PlayFest Santa Barbara

PlayFest Santa Barbara

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.

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. Any plays submitted now through October 1, 2020 will be considered for the January 2021 festival.

PlayFest Santa Barbara Announces 2020 PlayFest Honoree Play

PlayFest Santa Barbara announces Angela J. Davis as our 2020 Honoree playwright and her play, AGATHE, as the Honoree play. A live reading has been postponed due to the current COVID-19 crisis. We are working with our artists to provide our community with a rehearsed reading at a time to be determined in late summer or early fall. We look forward to seeing you at that time.

Now in its ninth year, PlayFest Santa Barbara, led by Artistic Director R. Michael Gros, has served as a haven for the arts. Through its international playwriting competition, PlayFest has developed new and exciting theatrical works and engaged the Santa Barbara community in the vital process of play development.

ABOUT THE PLAY AND HONOREE PLAYWRIGHT

A play for our time, AGATHE, celebrates virtue and bravery during times of extraordinary tragedy.

AGATHE, taking place on the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, tells the little-known but critically important story of the woman who served as Rwanda’s president for just fourteen hours and accomplished a miracle during one of the darkest moments in history. In addition to its selection as the winning Honoree play from PlayFest’s international competition, AGATHE is also a 2020 New American Voices Award recipient and is currently a semi-finalist for the 2020 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference.

PLAYWRIGHT ANGELA J. DAVIS

Angela J. Davis is the author of The Spanish Prayer Book (The Road Theatre Company, 2019-20 season; L.A. Times Best Bet). Recently named in the top 21 (from a field of over twelve hundred) for the Moss Hart & Kitty Carlisle Hart New Play Initiative, additional playwriting honors include the New American Voices Award, the Marsha A. Croyle Award for Achievement in Playwriting, Eugene O’Neill semi-finalist (2017, 2018, and [current] 2020), 2018 ATHE Award for Excellence in Playwriting (2nd Place), 2017 PlayPENN Finalist, FutureFest – Official Selection, SETC New Play Award – First Alternate Winner, Playhouse Creatures/Rodriguez (NYC) New Play Award top 5, Julie Harris Award top 5, and MultiStages (NYC) New Play Award top 12.

Angela’s play AGATHE (2020 New American Voices Award, and [current] 2020 Eugene O’Neill Semi-Finalist), Charlotte (Hidden River Arts Award, Viterbo New Works Festival), The Czar’s Daughters (Pittsburgh Original Works Series), and Mata H. (Frostburg Arts New Play Series; Sky Blue Theatre (London) / British Theatre Challenge Short List) are each part of the 365 Women a Year International Playwriting Project. Recent work presented and/or forthcoming at The Landing Theatre, The Chameleon Theatre Circle, The HRC Showcase Theatre, The Road Theatre Company, The Blank Theatre, North Carolina Women’s Theatre Festival, The Itinerant Theatre Company, Viterbo, The Frostburg Palace Theatre, and elsewhere.

Angela’s poetry, prose, and essays appear in numerous national publications, including a University of Iowa Press anthology. A Pushcart Prize nominee, three-time Eugene O’Neill semi-finalist, and one of sixteen writers selected as Literary Hosts for the 2018 PEN America LitFest, Angela studied comparative literature at Stanford and is an adjunct professor at Southwestern Law School, where she received the 2018 Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the creator of an award-winning multi-media program on elimination of bias in courtroom environments. Member of Dramatists Guild of America, PEN America, and the Antaeus Theatre Company Playwrights Lab.

“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

For information on submitting a play, visit our Playwriting Competition page.

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