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, working with MPF Artistic Director Daniel Burson and a professional Playwright-in-Residence.

Submissions are now open for the 2022 Maine Playwrights Festival.

If the public health situation allows, the 2022 Festival will be performed in-person on 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. The plays will be performed in Portland in April-May of 2022, pending determination that it will be safe to do so in terms of public health. If the pandemic does not allow for in-person performances in April-May 2022, the festival will be filmed and released for on-demand streaming.

The Submission Deadline for the 2022 Maine Playwrights Festival is:
Sunday, November 28, 2021
Click to download an application for the 2022 Maine Playwrights Festival 

MPF Mission

two men seated on stage talking
Gloria Anderson by Kevin O’Leary

For the past 19 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 – more recently, the festival has been performed at the Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 festival was postponed and became the 2021 festival, which was professionally-filmed and presented through on-demand streaming.

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.