PlayFest Santa Barbara

The Fourth Annual PlayFest Santa Barbara

January 29 through 31, 2016

We’re growing by leaps and bounds this year! PlayFest Santa Barbara is proud to announce that our fourth season of new plays is expanding to include more wonderful new plays read by several terrific local theatre groups, including, DramaDogs, Dramatic Women, Prism Productions, and Speaking of Stories.

The festival is a celebration of some exciting new plays, including a staged readings of the hilarious, The Boondawgle Estate penned by our 2016 Playwriting Competition Honoree, Peter McDonough and directed by Ken Gilbert, and the powerful and epic Magellanica by the talented E.M. Lewis and directed by co-artistic director, R. Michael Gros. In addition, there will be a fully staged production of The Gun Show by E.M. Lewis, starring Robert Reichel and directed by co-artistic director, Jeffrey Meek.

For a complete schedule of January 2016 plays and events, visit PlayFest 2016!

PlayFest Santa Barbara stages professional theatre readings, workshops and promotes original new plays, musicals, new translations and adaptations of classics by emerging and established writers. We provide theatre lovers with the opportunity to attend performances, lectures, interviews, and master classes with some of the world’s leading artists. 

07320535-2ee9-4c44-8e5f-a040ab8d1626THE BOONDAWGLE ESTATE – PlayFest 2016 Playwriting Competition Honoree!

By Peter McDonough
A staged reading directed by Ken Gilbert
Featuring Josh Jenkins, Marisol Miller-Wave, Pacomio Sun, Kathy Marden, Leslie Story, Meredith McMinn, E. Bonnie Lewis, and Rob Grayson
A dysfunctional family unites to memorialize their beloved brother and uncle, the recently deceased Dr. Edward Boondawgle. Desiring nothing more than to give a quick nod to his dear Uncle Edward’s memory then get as far away from his unpredictable family as possible, Entrance Overhill, the executor of his uncle’s estate, soon finds himself and his new bride entangled in a plot to keep the squabbling family together longer than anticipated with the lure of a secret fortune at stake.

Served up during the early 1930s at manor home in upstate New York, the recipe for this comedy folds in a little farce, a splash of vaudeville, a split personality, a dash of skullduggery, a hint of gender bending, a distasteful elixir, a pinch of mistaken identity, an assortment of odd characters, a dose of the true meaning of family and, oh…one goldfish.

TIMES: Friday, January 29 at 7:00 P.M. at Center Stage Theatre: 751 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

BOX OFFICE (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD)
THE BOONDAWGLE ESTATE – January 29 and 30

108bbc88-7f53-40ce-8ef7-558dff38ba74THE GUN SHOW

By E.M. Lewis
A fully staged production, directed by Jeffrey Meek

From a farming community in rural Oregon to the big cities of Los Angeles and New York, playwright EM Lewis takes aim at her own relationship with firearms in “The Gun Show.”  An actor shares Ms. Lewis’s unique perspective and true stories about America’s most dangerous pastime as if they were his own, with brutal honesty and poignant humor. Leaning neither right nor left, “The Gun Show” jumps into the middle of the gun control debate, and asks “Can we have a conversation about this?”

“GO! The drama’s life-changing moments evoke a here-and-now immediacy, not easily forgotten.”  -LA Weekly

“Human, bold, sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but always honest.” -New City

“It’s a show that can’t help but push some buttons and get people talking about things they disagree with or aspects they hadn’t considered. That’s the power of a narrative so emotionally intense and so personal: It helps put you in the shoes of people you might not have thought you’d identify with at all.”  -Mercury News
TIMES: Friday, January 29, at 9:30 P.M. at Center Stage Theatre: 751 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.
TIMES: Saturday, January, 30 at 9:30 P.M. at Center Stage Theatre: 751 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.
This performance runs 60 minutes.
TICKETS: This fully staged production is a special event. Tickets can either be purchased individually or as part of the Platinum Festival Pass.

BOX OFFICE (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD)
THE GUN SHOW– January 29 and January 30.

493780a0-6e4f-4bfc-ad29-39a4c19e0d93BREAKFAST WITH SMARTASSES

Staged readings of five sassy plays by five sassy female writers.

Dramatic Women and Speaking of Stories join forces to present staged readings of five short plays by Ellen Anderson, Nara Dahlbacka, Tania Israel, Jenny Mercein, and Chelsea Sutton, each celebrating its own special smartass outlook on life. Following the readings, continental breakfast will be served and there will be a discussion with the playwrights and artistic team.

TIMES: Saturday, January 30, at 10:00 A.M. at Center Stage Theatre: 751 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

BOX OFFICE (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD)

5617faba-3d20-42b9-b236-408ee19db77bMAGELLANICA (PARTS 1-5)

By E.M. Lewis
A staged reading of a new play directed by R. Michael Gros, presented in two performances. Parts 1-3 at 2:00, followed by Parts 4 and 5 at 7:00.

In winter 1985, eight scientists travel to Antarctica to find out if there really is a hole in the sky. Magellanica is a fictional account of a very real moment in history, when the existence of a hole in the ozone layer became the subject of international debate.  An epic adventure about our responsibilities to the planet we inhabit and the people who live here with us!

TIMES: Parts 1-3 Saturday, January 30, at 2:00 P.M. at Center Stage Theatre: 751 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.
Parts 4 and 5 Saturday, January 30, at 7:00 P.M. (NOTE EARLY TIME). At Center Stage Theatre: 751 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

BOX OFFICE (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD)
MAGELLANICA (PARTS 1-5) – January 31.


By Miller James
The Family Blessing is a raw and hilarious look at your typical American family who live in a yurt and a goat shed!

The staged reading will take place at the Alhecama Theatre, 914 Santa Barbara St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

TIMES: Sunday, January 31, at 2:00 P.M.

BOX OFFICE (805) 963-0408 (V/TDD)

Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 11.31.57 PMArtists and Donors Reception

TIMES: Sunday, January 31, at 2:00 P.M. 
Alhecama Theatre, 914 Santa Barbara St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.
This VIP event is for:
Festival Artists/Donors ($100 and above)/sponsors
Festival Play Pass Gold and Platinum Ticket holders
Tickets NOT available for walk-up purchase to reception

Festival Play Pass 

Admission and priority seating at all festival events except the closing reception and performances of The Gun Show. Includes free admission to Playwright’s Panel (limited seating at Anyi Gallery)

Gold Festival Play Pass 

Admission and priority seating at all festival events, including the closing reception, but not including performances of The Gun Show.

Platinum Festival Play Pass

Admission and priority seating at all festival events, including the closing reception and one performance of The Gun Show.

TIMES: See listings below for individual shows
TICKETS: For individual shows, see listings below. Festival Play Pas $75, Gold Festival Play Pass $85, Platinum Festival Play Pass $100.
Get your Festival Pass Online

For more information about the 2016 festival, visit Playfest 2016!

Artistic Directors, Jeff Meek and R. Michael Gros.

Artistic Directors, Jeffrey Meek and R. Michael Gros.

PlayFest Santa Barbara’s vision is informed by our commitment to performing arts virtuosity. We aim to create a haven for diverse artists to develop and celebrate classic and new literary and musical works from conception to completion. We are committed to providing an exciting and creative environment for artists to hone their skills and promote their talent with the support and guidance of the world’s leading professional theatre artists. We believe the cultural vitality of our community is enhanced and reflected by the creative depths of our storytelling.

Above all, we expect to be a credit to the communities we serve, a valuable resource to our audience, and a place where dedicated artists can grow and prosper. Toward this end, we will not only listen to our audience and artists, but also embrace the idea that PlayFest Santa Barbara is at their service. If you’d like to submit a play, head over to our Playwriting Competition Page for information on awards, judging and submission procedures.  

“I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics but for our contributions to the human spirit.” John F. Kennedy