Category Archives: Playwrights

Book review: ‘Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein’

When playwright Wendy Wasserstein died in 2006, a lot of theater-lovers grieved. Many of them were people something like me – a woman, a baby-boomer, a product of the same kind of New England women’s college that Wasserstein attended and just a year younger, almost to the day, than Wasserstein herself.

So it was easy to believe that Wasserstein’s plays, especially her Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy The Heidi Chronicles, were about me and the people I knew.

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Dennis Neal to play Louis Armstrong in world-premiere play

Dennis Neal

Orlando actor Dennis Neal will star as legendary jazzman Louis Armstrong in the world-premiere production of Satchmo at the Waldorf, author and Wall Street Journal theater critic Terry Teachout’s play based on his biography Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong.

Rus Blackwell will direct the play, which will have its first production at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center in Orlando Sept. 15-Oct. 2.

Neal, who has acted extensively around Central Florida (most recently as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at the Garden Theatre and in Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s Shotgun), also will play Joe Glaser, Armstrong’s controversial manager, in the play about Armstrong’s final performance before his death.

Here’s information about the folks involved, who also include designer William Elliot:

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PlayFest submission deadline is coming up

Just a reminder that the deadline is fast approaching for this fall’s PlayFest 2.0 at Orlando Shakespeare Theater. It’s a new, shortened version of the new-play festival, and here, once again, are the submission guidelines:

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Valencia looking for Florida playwrights

Valencia Community College’s theater department is conducting its annual competition for a Florida playwright, whose winning work will be produced at Valencia next season:

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Playwrights’ Round Table looking for new scripts

Playwrights’ Round Table needs new scripts for its annual John Goring Memorial One-Act Fest and for Fringe 2012. Here are the guidelines and further info:

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Theater auditions: Playwrights’ Round Table’s ‘Summer Shorts’

Here’s an audition notice from Playwrights’ Round Table:

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Nine plays you shouldn’t miss

Robin Williams, Brad Fleischer and Glenn Davis in Rajiv Joseph's 'Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.' (Carol Rosegg)

It’s been all Fringe, all the time here lately, so here’s something completely different.

Two theater professors from my college, Nora Hussey and Melinda Lopez, have put together a list of nine plays that theater-lovers should not miss — a bucket list for theater-lovers. It’s an interesting list — some obvious, some not so much.

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PlayFest 2.0 looking for submissions

A new, shortened version of Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s PlayFest — scheduled for Nov. 3-6 of this year — is seeking submissions. Here are the guidelines:

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Playwrights’ Round Table chooses scripts, looks for more

It’s busy time over at Playwrights’ Round Table, where they’ve chosen the scripts for the Summer Shorts series and are on the lookout for a full-length play to be produced in March 2012.

The list of Summer Shorts titles and writers:

Local writer needs audience and actors for new-play reading

Here’s a request from local playwright Carol Rose Offutt:

I would like to invite theater enthusiasts to participate in a reading of my play, Distant Runway Lights, a military romance set in the 1940s.

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Theater critics award top prize — again — to playwright Bill Cain

Bill Cain

For the second year in a row, New York playwright Bill Cain has won the $25,000 Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Award for a new play — this time for 9 Circles, a harrowing but ultimately uplifting play about war and redemption.

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Mad Cow to present staged reading of ‘Women of Lockerbie’

 

Deborah Brevoort

Some of you may know playwright Deborah Brevoort, who has conducted play-writing workshops here and whose play The Blue-Sky Boys, about the engineers responsible for the first Apollo moon landing, was done at PlayFest a while back.

 

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In memoriam: Playwright Lanford Wilson dies at 73

Lanford Wilson

Very sad news from yesterday — that playwright Lanford Wilson died of pneumonia at the age of 73.

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Playwright Cori Thomas wins 2011 Osborn Award

Cori Thomas (photo courtesy of City Theatre Company, Pittsburgh)

Playwright Cori Thomas, a New York-based writer who has lived in seven countries, has won the American Theatre Critics Association’s M. Elizabeth Osborn Award for her play When January Feels Like Summer, a dark comedy about a multicultural neighborhood and its residents’ search for assimilation and identity.

Thomas will receive the $1,000 prize — meant to honor a playwright who has not yet won national attention — April 2 in Louisville, Ky., at the Humana Festival of New American Plays.

(I was one of the members of the ATCA awards committee that chose Thomas for this prize.)

Here’s more on Thomas and her play:

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Orlando Shakes announces PlayFest schedule, Mark Brown talk

Mark Brown

Playwright Mark Brown, whose comedies Around the World in 80 Days and The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge have been Orlando Shakespeare Theater hits, will take part in PlayFest’s keynote event, a conversation between him and Orlando Shakes artistic director Jim Helsinger, on April 8.

The theater has announced the entire PlayFest schedule, and here it is, followed by some info on Mark and good PlayFest stuff:

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Playwrights’ group looking for short plays

It’s time once again for Playwrights’ Round Table to begin gathering scripts for its annual Summer Shorts production. Here’s how to enter:

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U.S. playwright Katori Hall wins Susan Smith Blackburn award

American playwright Katori Hall has won the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, a $20,000 award given every year to a woman playwright writing in English. Hall received the prize for her play Hurt Village.

Here’s more:

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Theater critics announce six finalists for $25,000 new-play prize

Six U.S. playwrights have been named as finalists in the 2010 Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association ATCA) New Play Award, a national competition run by ATCA, the professional organization of U.S. theater critics.

The six finalists are up for $40,000 in awards, including one $25,000 first-place award and two $7,500 citations. The awards go to the writers of the scripts judged to have been the best produced in a regional theater outside New York the previous year.

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More about PlayFest’s plays

Patrick Flick, head of new-play development at Orlando Shakespeare Theater, has sent over descriptions of the plays slated for April’s PlayFest. Here you go:

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PlayFest titles announced

As auditions continue today for Orlando Shakespeare Theater’s PlayFest, I was curious about the names of the scripts we’ll be hearing. So here’s a rundown on what’s coming to PlayFest this April:

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