History of the Old Pueblo Playwrights

Old Pueblo Playwrights (OPP) was organized in 1989 as a nonprofit association dedicated to encouraging and promoting the creation of new dramatic works by Arizona authors.

OPP members meet weekly in Arizona Theatre Company’s rehearsal hall to hear local actors perform readings of members’ scripts. At the conclusion of each reading, a pre-appointed facilitator, using established guidelines, leads the membership in a critical discussion of the drama.

OPP has been presenting their New Play Festival to the public since 1990, and many local theatrical artists have donated their time and talents to acting, directing and scenic designing them. Several works which premiered at OPP Festivals or were read and critiqued by members have gone on to win awards or receive full production by theatre companies. Following are a few of these: W. Jesse Greenburg’s “Pushing the Envelope” was tri-laterally produced by Mercury Productions, Millenium Theatre and the Upstairs Theatre Company; Rich Amada’s “The Wimpley School for Wayward Girls” was produced by Lost River; Rhonda Taglizcozzo’s “The Shaming of McGrew” was given a public reading by the Upstairs Theatre Company; Patti Cassidy’s “The Palace at 3 A.M.” was produced for local radio; ‘Claudia’s Family” by Julieta Gonzalez was presented by the Catalina Players; and “Trappings” by Gavin Kayner was produced by Nathalia.

In addition to the annual Festival, OPP has held play readings at local libraries, donated scripts for performances at fund-raisers, and produced Play-in-a-Day. Periodically, OPP conducts workshops, panel discussions, guests lectures (which are free to members and any interested guests), and logistical support to other theatrical events.