News

Submission Season Date Changes

Submissions for Season 34 of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival will be accepted beginning March 1st, 2014. This is a change. The submission season will end on May 31st, 2014. A limit of 75 scripts will be accepted. When the librarian has received 75 scripts, the submission period will close, and the closing will be announced at this website. If plays are submitted after that, those scripts will be held until the following season and those playwrights will be so informed.

As before, the application with your contact info and the check for the submission fee must be sent in the physical mail. The script---anonymized with no author name---should only be emailed to [email protected]. Physical hard copies of scripts will not be accepted.

For more information, please see our submission guidelines.

Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014

Congratulations to the Season 32 BPF Award Winners

Winners have been announced for the 32nd Annual Baltimore Playwrights Festival:

For the script:

  • 1st place (Carol Weinberg Award, $250 cash prize): Countdown to the Happy Day by Thomas W. Stephens, produced by Heralds of Hope Theater
  • 2nd Place ($100 cash prize): When The Letter Writers Have All Died by Tricia Schwaab, produced by Theatrical Mining Company
  • 3rd Place ($50 cash prize): Sick Stories, Gentle Granddaddy by S. Ann Johnson, produced by Theatrical Mining Company

For the production:

  • 1st place: Countdown to the Happy Day, directed by Margaret Locklear and Percy Thomas at Heralds of Hope Theater
  • 2nd Place: When The Letter Writers Have All Died, directed by Barry Feinstein at Theatrical Mining Company
  • 3rd Place: Sick Stories, Gentle Granddaddy directed by Tyrone Requer and Shelby Chapman at Theatrical Mining Company
See pictures of the rewards gala!
Posted on Thursday, September 26, 2013

Open Hydrant Theater Accepting Submissions for Short Play Festival

Open Hydrant Theater Company at The Point, a not-for-profit, OBIE-winning Community Development Center, is seeking talented playwrights to participate in its first annual, Short Play Festival, November 22-24, 2013.

Up to 6 winners from this festival will be selected for an up-coming Equity production. This is a great opportunity to form a meaningful and long lasting connection with the primary theater company in the Bronx.

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Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2013

Reading of Strangers by Stanley Gabor by The Dramatists Guild

The Dramatists Guild will present a full reading of Strangers by Stanley Gabor, with a talkback to follow, at Single Carrot Theater (1727 North Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201) on Thursday, September 19th at 7:30 PM. Strangers had a public reading by the Baltimore Playwrights Festival during season 31 in 2011.

Posted on Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Before Oscar Was Wilde at Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage

In addition to the excerpts from BPF's summer productions, The Kennedy Center's 12th Annual Page to Stage will also feature a revised version of Steven Levingston's play Before Oscar Was Wilde, which was given a public reading earlier this year by the BPF under the title Oscar Wilde In America.

Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wonderful Review of When the Letter Writers Have All Died

Morgan Halvorsen gives When the Letter Writers Have All Died a wonderful review in MD Theatre Guide:

Barry Feinstein has created a premiere that is elegant, simple, and moving. The devotion to an authentic experience, right down to casting a Vietnam veteran (who provides a narrative featured in the program), is what truly makes this production worth seeing.

Posted on Friday, August 16, 2013

Five Star Review for Countdown to the Happy Day

Check out Zsun-nee Matema's review of Countdown to the Happy Day in DC Metro Theatre Arts:

It’s official, Baltimore actors are at the top of the acting ladder. The production, Countdown to the Happy Day by Thomas W. Stephens, is absolutely breath taking...the portrayal of down and out souls fluctuating between fight and flight determined the strength of this play.

Posted on Friday, August 16, 2013

In Memoriam: Chris Dickerson, BPF Founder and Former Chairman

The Baltimore Playwrights Festival is sad to announce the death of Chris Dickerson, who founded the Baltimore Playwrights Festival in 1982 along with John Bruce Johnson of the Vagabond Players. Chris was a playwright, actor and member of Corner Theater (a theater focused on producing new works) when he and JBJ developed the idea of getting local theaters to produce new plays in their summer season. In BPF's first Season, Chris's play Deadline was produced at FPCT. He also had By Any Other Name produced in 1986 by Arbutus Theater, a play he co-wrote with Hollis Pashen. In 1992, Chris played the lead in the BPF play, The Dark Eyes at FPCT. Chris served as Chairman of the Board of BPF in its early days, working to give the BPF a foundation that was strong enough to support its continuation these past thirty-two years.

Posted on Friday, July 19, 2013

Rave Review of Sick Stories, Gentle Granddaddy

ZSun-nee Matema of DC Metro Theatre Arts gives Theatrical Mining Company's production of S. Ann Johnson's Sick Stories, Gentle Granddaddy, playing weekends through July 28th, a five star review.

If it’s a good evening at the theater you’re looking for, I’ve got a top of the line drama...from the first line spoken you sense that great storytelling is going to unfold...kudos to Directors Tyrone Chapman and daughter Shelby Chapman for fantastic blocking and sensitive, flawless movement during each scene.

Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2013

Great Review of The Rainbow Plays in City Paper

Bret McCabe of City Paper has published a wonderful review of Fells Point Corner Theatre's production of Rich Espey's The Rainbow Plays, playing through this weekend, July 21.

Plays by Espey, who is also an actor and president of the Single Carrot Theatre’s Board of Directors, have appeared in the BPF since 2001, and he’s become—like Joe Dennison, Mark Scharf, and Rosemary Frisino Toohey—a local playwright who’s name is enough to make a theatergoer curious...in brevity Espey explores a kind of ordinary humanism. You just can’t go too deep in a short format, and these plays don’t aim for grandiose statements about the human condition. Instead, Espey allows almost sketch-comedy setups to become snapshots of relationships.

Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2013

Auditions for BPF Production of "When The Letter Writers Have All Died"

Auditions for Trishia Schwaab's "When the Letter Writers Have all Died" will be held at Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann Street, Baltimore, MD 21231, on Wednesday June 12th from 7:30 - 9:00 PM.

Auditioning for lead actress "Lorie," 25-30 years old.

Actors in the age range 45-65 are also needed.

Posted on Monday, June 10, 2013

Playwright Lee Blessing to Keynote Compass Rose Theater New Play Festival May 17 - 19

Compass Rose Theater of Annapolis will debut a New Play Festival May 17, 18 and 19, 2013 by presenting a diverse mix of staged readings and featuring Lee Blessing, an award-winning playwright, as the keynote speaker on Saturday evening, May 18.

The festival will include a play written by Compass Rose student, Hannah Geib; a reading of Freefall by frequent BPF playwright Mark Scharf; a play for young audiences by local playwright Dan Baum; and a Page to Stage presentation by local life story authors. Selections of Lee Blessing’s play, Eleemosynary, the most recent production in the Compass Rose season, will be presented Saturday night as part of the keynote evening.

For more information visit Compass Rose Theatre's web site.

Posted on Monday, May 06, 2013

BPF Playwright Rosemary Frisino Toohey's Plays Produced Around The World

BPF Playwright Rosemary Frisino Toohey is getting many of her plays produced this year:

Gladys In Wonderland, produced in the BPF in 1999, is being produced this weekend April 25-28, at the Colorado City Opera House in Colorado City, Texas.

Frozen Fishsticks will be done by Drip Action Theatre Company in this year's Arundel Festival in Arundel, England, August 17-24. This is a festival where they do a bunch of plays in all different spots in this town in England.

In The Tank (now produced more than 50 times) will be done at Ontario High School, in Ontario, California 5/15. Both Frozen Fishsticks and In The Tank were produced as part of Seafood Buffet by the BPF in 2001.

10-18-02 is in New York's 15 minute play festival at the American Globe Theatre on W. 46th in Times Square this Sunday, April 28, at 8:00 PM.

Congratulations to her for all of these productions!

Posted on Friday, April 26, 2013

Washington Post: Steven Levingston on Writing A New Play

Steven Levingston, whose play Oscar Wilde In America was given a public reading in 2013, writes about the experience of writing a new play in The Washington Post. The Baltimore Playwrights Festival plays a wonderful role in the story.

Posted on Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hired Gun, Following Sarah and Passport Nominated for 2012 BroadwayWorld Baltimore Awards

The Baltimore Playwrights Festival's 2012 productions of Mark Scharf's Hired Gun, Rich Espey's Following Sarah and Kevin Kostic's Passport have received multiple nominations for the BroadwayWorld Baltimore Awards! You can see all the nominees and vote for the winner here!

Nominations for Hired Gun:

  • Best Actor in a Play (Non-Equity): Rodney Bonds and Tucker Foltz
  • Best Actress in a Play (Non-Equity): Sarah Eberhart
  • Best Direction of a Play or Musical: Stacey Bonds
  • Best Lighting Design: Charlie Danforth
  • Best New Play or Musical: Mark Scharf

Mike Ware, a member of the cast of Hired Gun, was also nominated for his roles in Darwin in Malibu and Cabaret.

Nominations for Following Sarah:

  • Best New Play or Musical: Rich Espey
  • Best Direction of a Play or Musical: Anne Shoemaker

Nomination for Passport:

  • Best New Play or Musical: Kevin Kostic
Posted on Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Winners of the 31st Season Baltimore Playwrights Festival Awards

Congratulations to the winners of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival Awards for season 31:

The Carol Weinberg Award for Best Play

1st Following Sarah Rich Espey
2nd Passport Kevin Kostic
3rd Hired Gun Mark Scharf

Best Production

1st Following Sarah Fells Point Corner Theater
2nd Hired Gun Theatrical Mining Company
3rd Passport Theatrical Mining Company

Read all about it at MD Theatre Guide

See photos of the event
Posted on Sunday, September 23, 2012

Visible and Real: Declare Yourself Storyteller

Stephanie Durnford is offering free writing classes in her "Guinea Pig" session. For more information visit her web site at http://visibleandreal.wordpress.com/. Her description of the class:

We are all storytellers.

We tell stories about who we think we are. We tell stories about who we want to be. We tell stories about where we’re going.

Visible and Real writing classes aren’t just about writing. They aren’t about being a writer. They aren’t about becoming someone we aren’t. Instead, it's about seeing our lives and our selves as they truly are. It's about watching our minds in those quiet moments when we slow down. Incorporating meditation/prayer/silence with writing practice, Visible and Real writing classes are a non-religious dive into what comes out on the page when we simply show up and move out of the way. Our lives are busy. We don’t create space to see how those stories shape our days, and our relationships, and the way that we live our lives. What would happen if you allowed yourself to see your story? To truly see it and allow yourself to shape the story of your life?

What could you create? Join me to find out.

Posted on Saturday, August 18, 2012

Another BPF Rave Review: Following Sarah at Fells Point Corner Theatre

Amanda Gunther of DC Metro Theatre Arts loved Following Sarah. An excerpt of her review says it all:

Espey’s work is poetic; each of the girl’s creates a strong personality on stage, coming together to form a very solid notion of what life and the pressures of prep school are like. His scenes are nothing short of creative genius, often delving into the subconscious emotions of the characters through imaginative instances; conversations shared with ghostly apparitions or anthropomorphism of a single running shoe. His work is detailed and captivating, drawing the audience into the stories of these girls’ lives. Director Anne Shoemaker does an incredible job of compartmentalizing everything that is happening on the stage.

Posted on Sunday, August 05, 2012

Review of Hired Gun in the Baltimore Sun

Mike Giuliano of the Baltimore Sun gives Hired Gun a rave review:

...zestfully exploring the musical melodrama exploding like an angry guitar riff. This well-written play knows how to set up a confrontational situation that's destined to end up with a guitar being wielded as, er, a battle ax.

Posted on Saturday, July 14, 2012

Postcards by Bill Costanza at Detroit Repertory Theatre

Bill Costanza's play Postcards, which was given a reading by the Baltimore Playwrights Festival in 2007, will be produced by the Detroit Repertory Theatre. The production will open on January 10, 2013 for a 10-week run. Congratulations to him!

Posted on Friday, June 08, 2012

Fortune's Child by Mark Scharf at Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC

Congratulations to frequent BPF Playwright Mark Scharf (whose play Hired Gun will be performed by Theatrical Mining Company in this year's BPF Season)! His play Fortune's Child, which was an O'Neill semifinalist and Great Plains Theatre Conference Lab Play in 2010, will have a free staged reading at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Posted on Monday, May 07, 2012

Fells Point Corner Theatre's "10x10"

Fells Point Corner Theatre is presenting "10x10" featuring ten ten-minute plays, each by a different playwright. Many of the same playwrights who participate in the BPF are also part of 10x10. This review by City Paper's Laura Dattaro features a play by Sharon Goldner, who had a play read this year in the BPF public readings.

Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2012

Arena Players Community Pitch-In: April 14th, 2012

On April 14th, 2012 Arena Players, Inc. will be recruiting 100 volunteers to help us fix and clean up the Playhouse. They are building a new Black box theater on the third floor of our venue, and are presently searching for volunteers and donations of paint. 20 gallons of flat black paint and 20 Gallons of flat white paint are needed. They also need lots of black curtains (legs or otherwise) and various other items (see below.)

Call 410-635-0887 to register as a volunteer or donate.

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Posted on Saturday, April 07, 2012

Our Lady of Sandwich, by Mario Baldessari and Keith Bridges, to be produced in Washington, DC

The last weekend of this month, the alumni of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts (where Mario teaches classes in comedy) will be producing Our Lady of Sandwich, a comedy he wrote with his friend, Keith Bridges. Our Lady of Sandwich had a public reading at the Baltimore Playwrights Festival's "marathon" session on March 10th. The play takes place in Sandridge, North Carolina, a small Southern town that finds itself suddenly turned “head-over-Tarheels” when a diner waitress says she and her best friend were visited by the Virgin Mary. The only thing more bizarre than the reported apparitions are the comical events they set into motion around the town – pitting locals against sightseers, Baptists against Catholics, and truth against fiction. The story provides a funny, yet thought-provoking, look at the nature of miracles.

Show times are March 29 @ 8 pm, March 30 @ 8 pm, March 31 @ 3 pm and 8 pm, and April 1 @ 3 pm.

Admission is free, but seating is limited. To reserve seats, call 202-333-2202. (There will be a suggested donation of $10 at some perfs. )

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Posted on Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mark Scharf's The Whispers of Saints in New York City

The Oberon Theatre Ensemble will present a staged reading of Mark Scharf's play The Whispers of Saints on Sunday, March 25th at 7 p.m. at The Lambs (America's First Professional Theatre Club - est. 1874) located at 3 W. 51st Street, New York City.

The Whispers of Saints won both Best Play and Best Production in the 2002 Baltimore Playwrights Festival.

Posted on Tuesday, March 06, 2012

BPF Alumna Gets Reading at The Strand 3/10/2012

The Baltimore Playwrights Festival is proud to announce that The Chick Files by local playwright Sharon Goldner, will receive an independent reading at 7:00 pm, Saturday, March 10th, at The Strand Theater, as part of their Second Saturday Reading Series. The event is free of charge, and open to the public. There will be a discussion with the playwright following the reading, at which audience members are encouraged to give their feedback.

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Posted on Sunday, February 26, 2012

Davenport Theatrical's Script Coverage Service

Ken Davenport is a Broadway producer whose credits include Godspell, Chinglish, Oleanna starring Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles, Speed-the-Plow, Will Ferrell's You're Welcome America, Blithe Spirit starring Angela Lansbury, and 13. His production company, Davenport Theatrical, offers a Script Coverage Service, which aims to provide writers working on new plays or musicals with dramaturgical feedback from a Broadway producing professional, as well as advise on the piece's commercial potential and possible next steps.

For more information, see http://www.davenporttheatrical.com/submissions.html.

Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2012

Class at PlayPenn in Philadelphia with Morgan Jenness

Morgan Jenness, currently a Creative Consultant representing playwrights at Abrams Artists Agency, has also worked in various capacities from literary manager to associate producer at the Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop and as a dramaturg, workshop director, artistic consultant and teacher at theaters, play development programs and universities across the country. She will bring her wealth of expertise to PlayPenn with this workshop to provide perspective on what thrills, frustrates, and inspires the people you send your work off to. Beginning with participants' short writing samples, this one-day workshop is designed to help playwrights break through their particular writing challenges and move forward towards their best work. The class will take place on February 25th.

For more information, see http://playpenn.org/class_jenness.html.

Posted on Monday, February 06, 2012

More Full Productions of Work by BPF Alumni

The Baltimore Playwrights Festival congratulates Adam Meyer, Mark Scharf and Rosemary Frisino Toohey, all alumni of the BPF whose works will receive independent productions in New York, Maryland and Virginia this month.

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Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012