Prepare for the annual playwrights festival

  • Tue Jun 2nd, 2020 1:30am
  • Life

Submitted by the San Juan Community Theatre

This year has brought a lot of changes and the San Juan Community Theatre Playwrights Festival is changing with it! The challenges of quarantine, social distancing, and maintaining a safe and healthy community have inspired us to re-think our format, and hopefully provide audiences and authors with new opportunities. So for all of us on San Juan Island who have a passion to write and possibly more time at home than normal, the 2020 SJCT Playwrights Festival provides an opportunity to put your creative muscles to work!

“This year’s Playwrights Festival provides us with unique opportunities for experimentation, recording, and performance,” SJCT’s Executive Artistic Director, Nathan Kessler-Jeffrey, says. “I’m excited just thinking about all the possibilities, and I hope you are too!”

All submitted scripts must be written by San Juan Island residents and must be 10-12 minutes in length for 1-3 actors. The plays will be produced as readings, September 3-6, 2020. Readings will be performed in front of audiences of up to 50, if San Juan County has moved to Phase 3 of re-opening, and depending on guidelines from Public Health Officials. All of the readings will be recorded and posted online, as a ‘second weekend’ of performances.

Regarding selection, Kessler-Jeffrey states, “I encourage all playwrights submitting work for the festival to be sure their plays include strong compelling character intention and realistic obstacles and/or opponents — also known as conflict. I look forward to being drawn in by your play. I want to worry about your characters, I want to wonder what’s going to happen to them. I want to be curious about their secrets and get excited about their hopes. Keep it simple enough to be done on the SJCT stage, even though we can’t mount full productions this year.”

In addition to playwrights, SJCT will be seeking volunteer directors and actors to participate in the festival.

The complete schedule, as well as the list of guidelines, can be found here, or on our website, at

Whether you are a playwright, director, actor, or you simply like to enjoy the view as an audience member, we hope to see you take part in the 2020 SJCT Playwrights Festival!

Important Dates:

• June 5 – Playwrights Festival Zoom Orientation, 5:30 p.m.

• June 18 – Optional submissions due for Zoom readings of works-in-progress and Play Development feedback.

• June 20 – Zoom readings of works-in-progress (one per writer).

• July 1 – Submission deadline.

• July 15 – Selections announced.

• August 1 – Rehearsals begin.

• September 3-6 – Playwrights Festival.