Here in San Francisco we are one week away from the kick off of the 2011 Bay Area Playwrights Festival (BAPF). I’m a big fan of this festival because it’s how I started down the playwriting path. Back in 2005 my first play was selected for the festival and since then I’ve received lots of support and encouragement from BAPF organizer and producer the Playwrights Foundation.
Having participated in two festivals (in 2005 with a full-length play and in 2007 as part of the festival’s Bay Area SHorts or BASH ) and having attended festivals in between and since, I can take an educated guess as to what’s going on this week leading up to opening night.
Per the Playwrights Foundation’s tweets they’re wrapping up the artist retreat where all the playwrights have read their plays aloud to all in attendance (which includes the directors and dramaturgs they’ll work with during the festival). Imagine a room full of talented theatre artists all listening attentively as you read your work and then imagine the awesome conversation that follows.
Festivals like BAPF are exhilarating. And that’s what I bet the playwrights are feeling (but in a sort of I need sleep kind of way). Soon they’ll begin the rehearsal process where playwrights will have the chance to continue to work on their play–either fine tuning or writing completely new pages (and occasionally there have been playwrights who’ve re-written massive sections of their play during the festival).
Then, next weekend it starts. People will pack into Thick House, located in SF’s Potrero Hill, sit in the darken theatre and watch the actors, script in hand, bring each play come to life.
As you can tell I’m getting amped up for BAPF. I can’t wait! Can’t wait to see the play readings. Can’t wait to see my fellow playwrights and theatre peers who will be there in the audience with me. Can’t wait to go up and down that crazy hill between the theatre and the nearest restaurant (Yeah, I say that now…).
I’m going to see three plays that first weekend and I plan to post recaps here on the 2amt blog. But if you’re already jonesing for more and you don’t want to wait a week, don’t worry. You can get your fix over on the Playwrights Foundation’s blog and hear from the festival playwrights themselves.
And you can always follow the #BAPF hashtag on Twitter for the latest updates.
Marisela is an alumna of the Playwrights Foundation’s Resident Playwright Initiative, a former member of Playground’s writers pool and a member of the Bay Area Latino Theatre Artists Network. Currently Marisela is working on two new plays: Wolf at the Door and Alcira.
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