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Conversation Starters: How Robert Egan Put Ojai Playwrights on the Map

Robert Egan in rehearsal at Ojai Playwrights Conference. Photo courtesy of Theatre Communications Group

Robert Egan in rehearsal at Ojai Playwright’s Conference. Photo courtesy of Theatre Communications Group

Margaret Gray – American Theatre, A publication of Theatre Communications Group

On Sunday evening, Aug. 14, Robert Egan stood up at the front of an auditorium in Ojai, Calif., to introduce the final event of the 2022 Ojai Playwright’s Conference’s (OPC) New Works Festival, a staged reading of Bill Cain’s play-in-progress, God’s Spies. Promising to keep his remarks brief, because “it’s a two-act play,” Egan reminisced about the start of his long collaboration with Cain, who went on to be “the most produced playwright” at the Ojai conference. Their relationship began in the late 1980s, when Egan was the producing artistic director at the Mark Taper Forum in L.A. and Cain had a hit there with Stand-Up Tragedy.

Egan then alluded, a bit hesitantly, to another milestone: This would be his last introduction as OPC’s artistic director/producer, a role he’s held since 2002. He had announced his decision to step down in March. Read more…