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128 NW Eleventh Ave, Portland, OR 97209 · 503-445-3700 · www.pcs.org
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JAW New Play Festival

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JAW New Play Festival is a week-long assembling of artists and audiences to create new plays! Artistic teams, including playwrights, directors and actors, come together to rehearse - and a lot of times rewrite! - a play. The final piece of the process is sharing a “music stands reading” with audiences - allowing playwrights to hear their work, often for the very first time! 

  • Develop energizing work
    • We are committed to developing dope plays!
  • Champion exciting voices
    • We are invested in playwright driven artistic growth, giving opportunities to fresh, engaging, powerful theatrical voices.
  • Connect with our communities 
    • We believe that audiences are active participants in the creation of new work - the final collaborator an artistic team needs to bring a  play to life.

In addition to the new play readings, JAW hosts a number of other artists during the festival weekend during our Press Play programs. To welcome people into the space, we also pre-show performances for all events during JAW, by local Portland artists. These events feature an ever-changing lineup of dance exhibitions of all genres, live music, visual art, choreographed movement showcases, and interactive installations. All of these events are free to the public and help introduce new audiences and community members with the breadth of talent in our city.

JAW History

In 1999, members of New York Theater Workshop came to Portland to work in concert with Portland Center Stage staff to launch a new play development effort called Just Add Water/West, after NYTW's own festival back east. Since then, JAW has created a space for 88 playwrights and developed 91 plays. Of these 91 plays, 80 have gone on to receive professional productions across the country, many receiving their World Premieres at PCS.


The 2021 JAW New Play Festival was supported by the Kinsman Foundation and the Oregon Cultural Trust. Support for the PCS Teen Playwrights comes from the PGE Foundation and the Herbert A. Templeton Foundation.

Portland Center Stage is committed to identifying & interrupting instances of racism & all forms of oppression, through the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, & accessibility (IDEA).

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JAW Sponsors

Teen Playwrights Sponsors

Season Superstars

Season Supporting Sponsors

Season Producing Sponsors