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PCS's JAW New Play Festival Is Back in July

Each July, artistic teams, including playwrights, directors, and actors, come together to rehearse — and a lot of times rewrite! — a new play.

PCS's JAW New Play Festival Is Back in July

Portland Center Stage's annual JAW New Play Festival returns July 22-24. JAW is PCS's week-long assembling of artists and audiences to create new plays. Each July, artistic teams, including playwrights, directors, and actors, come together to rehearse - and a lot of times rewrite! - a new play. The final piece of the process happens during the weekend, when "music stand readings" are shared with audiences so the playwrights can hear their work, often for the very first time.

This year's JAW featured plays include Even Faster Than a Blink by Tyler Andrew Jones, an untitled solo musical by Larry Owens, Without A Formal Declaration of War by Anya Pearson, The Brightest Thing in the World by Leah Nanako Winkler, and a selection of short plays written by teens from local high schools commissioned specifically for JAW.

"There are few things more electric than new play festivals! All of our favorite classics were once new plays and we are so excited to bring this special group of artists to PCS," said Kamilah Bush, Portland Center Stage's Literary Manager. "From a local voice like Tyler Andrew Jones, a national voice like Larry Owens, new collaborators like Leah Nanako Winkler, to the unique pleasure of developing our commission with Anya Pearson - this year's JAW brings together powerhouse creators! It will be a weekend you won't want to miss!"

To add to the excitement of the play readings, special JAW Press Play performances will be held surrounding the readings. The popular WWJP Street Dance Showcase presented by Jesus Rodales and the JAW Theater Maker Fair, featuring crafts made by local theater artists, will return once again. New offerings include Espacio Flamenco's Tablao Flamenco PCS, live music from Machado Mijiga Trio, labs led by featured JAW artists, and more (lab space is limited, so admission is by lottery).

All JAW events are free. Tickets for the staged readings can be reserved in advance at pcs.org/jaw, but walk-ups are always welcome. Press Play events do not require a ticket. Lab admission is by lottery. This year, the play readings will all be held in the Ellyn Bye Studio, due to construction scheduled in the U.S. Bank Main Stage. Simulcasts of the play readings will also be presented in the Mezzanine Lobby in case capacity is reached in the studio. The Armory Bar will be open throughout the festival, with snacks and beverages available for purchase.




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