2023 Maine Playwrights Festival

actors on stage in a scene in a convenience store
Masks by Brian Arundel, MPF 2022

The Maine Playwrights Festival is celebrating its 21st 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.

The 2023 Maine Playwrights Festival will be performed at the Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue) in Portland, from April 6-16, 2023.
Tickets will be on sale soon!

2023 Featured Plays

Selections for the 2023 Festival have been announced!

FLIRTING WITH DISASTER  by Todd Brian Backus
A hapless guy, Ashley, turns to some unusual speed dating in search of someone he can really trust to ask a really big question.

THE ART OF ELIZA  by Kerri Becker
Beatrice recalls a moment of inspiration that lifts both her teenage self and her embattled mother to rise and speak.

SURPRISE! INC.  by Nolan Ellsworth & Shannon Wade
It’s time for the surprise party for Tim…  or is it? Will the employees of Surprise! Inc. be able to deliver the guaranteed memorable evening of the Super Surprise Party Package?

KAYE’S GIFT  by Joe O’Donnell
When a young physician and an older patient chat about past times during a medical exam, a touching connection between them starts to appear.

AROUND WE GO  by Hollie Pryor
When three friends are left broken in the past, who can help them towards a new future?

The five selected plays will be read at a sneak-preview event in late February. Follow MPF social media (facebook, instagram) for the announcement of this special advance reading of the 2023 festival plays!

2023 Playwright-in-Residence

The 2023 MPF Professional Playwright-in-Residence is Jule Selbo.

image of Jule Selbo
Jule Selbo

Jule Selbo’s plays have been produced in New York, Los Angeles and in regional theaters. Isolate was awarded the LA Women’s Playwrighting Prize, Boxes, a nominee for the Valley Awards, premiered at Theater West in Los Angeles and was most recently produced at Good Theatre in Portland. Jule moved to Portland, Maine from Los Angeles, where she wrote film and television projects for major studios. She’s also written for bookshelves (five books so far); her latest – the award-winning 9 DAYS, A Dee Rommel Mystery is the second in the Dee Rommel Mystery series. Check out her website: https://www.juleselbo.com

As Playwright in Residence for MPF, Selbo 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 weeks in April, 2023, MPF will also present a staged reading of a new play by Selbo – the date and location of the reading are to be announced.