Our “Mission Statement”

To produce events & projects that people want to see and press wants to talk about. Entertain the audience. To champion & elevate the misfit, castoff, underdog and downtrodden artist. To courageously show the world that the line between “GOOD” and “BAD” is imagined.



* Need motivation to create? Bad Theater Fest is for you. 
* Have writer’s block and need to step back from a current project? Bad Theater Fest is the cure.

* Don’t live near NYC? Don’t have the resources to produce your own work?
Bad Theater Fest can mount your work or perform a staged reading (contact us for details).

* Always wanted to express your creative side but felt too embarrassed? Be not afraid.
Bad Theater Fest says, “Go for it!”.


is from Texas. Feel free to call him Gavin or Starr. Just call him at the least. He’s made theater mostly at The Brick Theater and Incubator Arts Projects with the good people at Piper McKenzie (The Granduncle Quadrilogy; The Bubble of Solace), Dreamscape Theater (Whale Song), Ten Directions (…and the fear cracked open), Old Kent Road (The Protestants; Emancipatory Politics), The Internationalists ([email protected]), Red Handle (Iph.Then; Yellow Electras), Sneaky Snake Productions (A Brief History of Murder), Gemini CollisionWorks (Spell; A Little Piece of the Sun), Nosedive Productions (Monkeys), films with Charred Oak Films (The Ballad of Lance and Bill; The Widowers) and East 3rd Productions (Tapeworm) and with Shawn Wickens founded the sock-puppet comedy group Afternoon Playland (afternoonplayland.com).

He received his BFA from the University of Oklahoma, trained as a Journeyman at The Warehouse Theater under Jack Young and studied improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. He likes cats.


SHAWN WICKENS is a graduate of the Second City Cleveland Conservatory. He has written an award winning horror screenplay (unproduced) and had his writing rejected by Troma Films, Blue Man Group and Comedy Central.

For over 5 years he performed with one of the Magnet Theater’s favorite improv house teams, Junior Varsity, and has performed at comedy festivals across the U.S. and Canada.

His book, “How to Lose Your Virginity (…and how not to)” is a collection of first sexual experiences that he acquired by interviewing over 1,000 strangers across the United States. His second book, Haiku Circus highlights his comic strip series that appeared in over 30 newspapers around the world. Both books are available on Amazon.


MICHAEL MCFARLAND came to New York City by way of Philadelphia where he studied drama at The Actors’ Center and performed in several long form improv ensembles. During his time in Philadelphia Michael also founded and produced the Philadelphia Improv Festival. He continues to serve on the Advisory Board for the Philadelphia Improv Theater (PHIT) and co-produces PHIT’s Duofest. In New York Michael has been an active part of the improv and comedy scene performing in improv and sketch shows all over the city. He is also Founder and Executive Producer of the New York City Improv Festival. He can be seen teaching, coaching or performing regularly all over NYC and beyond.



Any film you’ve ever seen, song heard, performance attended – artists put a lot of work into it. In spite of that, somebody out there hated on it. Nothing is universal. Every piece of art is despised by someone – Bad Theater Fest is born!

Part of our motivation behind starting a festival openly searching for bad theater is to make a venue available to people who want to write but are worried about what others may think about it. So don’t worry, just go for it. Your play may not be the worst one out there.

The festival hopes to attract both first-time playwrights and discarded material from more established and seasoned writers. “It’s not that we have low standards, says co-founder Shawn Wickens. “It’s that we have different standards. We want to curate the most diverse festival possible, not only in content but with also who is involved.” We’re theater-lovers too. We’re not looking to bore or offend people. The “bad” in Bad Theater is a tongue-in-cheek label, a fun way of saying that you might love what you see, you might not – and that’s OK.