OPC’s mission is to develop unproduced plays of artistic excellence from diverse writers both emerging and established, and to nurture a new generation of playwrights.
The Ojai Playwrights Conference is unique in its process of developing new plays for the American theatre by offering a safe, productive, rigorous haven for socially committed writers. This is key to our vision.
OPC is passionate about developing playwrights and plays that address the burning, divisive issues confronting us today about the values and beliefs that impact the sociopolitical experiment that is America.
We seek playwrights who question and challenge the dominant values, beliefs and discourses of our social moment. This questioning and challenging can come from any part of the political spectrum. Plays and playwrights that make us think, re-consider and propel us beyond the polarizing limitations of civil strife, discrimination, economic disparity, religious intolerance, political myth-making, sexual bigotry – these are the writers we welcome to come to the community at Ojai.
Ethnic, cultural and sexual diversity are major factors in our selection process. We seek this diversity in order to accurately reﬂect and refract the many faces of the contemporary American experience. This diversity is evident in the writers, the acting community and core developmental artists. Generational/career diversity is also central to the OPC experience, so we have structured a developmental process with a healthy mix of early career, mid-career, and highly seasoned writers.
What makes OPC unique and eﬀective also has very much to do with its retreat setting – a remote natural setting. Our artists live and work together in a secluded, soulful environment where the primary concentration is on the work and on building a rare moment of intimate community, free of commercial competition and rich in artistic collaboration. Every artist who comes to OPC celebrates the highly collaborative, non-competitive process that fosters creativity, exploration and experimentation.
Our primary goal is to fulfill the vision the playwright has for their new work. At OPC we are not encumbered by subscription demands or the business concerns of large commercialized institutions. We are motivated by developing challenging visions of who we are as a people today in an effort to bring us closer together in a respectful and loving community – that is the essence of OPC.
What began in 1998 as a local community effort to provide a forum for new play development has grown into a nationally acclaimed new play development program.
Each year a rigorous selection process yields a group of eight previously unproduced plays by a diverse group of writers at different stages in their careers. Each playwright is paired with a professional team comprised of a director, dramaturge and actors for an in-depth dramaturgical and rehearsal process, which culminates in OPC’s New Works Festival of public workshops for enthusiastic audiences.
OPC assembles artists from all over the country to live and work together in close proximity in a retreat environment, away from the pressures of distractions of their everyday lives. The Ojai community embraces the artists by providing housing support as well as participating in the lively exchange of ideas.
OPC also develops the next generation of artists by offering a Young Professionals Initiative for college age interns, and a Youth Workshop for high school students.
OPC plays have gone on to have numerous productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and at regional theatres across the U.S., and some have been nominated for and won prestigious awards including the Pulitzer Prize (Fun Home, Other Desert Cities) and Tony Awards (Fun Home, Eclipsed, The Motherf**ker with the Hat).
Patrick J. Adams
Jon Robin Baitz
Eric M. Brooks
Debra Breslow Grace
Robert has served as the Artistic Director/Producer of OPC since 2002. He is also the Founder and President of RHEgan Productions, LLC where he conceives, writes, produces and directs major live events and media projects celebrating non-profits like Cure Autism Now, Operation Smile, LA Team Mentoring, Global Green USA and Homeboy Industries.
Prior to OPC, Robert served as the Producing Artistic Director for twenty years at the Mark Taper Forum where he was Director of New Play Development and the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of its prestigious New Work Festival. He was also the Associate Artistic Director of the Seattle Repertory Theatre. Robert has produced, directed, and dramaturged hundreds of new plays in the United States and Europe.
Mark is a longtime member of the Los Angeles theatre community, as a producer and director. He is the Producing Director of The Ghost Road Company and has directed for Moving Arts, Playwrights Arena, and Theatre of NOTE, among others. He was the Managing Director for The Actors' Gang for 10 years and worked in Education and Programming at The Music Center for 16 years. He is a recipient of the Lee Melville Award for Excellence in Los Angeles Theater.
Ruth has been with OPC since 2010, overseeing marketing and ticketing for the Annual Gala and New Works Festival, and most recently the launch of the new OPC website in 2018. As the owner/creative director of Ballin Marketing & Public Relations for nearly 20 years, Ruth specializes in strategic marketing programs for arts organizations, tourism destinations, downtown districts, community festivals, and farmers markets for clients in California and the Portland OR metro area.
Tomas has been an arts advocate and cultural worker for over forty years. He is the Development officer for Plaza de la Raza and LA Stage Alliance. He is the former Executive Director of Self Help Graphics & Art, and is a former member of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Currently, he's the Chairman of the Board of Latino Arts Network of California, and is a board member of The Californians for the Arts and California Arts Advocates.
Literary Director/Resident Dramaturge
Chris is a Los Angeles based writer and consultant on writing, performance, and production for theatre, film, and television. He has been the resident dramaturge for OPC since 2005, and previously worked on new play development at Center Theatre Group and several Off-Broadway theatres. He has worked with many studios, networks, and production companies, among them Warner Brothers Films (NY), HBO-Showcase Films (NY), Disney-Touchstone Pictures, and the Disney/ABC Writing Program.
Associate Artistic Director
Hal has been directing at OPC since 2006. He directed the Obie Award-Winning No Child by Nilaja Sun and the Pulitzer finalist Thom Pain (based on nothing) by Will Eno. His work has been seen at regional theaters throughout the country, and he was a recipient of the NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors. Hal is also the artistic director of the Cape Cod Theatre Project and former artistic director of the Pearl Theatre Company, which recently received an Obie for "artistic achievement and commitment to excellence in theatre."
Madeleine is a theatre director, choreographer, dramaturge and arts activist from the UK. She is a resident artist at The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Artistic Director of the Wallis Studio Ensemble, and Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer of Italian theatre company BÄMSEMBLE. Madeleine has created socially conscious, experimental theatre on three continents for the past thirty years. She has a Post-Graduate from Trinity Laban Conservatory in London.
With OPC since 2012, Jose brings 46 years of experience in theater and artist management as a General Manager, Tour Manager, Administrator, Producer and Business Manager to OPC. As owner of Pleiades Management, he manages Mariachi Sol de Mexico and Mariachi Reina de Los Angeles. He is currently on El Teatro Campesino's Board of Directors.
Associate Artist / Resident Dramaturge
Sasha has been involved with OPC for over ten years, as a member of the reading committee, a board member, production dramaturg, and associate artist. A graduate of Brown University, and the Yale School of Drama (MFA, Dramatrugy and Dramatic Criticism), Sasha's professional life includes two long-term careers: as a studio executive for HBO and New Line Cinema, and as a widely-published residential designer.
Youth Workshop Program Director
A co-founder of the Ojai Playwrights Conference, Kim has served on its board for 21 years. A producer, director, writer and teacher, Kim is the creator of The Townies Podcast® and founder/principal of Kim Maxwell Studio. A devoted community activist and arts advocate, Kim was honored with a Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award from the City of Ojai. .
Tiffany is a producer and dramaturge who has worked in both Los Angeles and New York. She is the Producing Director of Greenway Court Theatre, and has worked with Center Theatre Group, South Coast Rep, Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, and Arielle Tepper Madover's Summer Play Festival. Tiffany is an MFA/MBA in Theatre Management candidate at CSULB, holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Chapman University and a Certificate in Musical Theatre Performance from Circle in the Square Theatre School. Tiffany has been a staff member of OPC since 2012, serving in various roles.
Intern Workshop Director / Associate Artist
Alice is a teacher, performer and internationally-produced playwright whose work includes Last of the Suns, Secret History of the Lower East Side, HIT, Ajax (por norbody) and A Humbling in St. Paul. In 2018 and 2019, Alice facilitated the Almasi African Playwrights Conference in Zimbabwe, and OPC-style new play development program.
Suzy has been an integral part of OPC for six years, as Literary Associate and a member of the Reading Committee. She is a graduate of the New Actors Workshop, where she studied with Mike Nichols, Paul Sills and George Morrison in NY. Suzy is the associate producer to veteran Hollywood film and theatre producer Paula Wagner, who is currently on Broadway with Pretty Woman: The Musical. Suzy is also developing her first action feature film TOW, to be filmed in Australia. Born in Beirut, Suzy grew up in Sydney, lived in NY, and currently resides in LA.
Corwin Evans, Sound Designer/Operations Associate
David Mauer, Operations Director
Kelly Musgrove, General Manager
Peggy Ryan, Social Media Manager
Vickie J. Scott, Production Coordinator/Lighting Designer
Debra Breslow Grace
Liza Powel O'Brien