JAW Turns 20!

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JAW 2018's "Big Weekend" of staged readings and other events will occur July 27-29. JAW is free and open to the public.

Meet the 2018 Playwrights!

Dates are subject to change.

Explore the History of JAW

Script Submissions

Script submissions are accepted annually in early November by invitation only, with the exception of playwrights currently residing in Oregon, who may submit with or without invitation.

Submissions for JAW 2018 have now closed. The festival lineup will be announced in May. Please join us in July for a spectacular sharing of new plays!

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The 2017 JAW company.

Questions? Ask .

About JAW

In 2018, JAW: A Playwrights Festival will proudly present its 20th year of championing new plays and bringing invigorating theater to Portland. For two decades now, each summer has confirmed for us the vitality of this ever-changing, crazy fun, wild world of theater when JAW (short for Just Add Water) takes over The Armory. The festival welcomes a handful of playwrights, whose scripts are chosen from nearly 200 annual submissions, to spend two weeks collaborating with directors, dramaturgs, actors, and other theater professionals from across the nation. During these workshops, JAW playwrights get to hear, revise, and sometimes completely rewrite their plays in a supportive environment where their creative needs set the agenda. The festival culminates in a vibrant outpouring of artistic energy, as staged readings of the JAW plays are presented to the public. Adding to the festivities are unique performance pieces from local artists of all disciplines and special events. And the whole thing kicks off with an evening of work by the Promising Playwrights, high school students selected from our Visions & Voices program, who write and develop their own short plays alongside the professionals. Thousands of audience members join us annually to celebrate theatrical innovation and the enduring power of storytelling. See you there!

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JAW 2017, "In Old Age" by Mfoniso Udofia in rehearsal, (L-R) director Logan Vaughn, playwright Mfoniso Udofia, and actors Jenny Jules and Marcus Henderson.

Press Play

A series of dynamic performance pieces and events hand-selected for JAW that animate the building and engage audience members before every reading. Dancers, musicians, and more pop up throughout the building adding to the vibrant festival spirit of JAW.

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Actors in rehearsal for "Testmatch" by Kate Attwell, JAW 2017, (L-R) Renata Friedman, Laura Faye Smith, Mahira Kakkar, Dana Green, Tanya Selveratnam.

Community Artist Labs

Artists from across the nation conduct educational labs for our local community on a diversity of performance-related topics. Admission is FREE, but in order to maintain a high level of quality, attendance for each lab is limited and determined by random lottery.

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JAW 2017 Promising Playwrights (L-R) Bowen Hampton, Emily Smith, Lydia Fecker, Kaleb Black, Alexandria Goddard and Nathan Smith.

Promising Playwrights

The 20th annual JAW: A Playwrights Festival will kick off with staged readings of new scripts from Portland-area high school playwrights. Come ready to celebrate and socialize. These 10-minute plays by Promising Playwrights are selected from our Visions & Voices Playwriting Program, a residency program offered to Portland-area schools.

JAW Staff

Just a few of the hardworking folks behind the JAW festival. Contact us at .

Rose Riordan – JAW Festival Director

Kelsey Tyler – JAW Festival Producer

Brandon Woolley – JAW Festival Producer

Benjamin Fainstein – JAW Literary Manager

Will Cotter – JAW Festival Company Manager

Accessibility Info

PCS is committed to making our performances and facilities accessible to all of our patrons. Wheelchair seating, sound amplifying devices and large print programs are available for JAW. For more information, visit our accessibility page.

Jaw Banner 2018 750 Sponsors
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
May 26 – Jul 1

Season Sponsors


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