Submissions closed

PANNDORA'S BOX 9th Annual New Works Festival 

The playwrights have submitted their treasures.

We have 185 plays being read right this minute. Lots of fabulous works. Stay tuned! We hope to announce the 5 winning plays and 5 honorable mention by September 15, for our Festival October 23-25, 2015.

New works, full length or long one acts (over 60 minutes), which have not been previously produced are eligible for consideration for Panndora's 9th Annual New Works Festival, to be held this fall.

The Festival ~

We are delighted to be returning to THE GARAGE THEATRE in Long Beach for this year's Festival which will be held OCTOBER 23-25, 2015. Five plays will be selected to be read over the weekend, one Friday night and two on both Saturday and Sunday. Each play will be cast with experienced actors and will have an experienced director. In additoin, each play will receive a critique from a professional theatre critic and written audience comments. If the winner is not able to attend the Festival, we will provide a video recording of the reading.

Submissions closed JULY 1, 2015. If you missed our deadline, take a look at the Play Submission Helper for current opportunities.

 Winners announced in September ~

The art and craft of playwriting can be a lonely experience. With Panndora's Box, we provide playwrights with a forum in which their plays can be heard as they come off the page in readings by experienced actors with experienced direction.

Our committee of readers is plowing through scripts as we speak. Stay tuned!

xoxox Sonja and Karen



The Festival in the fall isn't the end of the fun. For the past 4 years, PANNDORA has gone on to full productions of one of the winning plays. Check Past Productions for FRAGILE THING CRACKS by Ben Jolivet (2014), CATCHING THE BUTCHER by Adam Seidel (2013), HOOK UPS by Alexandra Petri (2012). 

from last year's PANNDORA'S BOX, our 2015 production ~

"MEDUSA UNDONE" by Bella Poynton

directed by Sonja Berggren

Chosen from last year's PANNDORA'S BOX FESTIVAL OF NEW WORKS, MEDUSA UNDONE brings us a theatrical retelling of the little known Medusa origin story. Before she was one of the greatest mythical monsters of all time, Medusa was a kind, beautiful sea-nymph in Athena's service. Unparalleled in both her beauty and devotion to the Gods, Medusa catches the eye of the charming but narcissistic Poseidon. Interested only in the passions of the spirit, and not the flesh, Medusa feels she has no choice but to reject the greedy God. For this, she not only suffers violence at the hand of Poseidon, but also incites a deep-seated jealousy in Athena, with horrific and disturbing consequences. MEDUSA UNDONE explores how rape culture reverberates through the ages, and calls out attention to the great injustice suffered by female victims of abuse.  [pen and ink drawing by Madeleine Bellwoar]

with Deneen Melody as Medusa, Karen Wray as AthenaDerek Long as Poseidon, Carmen Guo as Echo, and Caitlin Lowerre as Stheno

Set Design - Yuri Okahana, Light and Sound - McLeod Benson,  Costumes - Rachel Engstrom

APRIL 17 - MAY 3, 2015 at The Garage Theatre

from Temple Scribe, Bella Poynton

I never planned on writing a Greek-inspired tragedy, but the subject matter of this play called to me like the Siren's to Odysseus. Three years ago, I was entirely unaware of Medusa's complex backstory. For most, Medusa conjures up a snake haired monster-woman who turns men into stone, and usually, the story ends there. It did for me, until August 2012, when a friend and I got to talking about that week's big political story: a U.S. Congressman was quoted saying that if a rape was "legitimate", the assaulted woman would not get pregnant, because her body would simply "shut that whole thing down". I laughed when I first read the story. I thought it was a joke.

My friend and I expressed dismay at how many ignorant individuals hold positions of power, and then, he went on to tell me that the quote reminded him of Medusa. I was initially confused. How could Ted Akin possibly remind anyone of a Greek witch with snakes for hair? He then explained that Medusa was originally a priestess in Athena's temple before she was raped by Poseidon and accused of impurity. Her transformation into a monster was punishment for a rape she had no control over.

In a strange way, I am glad Todd Akin uttered his ridiculous statement. The quote inspired me to write a play starring a strong female character rarely given any positive attention, and I truly believe we need more plays like that. I long for more stories that bring victims into the forefront, instead of continually demanding that they shut up, stop crying, and disappear into the cave-like recesses of their own anguish.


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