Celebrating 15 years and led by Artistic Director Risa Brainin, LAUNCH PAD is nationally recognized for its innovative contribution to new play development. As a creative laboratory for professional playwrights, UCSB theater students and faculty, and guest artists, LAUNCH PAD is collaboration and experimentation at its finest.
Through its full-scale Preview Productions, Summer Reading Series: New Plays in Process, and recently added New Play Pop-Ups, LAUNCH PAD leads the way for university students to gain the valuable first-hand experience of working alongside professionals, participating in the creative process as it’s happening.
Each academic year, LAUNCH PAD chooses one play to be developed as a full-scale Preview Production with all the design elements of a professional premiere. As part of the Departmental season, Preview Productions provide the opportunity for playwrights to see their work in three dimensions while continuing to make changes throughout the performances. LAUNCH PAD holds open auditions for all UCSB students. Students also participate as assistant directors, dramaturgs, stage managers, design assistants, and crew.
Summer Reading Series: New Plays in Process
Each summer, three professional playwrights join the UC Santa Barbara community as artists-in-residence to collaborate with UCSB students enrolled in THTR 146: LAUNCH PAD: New Plays in Process. In this three-week class, playwrights, students, and professional artists come together to workshop new works. Participating as actors, stage managers, dramaturgs, and designers, everyone contributes to the development of the play. From the first moment to the last, the play is in constant evolution: actors receive new pages, new scenes, and sometimes even new characters. Each week’s work culminates in a staged reading for the public.
New Play “Pop-Ups”
Several times each year, professional playwrights are invited to “pop in” for a one-time staged reading of their new play. LAUNCH PAD provides a director, actors, and a theater… playwrights see their work “up on its feet” and in front of an audience, adding valuable insight to the development process.
Life After LAUNCH PAD
Many LAUNCH PAD plays have gone on to be produced at professional theaters across the country such as the Denver Center, Indiana Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Chicago Children’s Theatre, and others. For a list of our nationally acclaimed playwrights, please visit our website.
Celebrating 15 years of Donor Support
LAUNCH PAD depends upon the generous support of its donors and patrons. If you’re someone who loves theater, values the collaboration between students and professional artists, or wants to be part of new play development, please consider joining the LAUNCH PAD family.
For more information, please visit the LAUNCH PAD website