Building a better arts community: that’s what all arts organizations hope to accomplish with their programming. Every group has at its core a fundamental strength but overall their activities work in unison to enhance the quality of life for all residents in and around Helena. COVID has put quite a damper on live performance so it is exciting to see the 8th annual Last Chance New Play Fest go live on stage Nov. 5-14 at the new Helena Ave. Theatre (HAT) located at 1319 Helena Ave. The Last Chance New Play Fest celebrates original works by regional playwrights and performance artists. With its audience talk-back sessions, audience favorites and online surveys, it allows the public to engage in the creative process to assist in the development of new theatrical works. The anchor event in the Fest, the Montana Short Cuts, will feature seven short plays on the theme Anti/Social. And for the first time the Fest will include original poetry readings by local published poets and a film play by Ross Peter Nelson. “When Nana Hit the Glass” a one act play by Mountain View Meadows’ Director of Design, Rebecca Ryland, will make its Helena premiere after opening last year at the Center for the Arts in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Rebecca invites everyone to come out and support the Fest which was forced virtual last year by the pandemic. Tickets can be purchased at the door starting 30 minutes before each performance: $15 for admission to a single performance and $30 for a Fest Pass, which provides admittance to any and all performances. Passes may also be purchased in advance at the Mountain View Meadows Office located at 431 S. Alice St. Audience members are requested to wear a mask and seating may be limited so come early! For additional information and performance schedules visit The 2021 Last Chance New Play Fest is sponsored by NorthWestern Energy, Opportunity Bank of Montana and Mountain View Meadows, LLC and is supported in part by a grant from the Montana Arts Council.