Student in theatrical performance
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Ohlone College Playwrights Festival Features Student Work Alongside Professional Playwrights

Fremont, Calif., May 1, 2019—The Ohlone College Playwrights Festival is back for its fifth year, showcasing premieres of thought-provoking, humorous, and entertaining 10-minute plays and musicals written by professional and emerging playwrights and composers around the country.

The event takes place May 9-11 at 7 p.m. at the Smith Center on Ohlone College’s Fremont campus located at 43600 Mission Blvd. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased online, by phone (510) 659-6031, or at the door. Parking on campus without a permit is $4.

This year’s selection of comedic and dramatic plays and musicals explores themes dealing with love, lust, friendship, creativity, self-acceptance, human connection, life and death, and the supernatural. The Student Repertory Theatre Company, a class of student directors, producers, actors, and designers at Ohlone, is producing the Playwrights Festival.

“We started this festival to promote and cultivate new plays that will engage and speak directly to a younger audience and it’s great seeing the positive response the festival has received,” says Michael Navarra, the festival’s producing director.

Sold out over the last four years, the festival was inspired by the need to create original material to engage college students and audiences and to reconnect this demographic with live theatre. Two student playwrights, Nick J. Saud and Gaby Simpson, are also acting and directing in the festival.

"Honestly, this has been one of the most valuable writing experiences I've had in my theatrical and educational career, and I've found so much joy in the collaborative work as a whole”, says Nick J. Saud.

“Watching my work come to life has been one of the most rewarding and inspiring experiences”, adds Gaby Simpson.

The selected plays and musicals for this year are:

  • Ghosts of Resolutions by Ron Burch
  • Reluctant Vampire by Eugenie Chan
  • Burning Up by Pamela Weiler Grayson (Playwright) and Rick Bassett (Composer)
  • More Precious Than Diamonds: The Musical by Stephanie Hutchinson (Playwright and Composer)
  • Wave by Jeffrey Lo
  • The Ancestors’ Breaths by Philana Omorotionmwan
  • Group Project by Jordan Ramirez Puckett
  • Itchy by Jacob Marx Rice
  • Mousetrap by Nick J. Saud
  • Cats and Hats and Other Terrified Things by Mercedes Segesvary
  • A House on Bernard Street by Gaby Simpson
  • Horseplay by Max Tachis

In addition, the festival will include Reluctant Vampire, an excerpt of a full-length play by Eugenie Chan that will premiere at Ohlone in November 2019 and then travel to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest and most prestigious arts festival in the world, in August 2020.

Many of the playwrights and composers have been published and have had their work produced Off Broadway and at regional theatres including The Public Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Ma-Yi Theatre Company, La Mama, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, TheatreWorks, Magic Theatre, San Francisco Mime Troupe, and San Francisco Playhouse.

For more information about the Ohlone College Playwrights Festival, visit: