2022 Maine Playwrights Festival

The Maine Playwrights Festival is celebrating its 20th year of nurturing the development of new scripts by Maine writers. The festival is centered on developing and honing short plays, from submission through staged readings, rewrites, and culminating in a series of public performances in the spring. The festival is produced through a collaboration between Maine-based directors, actors, dramaturgs, and designers, during a focused rehearsal process in March and April, 2022.

The 2022 Festival is comprised of two weekends of performances at the Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue) in Portland, April 28 to May 8, 2022.

Public events as part of the 2022 festival include:

  • Featured plays: fully staged performances of short plays (8-30 minutes in length) written by playwrights Brian Arundel, Chris DeFilipp, Gordon LePage, Kory Alexander Majansky, Marcia Pitcher, and Jule Selbo. Each selected script will be performed on every show night during the festival. The featured plays will be performed at the Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue) from April 28 to May 8.
  • Semi-finalist readings: staged readings of short plays by playwrights Kerri Becker, Leah Bruns, Mark Evan Chimsky, Lynne Cullen, and Thomas Spurr. Performed at the Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue) on Wednesday, May 4th at 7pm.
  • Playwright-in-residence reading: a staged reading of the full-length comedy TRIGGER WARNING by 2022 Playwright-in-residence Brent Askari. Performed at the Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue) on Monday, May 2nd at 7pm.
  • High School Playwriting Project: showcase presentation of short plays written by area high school students who took part in this year’s MPF High School Playwriting workshops. To be performed outside of the festival weeks this year on Sunday, May 22nd – time and location TBA.

Selections for the 2022 Festival have been announced!

MASKS  by Brian Arundel
Declared ‘non-essential’ at the onset of a pandemic, Earl ineptly tries to rob a convenience store. But when he unexpectedly bonds with the clerk, Earl begins to realize the extent to which cash is less valuable than compassion.

THE FAEVORITE  by Chris DeFilipp
Three friends go into the woods to perform a ritualistic spell… until something not very gourd happens and panic ensues. Then the search for the faevorite among them begins.

In 1970s Maine, a boy at the beach, playing pretend from his favorite TV show, ends up finding a monster.

THE EXPERIENCE BOX  by Kory Alexander Majansky
In an absurd near-future, people can turn to a new service to cope with their personal dramas. The Consultant warns of the dangers that come with not really living life—but could this strange method be a better way to deal with grief, questions of identity, or regret?

DIMITRIA’S KITCHEN  by Marcia Pitcher
Jo wants to end her painful cancer treatments. Her mother and sisters are struggling to keep her alive. Is there space for a family, staring down death, to reconcile?

LEAVE IT OPEN  by Jule Selbo
Roz and Sam, both with scars, meet for a blind date. It does not start well. But when the ghost in the room connects them… there’s hope that they have each found something new.

The six selected plays will be performed from April 28 to May 8, 2022 at the Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue) in Portland.

2022 Playwright in Residence

Brent Askari

Brent is a playwright and actor living in Portland, Maine. His recent plays include American Underground (World premiere Barrington Stage Company 2019), Hard Cell (PlayPenn Conference 2017, world premiere Geva Theatre Center 2019), The Refugees (Winner of National New Play Network’s 2019 Smith Prize for Political Theatre), and White Party (Public readings at EST LA and Palm Beach Dramaworks, workshopped at Florida Repertory Theatre). Brent is a National New Play Network affiliate artist and a member of Mad Horse Theatre Company. He is currently working on a new commission for Barrington Stage Company.

As Playwright in Residence for MPF, Askari will lead a script development workshop for the festival’s featured writers and semi-finalists, as well as providing feedback to the featured playwrights as their scripts go into rehearsals. During the festival, MPF will also present a staged reading of Askari’s full-length comedy TRIGGER WARNING on Monday, May 2, at 7pm, at the Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue) in Portland.