Winners of the PlayFest One-Act Play Competition gathered at Key City Public Theatre before the staging of their works this weekend. From left are Jim Gormly, Angela Gyurko, Doug Given, D.D. Wigley and Wynne Stevens. Winner Leonard Goodisman is not pictured. (Key City Public Theatre)

Winners of the PlayFest One-Act Play Competition gathered at Key City Public Theatre before the staging of their works this weekend. From left are Jim Gormly, Angela Gyurko, Doug Given, D.D. Wigley and Wynne Stevens. Winner Leonard Goodisman is not pictured. (Key City Public Theatre)

PlayFest brings all-new stories to the stage

Port Townsend theater festival starts Friday

PORT TOWNSEND — Six new stories, straight from the minds of local playwrights, are about to spill onto the stage of the Key City Public Theatre.

It’s Locals Weekend, the first bloc of the 24th annual PlayFest showcase of brand-new works: Key City Public Theatre’s two week-event starting this Friday with the free kickoff happy hour at 6:30 p.m. At the playhouse at 419 Washington St., the six winners of the Port Townsend Arts Commission’s annual one-act playwriting competition will see their scripts given full productions and staged readings.

“This is the first time ever, in the world, that these plays and these characters are coming alive,” said KCPT Artistic Associate Brendan Chambers. Together, the writers — from around Jefferson County — and the actors will shape the plays together.

Four one-act productions form the first showcase at 7:30 p.m. Friday: “Adults” by Angela Gyurko, “Geointerfering Inc. Bored’s Eye View” by Leonard D. Goodisman, “First Mountain” by D.D. Wigley and “Tea” by Doug Given.

“Adults” is about the drama that is high school, said Gyurko, the Port Townsend playwright whose play “Triangles” was part of the 2018 PlayFest. This new one’s title is inspired, she said, by the idea that it’s sometimes hard to tell who the true adults are.

Actor Maggie Jo Bulkley prepares for her appearances in several PlayFest events in Port Townsend. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Actor Maggie Jo Bulkley prepares for her appearances in several PlayFest events in Port Townsend. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

In addition to the one-act productions, two more short plays, “Oh, My! God?” by Jim Gormly and “Timeless” by Wynne Stevens, will have their first onstage readings Saturday and Sunday.

The professional directors and actors who are cast and crew of these plays stage them on simple sets; emphasis is on the script, said Denise Winter, KCPT’s artistic director who has been evolving PlayFest for 10 years now.

Locals Weekend provides a gateway to the rest of the festival. Two full-length plays arrive next week: “Upon This Rock” by Chris Hawley of Port Townsend, and a tale with the working title “Blue Velvet” by featured playwright A.P. Andrews of Los Angeles. Andrews, now a television screenwriter busy in Hollywood, is author of the “Nebraska Cycle” and “Seaside Cycle” series of plays, and has had his works produced from London to New York and from Idaho to North Carolina. The prolific writer will lead two workshops in Port Townsend: the playwriting class free and open to all March 14 and the playwriting intensive March 15.

While single tickets range from $10 to $20, festival passes may appeal to those who want to attend three or more events, Winter noted.

“You can see everything for $35,” she said, adding that this all-access ticket aims to bring in good-sized audiences, which make a big difference in the performances of the new plays.

“You can come back and see them again,” Winter said of the one-acts and full-length productions, which are staged both this weekend and next. These plays change over the course of the festival, as actors, audiences and writers experience the material on stage.

A Writer’s Pass, which includes all plays plus March 15’s three-hour intensive class, is also available for $95. Those who participate in PlayFest may become the writers of future offerings at KCPT, Winter said; the annual One-Act Playwriting Competition takes entries in late summer, with information posted on www.keycitypublictheatre.org. The Port Townsend Arts Commission has sponsored the contest — open to strictly Jefferson County residents — for many years, “a big win for the community,” she said.

In these days of revivals and sequels, PlayFest is all about newness, added Chambers.

“It’s so important to create new work.”

PlayFest schedule

Friday, March 6

• 6:30 p.m. PlayFest Kickoff happy hour, free.

• 7:30 p.m. One-Act productions by contest-winning local playwrights: “Adults” by Angela Gyurko, “Geointerfering Inc. Bored’s Eye View” by Leonard D. Goodisman, “First Mountain” by D.D. Wigley and “Tea” by Doug Given. Reception follows, $15.

Saturday, March 7

• 3:30 p.m. PlayFest’s Teen Lab production takes the stage; discussion follows, $10.

• 7:30 p.m. Readings of one-act plays by contest-winning local playwrights: “Oh My! God?” by Jim Gormly and “Timeless” by Wynne Stevens, $10.

Sunday, March 8

• 1 p.m. One-Act productions by winning local playwrights: “Adults,” “Geointerfering Inc. Bored’s Eye View,” “First Mountain” and “Tea,” reception follows, $15.

• 5 p.m. Readings of one-act plays by contest-winning local playwrights: “Oh My! God?” and “Timeless,” discussion follows, $10.

Friday, March 13

• Noon: Performance of “Upon This Rock” by Chris Hawley, discussion follows at Pope Marine Building, Water and Madison streets, $10.

• 2:30 p.m. Readings of one-act plays by contest-winning local playwrights: “Oh My! God?” and “Timeless,” discussion follows, Pope Marine Building, $10.

• 4 p.m. One-Act productions by winning local playwrights: “Adults,” “Geointerfering Inc. Bored’s Eye View,” “First Mountain” and “Tea,” discussion follows, $15.

• 7:30 p.m. An evening with festival featured playwright A.P. Andrews and his full-length play “Blue Velvet,” discussion follows, $20.

Saturday, March 14

• 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Playwriting workshop, Pope Marine Building, free.

• 1:30 p.m. PlayFest Teen Lab production, discussion follows, $10.

• 3 p.m. Open rehearsal of “Blue Velvet,” Pope Marine Building, free.

• 5 p.m. Open rehearsal of “Upon This Rock,” free.

• 7:30 p.m. “Working Drafts” discussion of new plays by local writers, Pope Marine Building, $10.

Sunday, March 15

• 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Playwriting intensive, Pope Marine Building, $70.

• 2 p.m. Readings of one-act plays by contest-winning local playwrights: “Oh My! God?” and “Timeless,” discussion follows, Pope Marine Building, $10.

• 3:30 p.m. “Blue Velvet” performance, discussion follows, $10.

• 5:30 p.m. “Upon This Rock” performance, discussion follows, Pope Marine Building, $10.

• 7:30 p.m. One-Act productions by winning local playwrights: “Adults,” “Geointerfering Inc. Bored’s Eye View,” “First Mountain” and “Tea” by Doug Given, discussion follows, $15.

________

Diane Urbani de la Paz, a former features editor for the Peninsula Daily News, is a freelance writer living in Port Townsend.

More in Entertainment

Peninsula College Longhouse to host ‘Powerful Poets’

House of Learning, Peninsula College Longhouse, will host a… Continue reading

x
Alpenfire's Nancy Bishop has donated a private orchard tour and cider tasting to the Jefferson County Historical Society's AHA Auction. (Jefferson County Historical Society)
AHA Auction highlights experiences

Funds raised will support Jefferson County Historical Society

Formal ceremonies to officially light the downtown Port Angeles Christmas tree, shown in this 2019 file photo, could be scrapped in 2020 due to the threat of COVID-19. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Virtual tree lightings set in Sequim, Port Angeles

Virtual holiday tree-lighting ceremonies are set for Sequim today (Thursday) and Port… Continue reading

Mandolinist David Grisman and painter Tracy Bigelow Grisman, seen here with their donations, are among the contributors to "Weave It Together," the Northwind Arts Center-Port Townsend School of the Arts auction online now. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/Peninsula Daily News)
‘Weave It Together’ auction kicks off arts merger

Live online event to stay open until 5:45 p.m. Dec. 6

Second ‘Flora Ludmilla’ episode set to air

Ludmilla Studios will present the second epic episode of… Continue reading

x
Artists offer visions of ‘Light at the End of the Tunnel’

A group of Sequim-area artists are finding the creative silver… Continue reading

Louisa Morgan
Port Townsend author wins sci-fi award

Louise Marley of Port Townsend, who writes under the… Continue reading

Magic moments like this between Dylan Krashan and Santa Claus in 2018 won't happen this year at the downtown Sequim tree lighting event due to pandemic protocols coming into place. The tree lighting moves online to 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving at the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce's website and social media pages. Sequim Gazette file photo by Erin Hawkins
Sequim downtown tree lighting goes virtual

Hometown Holiday events planned

Most Read