The University of New Orleans and the Theatre at St. Claude will host the UNO Playwrights Festival from May 1-4. The festival will present the work of seven emerging playwrights from the Creative Writing Workshop, UNO’s Master of Fine Arts program offering degrees in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, playwriting and screenwriting.
Presentations will take one of two forms: “Showcase” readings are performed for longer, more developed works that are near production-ready and “workshop” readings balance shorter selections with discussion among the audience, a moderator and the playwright.
Playwrights Cavan Hallman and Melissa Martinez offer their presentations Monday, May 1 at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., respectively. Bryon Reiger and Breanna Bietz are featured on Tuesday, May 2 at the same times. There are three readings on Thursday, May 4: Becky Retz at 7 p.m., Mimi Ayers at 8:30 p.m. and Bennet Kirschner at 10 p.m. There are no festival events on Wednesday, May 3.
The Creative Writing Workshop at UNO has been called a “program to watch” by Publishers Weekly and a “Top 25 Underrated Program” by Huffington Post. It offers the only MFA in creative writing in New Orleans, and its alumni have collectively published more than 100 books. The playwriting concentration introduces students to a wide variety of dramatic literature and examples of dramatic theory. Live readings like the presentations during the UNO Playwrights Festival provide real-world exposure in the local theatre community.
The Theatre at St. Claude is located at 2240 St. Claude Ave. Festival passes are available at the door for $20 and provide access to all events. For individual readings, admission is $5 per show.