Now in its 10th year, the Harvest Festival of New American Plays is Live Oak Theatre’s dedicated program for the development and production of new plays. Many of these cutting edge new works have gone on to publication and production elsewhere; and The Night Hank Williams Died, by Larry L. King, had a significant Off-Broadway run.

Historically, Live Oak has a very strong record of developing Texas writers. Ellsworth Schave, an Austin resident, has won our Best Play Award for his comedy A Texas Romance, which was published by Samuel French and has been performed often around the country. Mr. Schave also won the Larry L. King Award for the play, Calvin’s Garden. Other award-winning Texas playwrights include Clay Nichols, Amparo Garcia, Michael Moran, and Cyndi Williams. The works of Larry L. King, in whose name we give our Texas Award, have been produced a number of times by Live Oak. Mr. King’s The Night Hank Williams Died moved from Austin to Off-Broadway and ran for nearly a year. Two years ago the world premiere of his The Dead President’s Club broke attendance records at Live Oak Theatre.

The Best New American Play Award and Larry L. King Outstanding Texas Playwright Award attract over 300 scripts per year. The winning scripts are produced in the Harvest Festival of New American Plays. The Best New Play winner receives a $500 cash award and the workshop production. Other promising playwrights are brought in as well to work on their plays in the intensive workshop. Live Oak then announces the winners and others produced in the Harvest Festival nationally in press releases to other professional theatres and publications in order to further the future of the plays. In all, seventeen playwrights have been represented in the Festival in twenty-three productions with playwrights coming from as far away as Seattle, Boston, Chicago, New York, and Washington.

In addition, Live Oak funds the Live Oak Theatre Scholarship in New Play Development at the University of Texas at Austin, College of Fine Arts, Department of Theatre and Dance, for the benefit and development of theatre students. The scholarship is awarded to a graduate student who has demonstrated academic excellence, promise and talent in dramaturgy, playwrighting, or other areas of new play development. The recipient is selected by the Theatre and Dance Department.

At Live Oak we feel that new play development is vital to the future of live theatre. The Harvest Festival of New American Plays is our way of stimulating the creative process and rewarding a playwright’s dedication to his or her craft.

Live Oak Theatre
Harvest Festiveal of New American Plays
719 Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78701
[email protected]