Press Release - ​​​Pacific Playwrights Festival 

2017 Pacific Playwrights Festival Marks 20th Year at South Coast Repertory
Lineup Includes Seven New Plays From the Nation's Hottest Playwrights

COSTA MESA, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2017)—The lineup for South Coast Repertory’s 20th Pacific Playwrights Festival (PPF), April 21-23, includes works from playwrights Amy Freed, Lucas Hnath, Donald Margulies and Lauren Yee. This year’s festival offers three full productions and four staged readings. Tickets, including discounted packages to see all the readings, are available online at www.scr.org.

“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 commissioned and for works we have been developing. These plays have vitality and a range of expression that reflect the best of new American theatre today.”

Three of the seven plays have come out of SCR’s renowned play commissioning program and two from CrossRoads, SCR’s commissioning/community engagement program, which also yielded Qui Nguyen's hit play, Vietgone.

“To mark the occasion of the 20th festival, we're adding a third world premiere production to go along with four staged readings,” said John Glore, festival co-director and associate artistic director. “We're also inviting dozens of our playwright friends to come join the festivities over the course of the weekend. And, there'll be a couple of other surprises, to make sure that PPF 20 is properly celebrated.”

In addition to new scripts by longtime SCR collaborators Freed and Margulies, works by five writers new to the festival are featured: Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm, Dipika Guha, Lucas Hnath, Michael Mitnick and Lauren Yee.

“This lineup showcases the fantastic variety of storytelling and the different ways writers find inspiration,” said Kimberly Colburn, festival co-director and SCR literary director. “Amy Freed was inspired by reexamining Shakespeare and Lucas Hnath wrote a modern sequel to a classic play. Dipika Guha and Lauren Yee each spent 10 days in Orange County last summer through SCR’s CrossRoads program and both delivered great plays, remarkably quickly, that were inspired by their exploration. As is often the case in PPF, but especially this year, all seven plays are unique and highlight the top-notch writing in America today.”

The three full productions at the 2017 Pacific Playwrights Festival are:

The Siegel (world premiere)
by Michael Mitnick
directed by Casey Stangl
dramaturg: Jerry Patch
March 24-April 23, 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.

A Doll’s House, Part 2 (world premiere)
by Lucas Hnath
directed by Shelley Butler
dramaturg: Kimberly Colburn
Julianne Argyros Stage
An SCR commission
April 9-30, 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?

Yoga Play (world premiere)
by Dipika Guha
directed by Crispin Whittell
dramaturg: John Glore
An SCR CrossRoads commission.
April 19-30, Nicholas Studio
This sharp comedy asks what it takes to find your own authenticity in a world determined to sell enlightenment—one pair of yoga pants at a time.

The four PPF readings are:

SHREW!
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.

Anacostia Street Lions
byTearrance Arvelle Chisholm
directed by John Michael 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.

Long Lost
byDonald Margulies
directed by Daniel Sullivan
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.

Cambodian Rock Band
by Lauren Yee
directed by May Adrales
dramaturg: Andy Knight
An SCR CrossRoads commission
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. Music by Dengue Fever.

Playwrights Panel Discussion: The panel discussion will include playwrights featured in this year’s festival and takes place on Sunday, April 23, from 9-10 a.m., on the Julianne Argyros Stage. 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. Of the 123 plays presented in the first 19 years of the festival, nearly all have gone on to productions at other theatres nationwide. PPF-launched plays have been written by such American theatre luminaries as Craig Lucas, Sarah Ruhl, Octavio Solis, Lynn Nottage, Julia Cho, Nilo Cruz, Lauren Gunderson and Richard Greenberg. Following the 2015 PPF reading, Vietgone by Qui Nguyen went on to productions in New York, Oregon, Washington and Minnesota, and the play has been named a finalist for the 2017 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History.

The 2017 Pacific Playwrights Festival is made possible with support from the Shubert Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pacific Playwrights Festival Honorary Producers (Sally Anderson and Tom Rogers, Sophia Hall Cripe and Lawrence Arden Cripe, Yvonne and Damien Jordan, Sue and John Murphy, Samuel and Tammy Tang, and Linda and Tod White). Special thanks to the Time Warner Foundation, the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Elizabeth George Foundation and the Edgerton Foundation for supporting the development of new plays.

The Costa Mesa Marriott is the festival’s official hotel.


Related Information for the Pacific Playwrights Festival

ABOUT TICKETS AND LOCATION

About tickets: The 20th Pacific Playwrights Festival has several ticketing options:

  • Tickets for individual readings are $17.
  • Packages to see all four readings, plus Yoga Play are available for $80
  • Tickets for Yoga Play, are $22-$32
  • Tickets for individual full productions range from $22-79 each (The Siegel, A Doll’s House, Part 2)
  • The Sunday, April 23, 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 www.scr.org.

Theatre Industry Professionals: Theatre industry professionals may select single tickets or a full festival package. Contact the Box Office at (714) 708-5555 or go online at scr.org. For complete theatre industry information, contact Festival Coordinator Andy Knight, associate literary director, at (714) 708-5062 or andrew@scr.org.

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. www.scr.org