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Appalachian Festival of

Plays and Playwrights

For Playwrights

This annual festival celebrates the richness of the Appalachian tradition by showcasing the stories of the region, both past and present, and the inspiration it provides the writers who live here.

For Patrons

AFPP readings are free and open to the public. Audiences participate in the development process by attending readings, participating in panel discussions, and sharing feedback.

For Our Community and Beyond

Since 1933, Barter Theatre has been developing new works and nurturing area talent. The AFPP has gained national attention by developing a process that has resulted in new plays being produced not only on Barter’s stages, but in regional theatres across the country.

The Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights is made possible by the generous support of Bert Bach, and Henry and Flora Joy.

AFPP 2023 on PBS NewsHour

AFPP Play Submission Guidelines

AFPP 2024 Submission Deadline: May 1st, 2023

Plays must be written by an Appalachian playwright (currently living in a state that contains the Appalachian Mountain Range— which, for our purposes, run from New York to Alabama.)


The plays must be set in the Appalachian region.
Plays must be unpublished and must not have had a full professional production.
Plays must be full length.
Plays must be submitted electronically.
Submission deadline: May 1, 2023

Please send play and a brief synopsis to:

The AFPP Process

Six new Appalachian plays are chosen from the submissions to be given public readings by Barter’s company.

The playwrights are given travel, housing, and a stipend for the week.

Each play will be given 6-8 hours of rehearsal time.  The directors are instructed to direct for clarity not effect.  Our goal for the reading is that script/story/relationships are illuminated.  These readings are about getting your story out there.

After each reading, a panel made up of three regional theatre professionals will give a few thoughts on the piece with the AFPP director moderating the discussion.  After that, we engage with the audience for their comments so that playwrights can get feedback from three separate groups: artists, panelists, and audience.

Playwrights have found this to be a very useful step in developing their plays, as well as a nice little vacation/writer’s retreat with a chance to meet other playwrights, make new friends, and enjoy the beauty of Southwest Virginia!

AFPP 2023 Winners

The Coffin Maker by Phil Keeling

Trouble (at the Vista View Mobile Home Estates) by Audrey Cefaly

Grandma Gatewood Took A Walk by Catherine Bush

The Transported Man by Russell Nichols

A Thing of Beauty by D.W. Gregory

Hooten Holler by Ketch Secor

AFPP 2023 Gallery

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