Visit the LAUNCH PAD website 


An artist residency and performance program for new plays at UCSB.

Featured in American Theater magazine in 2013 as an innovative model of new play development in the USA, LAUNCH PAD is a high-tech lab for playwrights-in-residence, aspiring theater students, faculty and guest artists. Led by founding Artistic Director Risa Brainin, a new play is developed each year. The residency culminates in a full-scale "preview production" as part of the Departmental season. With a mix of student and professional actors, LAUNCH PAD is collaboration and experimentation at its finest, providing the missing link in new play development between a reading/workshop and a professional world premiere. Nationally acclaimed playwrights Lila Rose Kaplan, Barbara Lebow, Sarah Ruhl, James Still, Alison Tatlock, John Walch, Beau Willimon and Sheri Wilner have participated in LAUNCH PAD since its inception in 2005.

Plays developed through LAUNCH PAD go on to be produced at professional theaters across the country.


Full preview productions of plays in process with the playwright in residence and a team of:

  • A professional director with an undergraduate or graduate student assistant
  • A combination of professional faculty and professional guest designers with undergraduate student assistants
  • A combination of student and professional actors
  • Undergraduate stage managers
  • Graduate student dramaturgs


  • Richard Auhll
  • Jan and Don O’Dowd Performance Fund
  • Arnhold Theater and Dance Production Fund
  • John and Jill Bishop
  • The Towbes Fund for the Performing Arts, a field of interest fund of the Santa Barbara Foundation
  • David Anderson
  • John and Jennifer Anderson
  • Sylvia Arreola
  • Constance S. Brainin
  • Michele DeRosa
  • Christina H. Floyd
  • Dr. Leonard M. and Jill H. Fromer
  • Jack Harris
  • Bonnie and Dick Jensen
  • Bob Johnson and Lisa Reich
  • Misa Kelly
  • Bill and Linda Kitchen
  • Barbara Lebow
  • Margaret Levine
  • Margaret Leonard and Clare Sheils
  • Brian and Karen McDonald
  • Michael Morgan and Michael Seabaugh
  • Kim and Dean Pananides
  • Doug and Alissa Parrish
  • Charles and Joanna Reisner
  • Susan Rose and Allan Ghitterman
  • Jeffry Sherbakoff
  • Anne Towbes
  • UCSB Academic Senate Faculty Research Grant
  • UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanities Center
  • UCSB Summer Sessions Cultural Enrichment Grant
  • Dean’s Office, UCSB College of Letters and Science, Division of Humanities and Fine Arts