Ojai Playwrights Conference
The Ojai Playwrights Conference is a theatre festival held annually each August in Ojai, California, with much of it hosted on the campus of Besant Hill School. The mission of the conference is to offer play development resources to dramatists with the aim of supporting the creation of new work for the American theatre. Lasting ten days writers participate in a development workshop tailor made to fit the needs of their project. Each writer is provided with a director, dramaturge and full cast of actors. The conference culminates in a public festival in which the works in progress are presented as readings and audiences are invited to join discussions about each play. The readings occur at the Zalk Theater on the campus of Ojai's Besant Hill School.
Founded in 1998 by members of the Los Angeles based Echo Theater Company and the Ojai based Theater 150 the conference went on to achieve its own not-for-profit status and is now run by its board of directors and a small professional staff headed by Artistic Director Robert Egan. The Ojai Playwrights Conference has no commercial affiliations and is not a producing organization.
Many of the plays developed at the Ojai Playwrights Conference have gone on to productions on stages in Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Boston and New York (both Broadway and Off Broadway). Some of these venues include The Mark Taper Forum, The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, The Long Wharf Theatre, A Contemporary Theater, American Repertory Theatre and Victory Gardens Theater.