ATHENS, Ohio (May 25, 2004) -- The Seabury Quinn, Jr., Playwrights' Festival presents to the public the works of first, second and third year students in the Ohio University Professional Playwriting Program under the direction of Playwrighting Program Head Charles Smith. This year, the festival offers an opportunity to witness the work of nine diverse playwrights. This cumulative work from the 2003-04 academic year is in the form of productions, workshops and readings of new plays. After the readings and workshops, audiences are invited to give feedback directly to the writers who then use that feedback to continue to shape and form their work. Theater professionals from around the country are also in attendance during the festival. These professionals take on the role of mentoring each playwright during the four-day festival. They conduct seminars, workshops and also respond to the work of Ohio University playwrights. This year's mentors include: Rick Cleveland, writer for HBO's "Six Feet Under" and "The West Wing;" Rebecca Gillman, author of "Spinning Into Butter" and a Pulitzer Prize nominee; and Chris Jones, critic for Variety and The New York Times.
Past guest artists have included nationally renowned playwrights Ed Bullins, Milan Stitt, Sherry Kramer, Caridad Svich and Susan Yankowitz, in addition to Chuck Smith (artistic associate, Goodman Theatre in Chicago) Janet Allen (artistic director, Indiana Repertory) Mead Hunter (literary director, Portland Center Stage, in Portland, Ore.) and Sandy Shinner (associate artistic director, Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago.)
Many of the plays shown during the festival then go on to receive professional productions in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. The festival begins Wednesday, May 26, and runs through Saturday, May 29, in the Forum Theater. A reception with light refreshments will follow every performance. For more information, call the Ohio University Theater Box Office at (740) 593-4800.
The Playwrights' Festival provides a unique opportunity to the community by allowing them the equivalent of a "backstage pass" to experience one step in the new play development process, a process which extends from inception to production. A new play challenges all participants (writers, actors, directors and audience), empowering them with the opportunity to contribute to the development of a living play. This year's living plays deal with a variety of eclectic issues including: Women in the Wild West, carnivalesque familial longings, alienation, Hispanic cultural loyalty, the search for identity, comedy with a French flair, love and loss, a universe inhabited by time and suspenseful family secrets.
Playwrights presenting their work in this year's festival include: Anika Alvar, a Thornton Wilder Playwriting Award winner; Aaron Carter, a Prop Theater's New Play Festival finalist and Chicago produced playwright; J.C. Christiansen, an American College Theatre Festival winner; Christopher De Paola, a New York City off-off Broadway produced Hispanic playwright; Mike Dice Jr., a National AIDS Fund Award winner from the Kennedy Center; Melissa Gawlowski, selected for an upcoming edition of Monologues For Women, by Women; Jacquelyn Reingold, a New York City-produced playwright and television writer for NBC's "Miss Match" and MTV's "Daria;" John Ray Sheline, founding member of TS&M productions; and Mark Witteveen, a New York City-produced playwright.
TIMES, DATES & TICKET INFO:
The 2004 Seabury Quinn, Jr. Playwrights' Festival runs from Wednesday, May 26, through Saturday, May 29, in the Forum Theater (RTV Building). Shows are at 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesday; 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday; and noon, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday. A reception with light refreshments will follow every performance. All performances are free, except Saturday at 8 p.m., which is a paid performance in the Hahne Theater. For more information, call the Ohio University Theater Box Office at (740) 593-4800.
Schedule of Events
Wednesday, May 26
- 1:30 p.m. – "A Story About A Girl" by Jacqueline Reingold
- 8 p.m. – "Blind Man's Blues" by Michael Dice Jr.
Thursday, May 27
- 1 p.m. – "Hometown Pride!" by J.C. Christiansen
- 8 p.m. – "Swamp Baby" by Aaron Carter
Friday, May 28
- 1 p.m. – "Jimmy from the Bronx" by Mark Witteveen
- 8 p.m. – "The Critic" by Melissa Gawlowski
Saturday, May 29
- Noon – "Elements of Form" by Christopher De Paola
- 3 p.m. – "Womyn's Spirit" by Anika Alvar
- 8 p.m. – "Fullest Vigour" by John Ray Sheline (paid performance)*
* "Fullest Vigour" performed in the Virginia Hahne Theater
* All other performances are in the Forum Theater (RTV Building) and are free
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