Welcome to AFPP 2021

The Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights (AFPP) was founded 21 years ago to promote and celebrate the stories and writers of the Appalachian region.  Over the past two decades, AFPP participants have helped us to develop dozens of new plays, many of which have gone on to full productions on our stages. 

This year we look a little different as the pandemic has made it necessary for our festival to be fully virtual but your participation in the play development process remains as important as ever. I’m extremely excited about the four new plays we’re reading this year by four playwrights who are new to our festival.  They are unique, challenging, thought-provoking plays, read by our fantastic resident acting company, and I look forward to the discussions they will spark!

I’m also tremendously excited about our brand new Black In Appalachia initiative we’re premiering this year.  In an effort to give voice to the more diverse stories of our region, we are committing to reading at least one new play written by a Black Appalachian playwright at each AFPP going forward.  This year’s selection is City Limits, by Quinton Cockrell.  We intend this to be the first step in making sure that all Appalachians are represented on our stages.

New plays, writing workshops, live panel discussions—there’s a lot going on for the two weeks of the festival.  Please take a look at the events itinerary on this page so you can see all that’s being offered this year.  I do hope you’ll join us for the live panel discussions, as it is your feedback that is most valuable to the playwrights as they develop their plays.

I want to thank you for joining us for the festival, for your continued support of Barter as we make our way through these challenging times, and most of all, for being a part of the process!

Let's Get Started

Browse events below, register, and join when the events begin

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You can see what event is coming next in the "Up Next" section or browse the entire itinerary at once. Click "More Info" to see details and descriptions of each event.

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We will keep track of the events you register for and send you an email when your event is about to start. You can also add your selected events to your digital calendar.

Access Your Events

Once a reading, panel, or workshop becomes available you can click "Access Event" to participate. The date and time is listed for when each event will start. Readings will be available for four days after they start. Panels and workshops will utilize Zoom.

Text "AFPP" to (276) 262-8066 or CLICK HERE for the digital program.

The Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights
AFPP 2021 will be held online and over the span of two weeks starting January 26th, 2021. The recording of each play will be made available starting at noon on the day of its premiere, participants are invited to attend a panel discussion via Zoom at 8pm on the same evening. ACCESS IS FREE
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TOMORROW GAME
Starting In 8 hrs 31 mins
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by Brandy N. Carie
Bell and Roe live in a post-apocalyptic wasteland that is so far gone they don’t even remember a time when there were grocery stores, safe drinking water, or 911. They each live in isolation, until they happen to meet. Bell shows Roe a game: take off your mask and see if you can breathe. Try this vegetable, and see if you wake up. Do more than just not-die. Bell may also have ulterior motives. Roe’s shelter is stocked with years worth of canned goods and other priceless resources. Is their friendship true–or just another game?
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MOUNTAIN MAMAS
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+Add to Calendar 01/26/2021 12:00 pm 01/26/2021 2:00 pm America/New_York MOUNTAIN MAMAS Patsy Armstrong is a coal miner. Just like her daddy, Earl. And just like her mother, Wanda, who was one of the first women ever hired underground in a union mine and, at 60 years old, is still there. As of this week, Patsy’s back in her mother and daddy’s house, after a mining accident that left her with no ability to move or communicate. Her bright 18-year old daughter, Livvy, now lives there too. In a home that’s full of humor and generosity and rowdiness and grit. But a home—not to mention a whole dang planet—that’s under more pressure than maybe it’s ever been. When the family gets news about the settlement from Patsy’s accident, Livvy jumps into the fray. And Patsy, now forced to listen and observe more than she ever did as a healthy person, is plagued by nightmares and revelations she’s able to share only with us. It doesn’t take long for her to realize she has to learn a new way of being if she’s gonna save her entire world.
by Daryl Lisa Fazio
Patsy Armstrong is a coal miner. Just like her daddy, Earl. And just like her mother, Wanda, who was one of the first women ever hired underground in a union mine and, at 60 years old, is still there. As of this week, Patsy’s back in her mother and daddy’s house, after a mining accident that left her with no ability to move or communicate. Her bright 18-year old daughter, Livvy, now lives there too. In a home that’s full of humor and generosity and rowdiness and grit. But a home—not to mention a whole dang planet—that’s under more pressure than maybe it’s ever been. When the family gets news about the settlement from Patsy’s accident, Livvy jumps into the fray. And Patsy, now forced to listen and observe more than she ever did as a healthy person, is plagued by nightmares and revelations she’s able to share only with us. It doesn’t take long for her to realize she has to learn a new way of being if she’s gonna save her entire world.
TOMORROW GAME
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Begins Jan 28th @ 12:00pm
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+Add to Calendar 01/28/2021 12:00 pm 01/28/2021 2:00 pm America/New_York TOMORROW GAME Bell and Roe live in a post-apocalyptic wasteland that is so far gone they don’t even remember a time when there were grocery stores, safe drinking water, or 911. They each live in isolation, until they happen to meet. Bell shows Roe a game: take off your mask and see if you can breathe. Try this vegetable, and see if you wake up. Do more than just not-die. Bell may also have ulterior motives. Roe’s shelter is stocked with years worth of canned goods and other priceless resources. Is their friendship true–or just another game?
by Brandy N. Carie
Bell and Roe live in a post-apocalyptic wasteland that is so far gone they don’t even remember a time when there were grocery stores, safe drinking water, or 911. They each live in isolation, until they happen to meet. Bell shows Roe a game: take off your mask and see if you can breathe. Try this vegetable, and see if you wake up. Do more than just not-die. Bell may also have ulterior motives. Roe’s shelter is stocked with years worth of canned goods and other priceless resources. Is their friendship true–or just another game?
Live Panel - TOMORROW GAME
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Begins Jan 28th @ 08:00pm
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+Add to Calendar 01/28/2021 8:00 pm 01/28/2021 10:00 pm America/New_York Live Panel - TOMORROW GAME Come Join us in a live discussion about the performance and meet some of the cast and collaborators.
Come Join us in a live discussion about the performance and meet some of the cast and collaborators.
CITY LIMITS*
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Begins Feb 2nd @ 12:00pm
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+Add to Calendar 02/02/2021 12:00 pm 02/02/2021 2:00 pm America/New_York CITY LIMITS* In Apex, Alabama, a black woman and a white man, working together at the country’s largest retail chain form a bond that intensifies into a passionate and dangerous relationship. City Limits touches on racial disparity, mental illness, and the soul’s desperate desire for freedom.
by Quinton Cockrell
In Apex, Alabama, a black woman and a white man, working together at the country’s largest retail chain form a bond that intensifies into a passionate and dangerous relationship. City Limits touches on racial disparity, mental illness, and the soul’s desperate desire for freedom.
Live Panel - CITY LIMITS
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Begins Feb 2nd @ 08:00pm
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+Add to Calendar 02/02/2021 8:00 pm 02/02/2021 10:00 pm America/New_York Live Panel - CITY LIMITS Come Join us in a live discussion about the performance and meet some of the cast and collaborators.
Come Join us in a live discussion about the performance and meet some of the cast and collaborators.
IF GOD CAME A CALLIN
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Begins Feb 4th @ 12:00pm
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+Add to Calendar 02/04/2021 12:00 pm 02/04/2021 2:00 pm America/New_York IF GOD CAME A CALLIN In a mountain town split into remnants of Appalachia’s past and glimmers of its future, a lottery is announced. Ticket rates: standard. The prize: the chance to speak with God. The devout think it’s sacrilege and the skeptics are sure it’s a hoax and no one’s certain exactly what God needs money for, but in the chance that there’s truth to it, who’d say no to a miracle? A magical-realist new play with the music of church and shaky violins and family dinners, If God Came a Callin dives into the holy and the familial and all the restless in-between.
by Madison Fiedler
In a mountain town split into remnants of Appalachia’s past and glimmers of its future, a lottery is announced. Ticket rates: standard. The prize: the chance to speak with God. The devout think it’s sacrilege and the skeptics are sure it’s a hoax and no one’s certain exactly what God needs money for, but in the chance that there’s truth to it, who’d say no to a miracle? A magical-realist new play with the music of church and shaky violins and family dinners, If God Came a Callin dives into the holy and the familial and all the restless in-between.
Live Panel - IF GOD CAME A CALLIN
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Begins Feb 4th @ 08:00pm
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+Add to Calendar 02/04/2021 8:00 pm 02/04/2021 10:00 pm America/New_York Live Panel - IF GOD CAME A CALLIN Come Join us in a live discussion about the performance and meet some of the cast and collaborators.
Come Join us in a live discussion about the performance and meet some of the cast and collaborators.
COLLEGE PLAYWRIGHT’S WORKSHOP
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Begins Jan 30th @ 11:00am
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+Add to Calendar 01/30/2021 11:00 am 01/30/2021 1:00 pm America/New_York COLLEGE PLAYWRIGHT’S WORKSHOP Ever dreamed of writing a play? Catherine Bush, Barter Theatre’s Playwright in Residence will be offering a workshop that will cover everything from playwriting fundamentals, to adapting existing works, to writing musicals. She will also offer practical advice about a career in playwriting. Come benefit from Catherine’s years of experience in the theatre industry!
This free workshop will be offered virtually on Zoom. Space is limited.
Ever dreamed of writing a play? Catherine Bush, Barter Theatre’s Playwright in Residence will be offering a workshop that will cover everything from playwriting fundamentals, to adapting existing works, to writing musicals. She will also offer practical advice about a career in playwriting. Come benefit from Catherine’s years of experience in the theatre industry!
WEAVING MEMORY INTO STORY*
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Begins Feb 6th @ 11:00am
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+Add to Calendar 02/06/2021 11:00 am 02/06/2021 1:00 pm America/New_York WEAVING MEMORY INTO STORY* In an effort to develop and support Black Appalachian playwrights, Barter Theatre is offering a free workshop to anyone in the Black community who has a story they’d like to tell. Led by Patrice Foster, MFA, this workshop will focus on content building by using memory-gathering exercises. From there, Barter’s playwright-in-residence Catherine Bush will illustrate how to create dramatic structure using this content.
Sponsored by Barter Theatre’s Black in Appalachia Initiative
In an effort to develop and support Black Appalachian playwrights, Barter Theatre is offering a free workshop to anyone in the Black community who has a story they’d like to tell. Led by Patrice Foster, MFA, this workshop will focus on content building by using memory-gathering exercises. From there, Barter’s playwright-in-residence Catherine Bush will illustrate how to create dramatic structure using this content.
In an effort to give voice to the more diverse stories of our region, Barter is committed to presenting at least one play written by a Black Appalachian playwright at each annual Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights. We intend this to be a first step in ensuring that ALL Appalachians will be represented on our stages. Black in Appalachia Featured Events City Limits by Quinton Cockrell Workshop: Weaving Memory Into Story
This Online Curated Event is brought to you by: