Hello playwrights and fans of the Maine Playwrights Festival,
This is Dan Burson, Artistic Director of the festival. We’re in the middle of gathering scripts from writers across Maine for the 22nd annual MPF, and I’m excited to start reading what all of you have come up with after the submission deadline on November 27th.
The scripts we eventually choose from those submissions for MPF 2024 will be my last mainstage shows as Artistic Director. After 10 years leading this unique and amazing project, I’ve made the decision to step away from MPF. I want to share this news with all of you in the Maine theater community who have been so supportive of the festival over that time.
I’ve got a couple of reasons for closing my time as Artistic Director. For one, my life, both professional and personal, has increasingly moved into the midcoast region around my home in Bath. Everything I’ve got going on here makes the many trips to Portland involved in producing a festival feel like a lot – and I’m now ten years older than when I started! More importantly, I think 10 years is a good long time to do a thing. I’ve brought my ideas and values to the festival in that time, building on top of the strong foundation laid by Mike Levine over the festival’s first 12 years. Now it’s time for MPF to keep growing with new ideas from a new Artistic Director.
Speaking of that, Acorn Productions’ Board of Directors will be posting a job description for MPF’s next Artistic Director tomorrow. I know their hope is to hire somebody before the 2024 festival so that person can have a little bit of overlap with me before they start planning for 2025. If you’re interested in the position, or know somebody who might be, I hope you’ll apply or pass this opportunity along! Producing the festival is a whole lot of work, but it’s also created many of the most meaningful artistic moments of my last decade working in theater.
Before I close, I want to say a huge, boundless “thank you” to all the Maine playwrights I have worked with through the festival in the last 10 years. Thank you for doing the bold and personal work of writing plays, and thank you even more for trusting me and the MPF with your brand new scripts. Every reading and world premiere of those plays we’ve done has meant a lot to me. I’m so glad to have been a part of telling your stories.
See you at MPF 2024,
Dan Burson, MPF Artistic Director