The Ojai Playwrights Conference is A nationally-acclaimed new play development program.
Through a rigorous, comprehensive play submission and review process by the OPC Reading Committee, over 500 submissions are reviewed annually for consideration in the Ojai Playwrights Conference. Ultimately, eight new play workshops – by both emerging and established playwrights – are chosen to participate in the Workshop Series. In addition, several Writers-In-Residence are chosen to write and develop new material in our nurturing community.
The selected playwrights form an artist-driven community for an intensive two-week, in-residence workshop program in Ojai that culminates in the OPC New Works Festival featuring public workshops of their new plays, performed by professional actors from Southern California. OPC also features the OPC Intersections Series - special theatrical events engaging the larger community.
OPC is committed to nurturing young artists through two special programs: The OPC Intern Program (aka Young Artist Initiative), serving college and graduate school students; and the OPC Youth Workshop, a mentoring program for high school students that guides them in the creation and performance of their own dramatic works.
THE 2019 NEW WORKS FESTIVAL WAS HELD AUGUST 4 thru 11. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ATTENDED AND SUPPORTED!
For Selected Playwrights
Week One: Conference Week - Selected playwrights, directors and dramaturgs, plus OPC artistic staff and interns, come together in an intimate setting to support the writers in the development of their plays. During this first week, plays are read out loud by the participants and moderated dramaturgy begins. This affords all participants awareness of all projects and the ambitions of each writer and their core creative team. During this first week, the artists also enjoy the hospitality of local hosts who provide housing and meals for the OPC community.
Week Two: Festival Week - The actors, stage managers and production staff join the playwrights and their core artistic teams for a week of rehearsals and continued development. This process culminates in the public workshops of their new works at the New Works Festival. Additionally, the playwrights and other guest artists participate in the Intersection Series performance events.
The public is invited to all Festival events. Tickets go on sale late June 2019.
"For me, Ojai isn't just about nurturing the play, it's about nurturing the writer. It's a safe haven for writers struggling to bring their plays to shore."
– Julia Cho
Our Summer Intern Program is designed to allow the next generation of theatre artists to participate in the play development process at a professional level.
OPC Interns are college students and recent college grads from across the country. While most are focusing on playwriting, directing, or acting as their course of study, interns from all areas of interest are considered and find OPC to be a richly rewarding experience.
For two full weeks, 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.
The tight-knit OPC community allows interns to interact with emerging and established theatre professionals on a daily basis, and many of our interns have gone on to maintain and build further professional relationships with both the OPC artists and each other.
Participation Fee & Scholarships
The fee is $1,000 to participate in the OPC Intern program for two weeks. This fee covers a shared dorm room at Besant Hill School, meals, and writing workshops. Interns based in Ojai, who choose not to live on campus, pay $650 for meals and workshops. Limited scholarships are available and based on need and merit.
The application process is competitive. Interns are chosen based on a combination of factors, including experience, passion for the work, and potential for excellence. OPC seeks interns who will benefit from the deep immersion offered at the Summer Conference where interns are treated as full members of our artistic community.
Applications for summer 2020 will be accepted from February 1, 2020 through April 30, 2020. To apply, please complete the online application (click button below) and submit your resume. Notification of acceptance will be at the end of May 2020.
"I felt so blessed to be a part of OPC! That was some seriously sacred shit."
– Christopher GABRIEL Nunez
The Ojai Playwrights Conference is committed to nurturing the voices and creativity of our nation’s youth.
Through the OPC Youth Workshop Program, high school students (from incoming freshman to freshly graduated seniors) are led through the week-long process of writing, developing and presenting their own dramatic works, under the tutelage of veteran writing and acting coach Kim Maxwell.
Participants are also visited throughout the week by OPC’s professional playwrights, actors, directors and dramaturgs who guide the students through writing and acting exercises, lead inspiring discussions, and offer dramaturgical/editorial support on their work.
After a week immersed in the writing process, the young writer-performers take the stage with their raw and uncensored material during a special performance during the OPC New Works Festival, attended by OPC company members, students’ friends and family and OPC ticket holders.
Kim Maxwell, Youth Workshop Director, has 25 years of teaching experience under her belt. Kim is a founding member of OPC, the founder and CEO of Ojai’s Townies, Inc., the Executive Producer of The Townies Podcast (a storytelling radio-style podcast), former Artistic Director of Theater 150, and an advocate for social justice and local social justice causes.
For more information on the OPC workshop experience and scholarship program, please send Kim an email.
The dates for the 2020 OPC Summer Youth Workshop will be announced in spring 2019.
Once accepted into the program, students will be contacted by OPC regarding tuition payment and/or scholarship opportunities.