PlayFest 2019

Welcome to PlayFest Santa Barbara

PlayFest May 25, 2019

Join us May 25, 2019 at 7:00 pm for a staged reading of Out There Right Here, a new play by our festival honoree playwright, Anna Nicholas. There will be an audience talkback with the playwright and cast following the performance. 

Out There Right Here It’s Autumn, the Santa Anas are blowing and LA’s on fire again. Jasper Molloy is an aging Apollo astronaut diagnosed with Alzheimer’s who’s been stashing Oxycontin in the bookshelves until the day he has enough to off himself. Daughter Lucie was an archeologist until her son was killed by a philandering neighbor’s pool man and she found the Lord; while son Hubble’s a SETI researcher and Atheist who spends his days searching for life in the multiverse. Then in walks Randy, a contractor Lucie meets online, who shakes things up with his open heart and mind. Out There Right Here takes place at the intersection of science and faith, and asks, “What does it mean to believe in anything?” 

PlayFest 2019 Honoree Playwright, Anna Nicholas

Anna Nicholas is a writer, actor and director whose career spans 30 years and is comprised of work for stage, film, television and individual consumption. Produced plays include “Our Dark Connection,” “The Elegant Dinner,” “Searching for Mary Jane,” commissioned for Theatre In The Dark, The Odyssey Theatre, Los Angeles, Nominated for LA Weekly Theatre Award; LU/LOU (Dorothy Lyman), The Beaver Suite (Friends and Artists Theatre and Metropolitan Stage NYC) and Incunabula, performed for radio by Los Angeles Theatre Works, available on Audible. Her plays have been included in reading series at Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Women’s Theatre Project in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and Rogue Machine Theatre, Los Angeles. VILLA THRILLA, had its premiere at the Atwater Village. She wrote, produced and directed the international festival prize-winning film, Univers’L (starring Tony Todd), a multilingual mockumentary about the LA riots of 1992, rebroadcast on PBS; Her short film, The Big Bowling Ball, with James Remar, was nominated for best live action short. Nicholas is the author of the novels, The Muffia, the first of a “chick lit” series published in 2013 by Water Street Press and Homegrown: The Terror Within (written under the pseudonym, Cialan Haasnic). She has contributed columns for Vine Times and Touring & Tasting Magazines, as well as articles for the Los Angeles Times, The Chronicle of the Horse and others. Her first book of non-fiction, Royal Mack’s Teeny Tiny Wine Guide, was reissued in 2012, and an essay, “On Wine and Men,” appears in Penguin Books’ In My Mother’s Kitchen. She blogs at As an actress, Nicholas was a member of Theatre In The Dark at the Odyssey Theatre, Los Angeles (nominated for LA Weekly Award 2013 for Best Ensemble). Other favorite roles include Lane in Sarah Ruhl’s The Clean House (also at The Odyssey), Alice in A.R. Gurney’s Post mortem, Kate in Harold Pinter’s Old times (Ensemble Theatre), Shakespeare in Snoo Wilson’s More Light and Eva in Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular. Films include: Final Analysis, Cotton Club, Bloodstone and Funny About Love. She’s been on TV as Sue Ellen’s secretary on Dallas, Mike Hammer’s sidekick, and Mary Tyler Moore’s foil. She has taught writing at the University of Oregon, and has been involved with the Ojai Playwrights Conference, both as dramaturg and Managing Director. She is a member of the Playwrights Unit of Ensemble Studio Theatre LA and the Dramatists Guild of America.

Calling all high school playwrights!

PlayFest Santa Barbara invites all high school students from Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties to submit their One Act plays. The theme of this year’s One Acts will explore any subject or setting how science affects our lives. Honorariums of $350 and $150 will be granted to the top two high school playwrights. The top awardee will receive a public reading of their play. The submission deadline is May 15, 2019. For more information, visit our High School Playwrights page!