The week-long Valdez Theatre Conference is held every June in Valdez, Alaska. It draws a majority of its participants from Alaska, but each year there are also attendees from the rest of the country and beyond.
The Conference essentially consists of three parts:
1.The Play Lab is the heart and soul of the Conference. Each year, submissions from playwrights are solicited, and the writers of the top scripts are invited to present their work in a Play Lab reading. The presentations are responded to by a panel of theatre professionals (Featured Artists) and by the audience. The writers also receive a private consultation with one of their panelists.
2.Each year there are numerous classes and panel discussions. They include discussions of both the craft and business of working in the theatre. There is an emphasis on classes that involve active participation, as opposed to pure lecture format.
3. Five to seven evening performances are presented each year. The shows are produced by companies throughout the state, primarily from Anchorage, Juneau, and Fairbanks. There are also shows imported from outside the state, with prior productions coming from as far away as Australia. These shows feature work by past and present participants in the Conference, both featured artists/teachers and participants in the Play Lab.