2023 Maine Playwrights Festival
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 for the 2023 Maine Playwrights Festival are on sale now!
Public events as part of the 2023 festival include:
Featured plays: two weekends of fully staged performances of short plays (8-30 minutes in length) written by playwrights Todd Brian Backus, Kerri Elissa Becker, Joe O’Donnell, Hollie Pryor, and Shannon Wade & Nolan Ellsworth. 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 6 to 16.
Semi-finalist readings: staged readings of short plays by playwrights Dan Bancroft, Mark Evan Chimsky, David Susman, Megan Tripaldi, and Stowell P. Watters. Performed at the Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue) on Sunday, April 2.
Playwright-in-residence reading: a staged-reading of SOULS ON ICE, a new full-length comedy by Jule Selbo, 2023 Playwright-in Residence. Performed at the Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue) on Tuesday, April 11.
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 in May, 2023 – check back in April for date and location.
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 Elissa 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 performed from April 6 to 16, 2023 at the Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue) in Portland.
The 2023 MPF Professional Playwright-in-Residence is 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. On Tuesday, April 11, MPF will present a staged-reading of SOULS ON ICE, a new full-length comedy by Jule Selbo, 2023 Playwright-in Residence. Performed at the Studio Theater at Portland Stage (25 Forest Avenue).