Annual Ohlone College Playwrights Festival Showcases Original Work of Up and Coming Writers

Monday, April 24, 2017
Office of College Advancement
Ohlone College

Actors with bird wings.Fremont, CA-The Ohlone College Playwrights Festival is back for its third year, showcasing the world premieres of timely, edgy, and inspiring 10-minute plays written by professional and emerging playwrights around the country. Presented by the award-winning Ohlone College Department of Theatre and Dance, this exciting selection of comedic and dramatic plays explore topics oriented toward college students and general audiences. Some of the themes explored in this year's plays are love and relationships, super heroes, politics, war, immigration, exploitation, and the 2016 presidential election.

Many of the playwrights have been published and have had their work produced Off Broadway or at other venues, such as the Cherry Lane Theatre, Atlantic Theater Company, The Public Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Primary Stages, New York Theatre Workshop, Classical Theatre of Harlem, LaMama, East West Players, SF Playhouse, San Francisco Mime Troupe, Magic Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Stanford University, and Julliard. The Student Repertory Theatre Company, a class of student directors, producers, actors, and designers at Ohlone, is producing the festival.

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. For this year's festival, the playwrights were invited to write directly for the student actors and directors in the class. They were sent videos of their actors being interviewed by the directors, along with several themes that the students were interested in. The playwrights then had a month to write their plays with these student actors and themes in mind.

Receiving rave reviews from Ohlone students and local audiences, the last two years the festival has sold out. Michael Navarra, the executive producer of the festival and Ohlone College faculty member, commented on this success. "We started this festival to promote and cultivate new plays that will engage and speak directly to a younger audience. It's great to see a strong interest in this endeavor."

The selected plays are:

  • A World of Difference by Jordan Ramirez Puckett
  • How We Got Choked/Perspectives on Hate by Grace Hoffman
  • Slings and Arrows by Peter Tamaribuchi
  • The Pit by Victor Elán Vasquez
  • when she closes/opens her eyes/and the men/they go to war by Lisa Ramirez
  • The Rise To The Top And The Rivalry That Comes Along With It by Leah Nanako Winkler
  • Bored Games by Mercedes Segesvary
  • Riya Sees Nothing by Jeffrey Lo
  • The Point by James Anthony Tyler
  • Chop-Chop: A Fable by Eugenie Chan

The festival takes place on May 4 and 5, 2017 at 8pm. All ten of the plays will be performed both nights. The performances are at the Smith Center at Ohlone College, 43600 Mission Blvd, Fremont, CA 94539. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased online at, by calling the box office at (510) 659-6031, or at the door.

About the Ohlone College Playwrights Festival

The festival cultivates plays and playwrights that speak to college students and contribute to fostering the next generation of theatre artists.

About Student Repertory Theatre Company

Student Repertory Theatre Company is a class that produces the Ohlone College Playwrights Festival. Student Rep is comprised of student directors, producers, actors, designers, and crew. First-time and more experienced theatre students are given the opportunity to create a full theatre ensemble geared toward producing live theatre. Student Rep introduces all aspects of theatre to new students and is a space for experienced students to hone their skills and craft. Please contact Michael Navarra at or 415-225-2985 for more information about the festival.

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