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ShowOff! – International Playwriting Festival

I love live theatre. Everything about it screams ‘this is special.’ The audience anticipation as the curtain is about to go up, the vibrant settings of a musical or stage play, the crisp voices, all make for a memorable event, one that lasts for decades.

One of my favorite experiences is to see a performance at a local playhouse. Local playhouses, like many forms of local entertainment, don’t have an easy go of it these days. But they are worth supporting. Their passion for live theatre is a joy to behold. Volunteers step up to bring the audience a wonderful experience. They teach us and our children about the arts, and provide opportunities for teaching our youth how to act, how to create.

And the actors don’t get multiple takes. They have to get it right every time they perform. I have so much respect for actors who perform live.

The Camino Real Playhouse in San Juan Capistrano, California, is a great venue for live theatre. Two of my favorite events are coming up.

The first is their annual international playwriting festival – ShowOff!. Each October, hundreds of authors submit one act plays for consideration. Then, in January, seven are selected and produced over a seven day stretch. Each day you attendees see all seven plays, plus a bonus reading from one of the plays submitted. It is a fantastic event I’ve attended many times, and it always leaves me happy I went.

This year, I’m honored to have written one of the plays being produced. “The Asylum for Rejected Characters” makes it’s world premiere Friday, January 15th, and continues through January 24th.

The second event, held on February 6th this year, is “24 Hour Creative.” This event is an entirely volunteer effort intended to help Camino Real stay viable. As the name implies, all of the work happens in a 24 hour time period. The writers get a theme Friday night, actors audition, writers spend the night creating a ten minute stage play, and everyone convenes Saturday morning and start rehearsing. The show goes up that evening. It’s a fabulous event, the shows are great, and the directors and actors do a phenomenal job pulling this off.

I was honored to be a writer for this last year, and I’ve been invited to write for it again. I can’t wait.

If you’re in the area and want to catch some live theatre, check out You won’t be disappointed.