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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.

The Process

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

The playwrights are brought in at the beginning of the festival week to be a part of the rehearsal process.  Each play is given about 8 hours of rehearsal time with the focus being on clarity of story.

After each reading, there is a moderated discussion between a panel made up of three regional theatre professionals  and, most importantly, the audience, for their feedback.  That way, the playwright receives 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 wonderful opportunity to meet other artists, make new friends, and enjoy the beauty of Southwest Virginia!

Play Submission Guidelines

AFPP 2025 Submission Deadline: May 1st, 2024

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Plays must be unpublished and must not have had a full professional production.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.

Please send play and a brief synopsis to:

AFPP 2023 on PBS NewsHour

AFPP 2024 Winners & Gallery

Snakeroot by Levi Shrader / Girl on a Hill by Cris Eli Blak / The Bad Guy by Jen Diamond / Mountain Mamas by Daryl Lisa Fazio / Sons That Wear Dresses and Mothers That Love Sweet Potatoes by Gage Tarlton / Go Tell It On the Mountain by Catherine Bush

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