window and David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Rabbit Hole.

The 2016 PPF is made possible with support from The Shubert Foundation, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the National Endowment for the Arts and The Elizabeth George Foundation. Additional support comes from the Pacific Playwrights Festival Honorary Producers (Bette and Wylie Aitken, Yvonne and Damien Jordan, Thomas B. Rogers and Sarah J. Anderson, Samuel and Tammy Tang, Tod and Linda White and Bill and Carolyn Klein).

The Avenue of the Arts Hotel is PPF’s official hotel.


About tickets: The 19th Pacific Playwrights Festival has several ticketing options:

  • Tickets for individual readings are $17.
  • Packages to see all five readings are available for $70
  • Tickets for individual full productions range from $22-77 each (Future Thinking, Office Hour)
  • The Sunday, April 24, playwrights’ panel discussion is free and open to the public.

Tickets may be purchased by phone at (714) 708-5555, at the SCR Box Office or online at

Theatre Industry Professionals: Special options for theatre industry professionals include a full festival package or day passes. Contact Festival Coordinator Andy Knight, associate literary director, at (714) 708-5062 or, for complete theatre industry details.

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 Emmes/Benson Theatre Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Parking is available in the parking structure on Park Center Drive, off Anton Blvd; $10, cash required.

ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions 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.