The winning playwrights of the 2013 Port Townsend Arts Commission’s One-Act Play Competition, whose plays will be premiered in the 2014 Port Townsend Festival of New Plays, produced by Key City Public Theatre.
Back row, L to R: Deborah Daline, D.D. Wigley, Deborah Wiese, Henry Feldman.
Front row, L to R: Jack O’Connor, David Hundhausen.
Photo by Phil Baumgaertner, KCPT.

Heads up, theater fans! The Port Townsend Festival of New Plays —aka PT PlayFest—is coming to town March 6-16, 2014.

Presented over two weekends, PlayFest offers a unique glimpse behind the scenes of how contemporary plays are created. In addition to open rehearsals, writing workshops, and panels with guest artists, post-play discussions follow every performance event. It is produced by Key City Public Theatre, now in its 56th season.

New this year: “Locals Weekend” (March 6-9) features the winning one-acts and precedes the jam-packed “Festival Weekend” (March 13-16), when four days of back-to-back events expand into two locations: Key City Playhouse and nearby Pope Marine Building.

“It is possible to see nine plays over Festival Weekend, some in different iterations as they are workshopped day-to-day,” says Festival Dramaturg Mara Lathrop.

Immerse yourself with a $35 Festival Pass and enjoy access to all performance events both weekends. The pass is intended to open the door to new theatrical experiences, and to encourage repeated viewings of plays as they evolve over the course of the festival.

Local, regional, national talent

Featured guest Richard Dresser, a widely produced playwright and instructor at Rutgers University, attends a special performance of his new play, “100 Years,” at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 14. The staged reading is followed by a facilitated discussion and an artist reception.

Jefferson County talent is showcased in premieres of six plays by winning playwrights of the Port Townsend Arts Commission’s One-Act Play Competition. Three plays receive staged readings; three receive full productions. The one-act productions are performed March 7, 8, 13 and 15 at 7:30 p.m., March 9 at 2:30 p.m., and March 14 at 1:30 p.m. The one-act readings are performed March 6 at 7:30 p.m., March 14 at 6 p.m., and March 16 at 3 p.m.

Two notable regional playwrights—Kim Hinton and Jeni Mahoney—are spending a week in residence during PlayFest, workshopping new full-length plays. Each play receives two staged-reading performances during Festival Weekend. These sandwich a 2-1/2 hour “open rehearsal,” where you can drop in and observe the artists at work on the play.

PlayFest is also home to the 6th annual “Here, There & Everywhere,” a celebration of women playwrights from around the world in honor of International Women’s Day. This year’s monologues share themes of mothers and daughters.

PlayFest’s ensemble cast of 18 includes both Equity Actors and local talent.


Kristin Jackson, the NWTravel Editor for the Seattle Times, recently spent a weekend here in Port Townsend, and wrote an informative summary for travelers looking for a weekend getaway in the Seattle area.

“Port Townsend has all the right stuff for an easygoing weekend getaway. It’s a beautifully preserved Victorian small town on the Olympic Peninsula, with vintage buildings that are home to good restaurants, quirky shops, comfortable hotels and fancy B&Bs. It’s scenic, perched on Admiralty Inlet with lovely views of islands and Cascade and Olympic peaks. And Port Townsend has something fun for everyone, from the thriving Northwest Maritime Center and a local history museum to a lively music, art, literary and theater scene.”

Read the full story, and discover your own special weekend getaway in Port Townsend.

strange-brewfest-10Celebrate 10 years of seriously strange brews January 24-25, 2014 at the 10th Annual Strange Brewfest in Port Townsend.

More than 30 breweries and cideries from around the Northwest will come to Washington’s Victorian Seaport and Arts Community for a celebration of uniquely crafted brews from around our region. Most of the offerings will only be available at this festival. And most of those will challenge your taste buds, and their sensibilities.

Where: American Legion Hall, Port Townsend
When: Friday, January 24th, 5pm-Midnight, Saturday, January 25th, 1pm-Midnight
What: Wildly entertaining Brew Festival with amazing music and entertainment
How: $30 gets you a souvenir tasting glass, 4 tasting tokens, and a wristband to get you in for both days. Additional tasting tokens $1.50
Vitals: This is a 21 and over event. No dogs, sorry!

In addition to the great beverages, there will be plenty of food available for your eating pleasure. Dented Buoy Pizza and Cateringwill be firing up thin crust, sizzling hot pizzas using organic fresh local ingredients in their brick oven. Another local favorite, Mt Townsend Creamery will be there too, serving cheese samplers and their various cheeses. And it wouldn’t be a festival without hot dogs, so The Port Townsend Rotary Club will be making them hot and fresh. Attendees looking for more of the surf, than turf, will be delighted with delicious options like oysters on the half shell, seafood chowder, sweet italian sausages, and bratwursts offered by Key City Fish Company.

Live music will be a constant, and if that’s not enough for you, the weekend will feature Fire Dancing, Belly Dancing, Juggling, Hula Hooping, Stilt Walking, and Chainsaw Carving!

Participating Breweries: