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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights

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This annual festival celebrates the richness of the Appalachian tradition by showcasing the stories of the region, both past and present, and the inspiration it provides the writers who live here.

Since 1933, Barter Theatre has been developing new works and nurturing area talent.  The AFPP has gained national attention by developing a process that has resulted in new plays being produced not only on one of Barter’s two stages, but in regional theatres across the country.

Keep on the Sunny Side, by Douglas Pote, first read at the AFPP in 2001, went on to a full production on both of Barter’s two stages before touring to 23 states in 2004-05.  Enjoyed by more than 100,000 people, this poignant love story about A.P. and Sara Carter has been produced by theatres throughout the country.  Black Pearl Sings by Frank Higgins, was first read and developed in 2006 at the AFPP and, in 2010, was listed as one of the most produced plays of that year by TCG.

Project Outline

Barter’s Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights is actively planned and organized throughout the year.  New plays are submitted by March 1st, 2014 for consideration in this year’s Festival.  Final selections are made in May.

A brief rehearsal process (six hours/play) takes place in June with an emphasis placed on clarity, not effect—getting the playwrights words and story out to the audience.  The plays are read by members of Barter’s Acting company.

Following each public reading there are audience and artist discussions about the play, led by Richard Rose, Producing Artistic Director, and a panel made up of local and regional theatre professionals.  The reading and discussion is an invaluable tool to a playwright seeking to discover what’s working in the play and what needs work.  Over the years, the AFPP has developed an audience who love to be a part of the process of helping playwrights develop their work.  This process works because they playwright has a chance to hear from the very people who will eventually be buying tickets to their play!

Play Submission Guidelines:

  • Plays must be written by an Appalachian playwright (currently living in the Appalachian Mountains which, for our purposes, run from New York to Alabama) OR the plays must be set in the Appalachian region.
  • Plays must be unpublished and must not have had a full professional production .
  • Full length plays are preferred.

Now Accepting Email Submissions!

To submit your play electronically, please send a PDF of the script along with contact info and a brief synopsis of the play to:  apfestival@bartertheatre.com

To submit your play by mail:  Please submit the full script in a three-brad folder or unbound, along with your contact info (please include email and phone) and a brief synopsis of the play.  Plays will not be returned.  Plays may be submitted to this address:

Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights
c/o Barter Theatre
PO Box 867
Abingdon, VA, 24212

Deadline for Submissions:  March 3rd, 2014

The 2014 Festival will take place July 7th-July 14th.  All playwrights who submit will be notified in early June as to whether or not their play has been selected for reading.

The playwrights of the six selected plays will each receive $250 plus transportation and housing so that they may attend their reading.

For more information, contact:
Nicholas Piper, Director
Barter’s Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights
P.O. Box 867, Abingdon, VA 24212

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