OPC seeks writers who care and dare to engage the great social, political and cultural issues of our time. We welcome challenging work that reflects the ethnic, cultural and ideological diversity of the country.
The OPC Summer Conference and New Works Festival bring selected playwrights and artistic teams together in Ojai for a two-week residency (late July through mid-August) that culminates in a series of public workshops of their new plays, performed by professional actors, in an intimate 140-seat theater.
Conference Week: Community / Dramaturgy
Working with directors, dramaturges and OPC artistic staff, the writers live and work together in a bucolic Ojai setting. During this first week, the new plays are read daily in an intimate atmosphere, providing the playwrights with an opportunity to hear their plays read aloud, and receive valuable feedback from the assembled artistic teams. Breakfast and lunch are served daily. And in the evenings, special dinners are graciously hosted in Ojai by board members and community supporters, creating opportunities for casual discussions and further inspiration.
Festival Week: Rehearsals / Public Readings
The acting company, stage managers and production staff arrive in Ojai to continue the creative process. Each play workshop has its own rehearsal room on the campus ofBesant Hill School, where the playwright meets daily with his/her creative team, professional actors, stage manager and interns to rehearse and further refine their works. At the end of the week, public workshops take place in front of an audience as part of the OPC New Works Festival. After each public performance, the playwright has the opportunity to receive valuable, moderated feedback from audience members about the experience of their play.
Directors & Dramaturges
OPC seeks seasoned, experienced professional directors and dramaturges in new play development to work on the selected plays each season. If you are interested in being a part of the creative process at OPC, please send a full resume and letter of intent to Robert Egan, OPC Artistic Director/Producer.
The casting of the workshops for the OPC New Works Festival is done in collaboration with the playwrights and directors. We cast professional actors from the Southern California acting community, the Ojai community and past company members. There are no formal auditions, but there is an AEA open call each year.
Please check the Equity website for dates and info on how to sign up. Casting decisions are generally made in July.
The acting company comes to Ojai for eight days in support of the work of the playwright and director to further develop the selected play. There are daily rehearsals and there may be extensive or minimal work on the plays. Housing and meals are provided for the acting company at Besant Hill School during their stay. The actors are there to help the playwright fulfill their vision of their new play. The process culminates in public workshops in the OPC New Works Festival.
Local Hosts & HELPERS
OPC seeks the support of Ojai Valley residents and businesses in a variety of ways, including:
Housing for playwrights, guest artists and staff
Hosted meals at private homes or at local restaurant for conference week artists/participants
Marketing support / poster & flier distribution
Receptions for playwrights and artists
For more info on becoming a housing host, please contact: Kelly Musgrove, General Manager.
For all other opportunities, please contact: Mark Seldis, Managing Director.
“The OPC was a savior for both my play, and my life. I work in TV and rarely get to disconnect from that world. Just 90 minutes outside of LA, I was able to truly shut that part of my brain down, and open my heart back up to my play. OPC truly nurtures the writers, and provide infinite wisdom / space / time / pasta / wine to facilitate whatever the writer needs... Hands down my new favorite play development conference! ”
– Bekah Brunstetter
OPC Interns are college students from across the country, who are selected to participate through an online application process. While most are theater students focusing on play writing, directing, or acting, all areas of interest/study are considered.
Interns are fully immersed into the OPC artistic community for two weeks, and act as literary or directing assistants for the new play workshops. Interns also participate in a writing workshop with OPC playwrights and dramaturgs; write and perform an original solo piece as part of the New Works Festival; and assist OPC staff with overall Conference operations and logistics.