Idaho Falls, ID
sam@samanthabairdfreelance.com

Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2020

Bay Area Playwrights Festival 2020

In fall 2019 I had just graduated from my undergrad and was living the dream as a stay-at-home mom to a newborn. One day, I got an email inviting me to read and recommend scripts for the 2020 Bay Area Playwrights Festival. The reading took place in the winter of 2019-2020 and the festival was that following July. It might seem a little bit outdated, but I want to take a minute to recognize some scripts that I read for that festival that really stood out to me. All of the scripts are linked to their New Play Exchange pages. I highly recommend signing up for a New Play Exchange account (if you haven’t already) and taking some time to read these scripts and the many other fabulous scripts on the site.

The Jeane Dixon Effect by Joseph Rodota

The character development of this script is amazing. I could picture the story on stage in my mind and I genuinely felt her aging as she told her story through the years. I also enjoyed the pacing of the play. Never once was I bored or felt the need to put it down. The genre of a one actor/actress play has always fascinated me and this is one of the best ones that I have ever read or seen.

Call Time by Deb Heitt

This play made me pretty nostalgic thinking about my time in high school theatre. I love that the theme isn’t just about the high school experience itself, but that it takes place in a theatre as well. As a director, I can see this being produced with little to no set (since the theatre is the set). I love that it opens and closes with reference to the ghost light. Something about that really spoke to me.

MLM is for Murder (or, Your Side Hustle is Killing Us) by John Bavoso

The script is hilarious! I couldn’t stop laughing at the amazing absurdity of this script. It probably has to do with my connection to the LDS church and the accuracy of the MLM effect on the church members (they all lose their minds just a bit). I like the idea of two seemingly separate stories that end up coming together. This is a well-written script. I hope I get to see it performed someday.

Juice by Janet Meyer-Jackman

Although it takes place in the 70s, I appreciate that it can be applicable now. I love the mother-daughter relationship that we see with Juice and Margaret. Relationships are complex and this script doesn’t shy away from that truth.

Since that festival, I have read for this year’s Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the first round of this year’s Ashland New Play Festival. This past weekend the Bay Area Playwrights Festival announced their final five festival scripts. I love being a part of reading opportunities like this. I love little more in life than advocating for playwrights and their new works. If you’re looking for readers for your festival, let me know!

 

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