The South has a rich legacy of playwrights. When Gary Cole moved from Portland, Oregon to Raleigh, he realized that North Carolina did not have a festival that highlighted Southern playwrights. Having been an active member of the theatre community in Portland, he set out to see what he could do. Sauls discusses how a mixture of one fan of Southern playwrights with a magical old theatre in Wilson's Edna Boykin Cultural Center and a supportive local community resulted in the Theatre of the American South Festival. The festival debuted in May 2006.