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When we sat down to plan our 45th consecutive year of the OOB Festival, our team recognized that some changes would have to take place due to COVID-19. However, we found it reassuring to reflect on our past festivals, which have ranged in evaluation format and performance presentation.

 

This year, to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone involved, we will be removing the performance aspect and going back to our roots by choosing the six winners through reading evaluation only. We will miss our extended OOB Festival theatre family — the actors, directors, stage managers, tech crews, and audience members — but we’re also excited to focus directly upon that which the festival was built: the script and the playwright.

 

In an effort to support the great venues of our culture, we are going to make a donation to The Vineyard Theatre in lieu of what would have been our theatre rental fee.

 

Instead of performances, this year the Top 30 plays will be divided into three packets, each one going to a judging panel comprised of professionals who represent various parts of the theatrical industry. The judges will read and evaluate their packet, then they will come together virtually to deliberate. Each panel will choose four plays to advance to the festival’s final round.

 

The 12 plays that move to the final round will be given to the festival staff to read and evaluate. The staff will then choose six titles to be including in the 45th Off Off Broadway Festival Plays Series, which will be published and licensed by Samuel French, Inc., a Concord Theatricals Company.

 

The winning playwrights will be announced to the public Friday, August 21st. For more information about each of the Top 30 playwrights, please click on titles below.