Locally written one-acts to debut in Port Townsend PlayFest on Thursday

By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — The Port Townsend Festival of New Plays — PlayFest for short — will bring 11 days of live theater, replete with one-act plays, discussions and writing workshops, to town starting Thursday.

The nonprofit Key City Public Theatre hosts this 18th annual event, formerly known as the Playwrights’ Festival, at two venues this year: the Key City Playhouse and the Pope Marine Building, both in downtown Port Townsend.

“PlayFest is for theater lovers,” said Key City Artistic Director Denise Winter.

It’s a week and a half given over to mingling between theater makers and theater appreciators, she added, and “we’ve seen truly magical interactions happen between playwrights, actors and audiences.”

Local flavor

Those who are hungry for new plays — and local flavor — can have their fill as six Jefferson County writers debut their one-act plays during the festival.

Three of these, “Night of Intrigue” by David Hundhausen, “People Small” by Jack O’Connor and “Funeral Home, The Musical” by Deborah Wiese, will be part of the staged reading at 7:30 p.m. Thursday during PlayFest’s opening night.

This Thursday through Sunday is also “Locals Weekend,” as three more Port Townsend-area playwrights will see their work in full-fledged productions.

“Somebodies & Sylvia” by Deborah Daline, “It’s Just Coffee” by Henry Feldman and “Field Guide” by D.D. Wigley will unfold on stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

The annual presentation of “Here, There and Everywhere,” a collection of monologues by women from all over the world, is yet another part of PlayFest this weekend, with a 2:30 p.m. performance Saturday.

The festival carries on throughout next week, with two more performances of “Here, There and Everywhere,” one-act readings and productions, and two plays-in-progress.

These are Port Townsend playwright Kim Hinton’s “Atrocity,” a drama about four U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan who discover a cave of secrets, and “Fata Morgana,” New York City writer Jeni Mahoney’s story about a couple living quietly off the grid, until their niece arrives offering a promise of long-lost hopes fulfilled.

Staged readings of both will come March 14-16.

Tickets, free events

Single tickets to PlayFest events range from $10 to $20, while a festival pass to all performances is $35 — but free events are also on the agenda.

First, guest artist Richard Dresser will teach an introductory playwriting workshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. next Saturday, March 15.

Then, Dresser and other playwrights will participate in a panel discussion titled “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Playwriting as a Tool for Healing” at 6 p.m. March 15.

Dresser, a Rutgers University instructor, also does writing workshops with veterans and their caregivers.

On Sunday, March 16, the final day of PlayFest, Dresser will teach a playwriting intensive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The cost for the advanced seminar is $75, or participants can choose the $95 Writer’s Pass, which includes the intensive and all festival events.

For information about plays, performance times, tickets and venues during PlayFest through March 16, and to sign up for Dresser’s playwriting workshops, phone the Key City Public Theatre box office, 360-385-KCPT (5278), or visit www.keycitypublictheatre.org/ptplayfest.htm.

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Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 04. 2014 6:07PM
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