Playwright In Residence

Writing on the Riviera

By season three we plan to invite professional playwrights to Santa Barbara for extended residencies. With the support of generous patrons, talented professional playwrights will be able to focus on developing new works in the beautiful, culturally vibrant surroundings of the “American Rivera.”

The Residency Program also offers to local junior high schools, high schools and colleges, unique educational opportunities by engaging with visiting playwrights to learn about different playwriting skills and techniques in master classes and workshops.


Playwright, E.M. Lewis.

The culminating experience is centered on a public reading of each selected play/musical, allowing the young writers to hear their creative work performed by experienced and professional actors before a live audience.

This capstone event is open to the entire community and encourages the celebration of literacy and creative achievement by local students normally available only in major entertainment centers like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles.

Applying For a Residency 

Playwrights applying should have at least three professional productions of their plays and, ideally, some teaching experience at the college or high school level.


The materials we will need for consideration are: 

1.    A cover letter.

2.   A bio.

3.   A resume (complete with references and teaching experience).

4.   A writing sample (a representative play).

5.   A description of the project(s) you expect to work on while in residence. 

6.   Availability over the next two years. 

7. Reference letter(s) from theatre(s) that have produced your play.

8. Reference letter from a teaching expereince and/or master class for which you had principal responsibility for the curriculum.

9. Reviews of a produced play you have written.

Please send materials via email to: or mail to: PlayFest Santa Barbara P.O. Box 1097 Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1097. 


Dramaturge, Anna Jensen, Playwright, E.M. Lewis, Director, R. Michael Gros and the cast, discuss Ms. Lewis’s play, “True Story” with the audience at PlayFest Santa Barbara 2013.