SATE is seeking submissions for Directors and Writers for the Eighth Annual Aphra Behn Festival, which will be presented March 29-31, 2024. The theme for the 2024 Festival is “Transformations”. 

When established in 2017, a goal of the Aphra Behn Festival was to give women interested in directing and writing for theatre an opportunity to get more experience, try out ideas, experiment, and hone their craft. SATE now looks to make the Festival a more inclusive space for transgender and non-binary artists, as well.

The Aphra Behn Festival is named for the fascinating poet, translator, and spy, Aphra Behn, who is widely considered to be the first English woman to make her living as a playwright. SATE produced a play about her, “Or,” by Liz Duffy Adams, in February 2015 and collaborated with Prison Performing Arts to adapt Behn’s play, “The Rover”, for the artists at the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Correctional Center in Vandalia to perform. “The Rover” was also the text shared by the directors in the 2020 Festival. SATE feels very much a part of Aphra’s legacy. 

For artists interested in applying to be a director, email by December 11, 2023 with a personal experience that inspired your interest in directing for theatre. SATE’s co-producers, Rachel Tibbetts and Ellie Schwetye, will contact applicants for a further interview.

For artists interested in submitting a play, email it to by December 11, 2023. The play must contain the following ingredients:

  • Theme: Transformations
  • 3 characters max
  • Must be no longer than 20 minutes
  • A reference to a fairytale/childhood story or character
  • A mention of a Shakespeare play or character
  • A magic trick
  • One element (air, water, fire, earth) used in excess
  • A moment of music using one of the following songs:
    • Change or Telling Stories by Tracy Chapman
    • White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane
    • Changes by David Bowie
    • Heads will Roll by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Utilize text created by the Spoken Word Artists

SATE is partnering with Prison Performing Arts (PPA) and their Spoken Word artists in Vandalia, MO, who have written poems following the season theme and inspired by fairy tales and children’s stories. Click the link above or here to read these poems.

The Eighth Annual Aphra Behn Festival will be performed at the Chapel (6238 Alexander Drive, 63105), across from Forest Park, March 29-31, 2024. Rehearsals will begin the first week of March 2024.

SATE will be hiring three directors and three writers for the 2023 Aphra Behn Festival. Artists of all ethnicities, races, ages, abilities, and backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Submissions from applicant directors and writers will be reviewed by members of SATE’s Artistic Advisory Ensemble.

SATE is grateful for the support of the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission, the Missouri Arts Council, the Steve Nelson Memorial Playwright’s Fund, and the Siteman Family Charitable Fund for making the Eighth Annual Aphra Behn Festival possible.

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