What Makes A Festival Play

In 1947 a number of theatre companies turned up at Edinburgh and so launched the Fringe Festival. Nowadays festivals have multiplied.  This has created a market for plays tailored to them. So what makes a festival play?

  • Festivals provide a platform but little profit, so keep the cast size small. Anything over two is large cast.
  • Yours may be the fourth or fifth play the audience has seen that day, so it needs to have impact. A venue programmer told me that after Edinburgh she books the plays she can remember anything about.
  • Your actors may be competing with sound drifting over from the music stages. anything too subtle is likely to be lost.
  • Your tech slot will be short and possibly at an hour when even theatre people think they should be in bed. Keep the technicals simple.

The best festival plays are those that see the above not as restrictions but opportunities to be creative