The Maine Playwrights Festival is now in its 19th 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. The spring festival is produced through a collaboration between Maine-based directors, actors, dramaturgs, and designers, working with MPF Artistic Director Daniel Burson and the 2020 professional Playwright-in-Residence, John Cariani.
The 2020 Festival will be comprised of two weekends of fully staged performances of short plays (8-30 minutes in length). Each selected script will be performed on every show night during the Festival. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Maine, the Maine Playwrights Festival has been postponed. New dates for the festival will be announced soon.
For the past 18 years, Acorn Productions has produced the Maine Playwrights Festival, an event that nurtures the development of new plays by local playwrights. Each year, playwrights from across Maine submit between 50 and 75 scripts to the festival, and a committee of local theater professionals reads them and selects a small group of plays for production. For many years, the plays were presented in a series of performances in the late spring at the St. Lawrence Arts Center – for the past two years the festival has been performed in Portland at the Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue).
The emphasis has been and continues to be on providing playwrights with the opportunity to hear their words come to life in a rehearsal process and rewrite and develop their script with a professional director and actors. In addition to showcasing writers’ work, the Festival also strives to provide opportunities for playwrights to learn and work on their craft through workshops and master-classes with professionals. Over the years, we have worked with scores of Maine playwrights, many of whom have subsequently had their work produced in theater festivals all over the country.