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.