12th Annual Playwrights’ Festival opens Friday
Premiere productions of three one-act plays by local playwrights
Port Townsend, Wash.—Former mayor John Clise takes on the role of God and 9-year-old Keira Matkins is The Kid in a one-act play by Port Townsend resident DD Wigley.
Micheal Cavett, a former Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce president, plays a doctor in Port Townsend resident Sandy Diamond’s latest work.
Former city councilor Ian Keith and professional performing artist Raven are Vietnam War buddies in a piece by Marrowstone Island resident Judith Glass Collins.
Filled with illustrious local talent on the stage and behind the scenes, Key City Public Theatre’s 12th Annual Playwrights’ Festival is the place to see and be seen, as well as to celebrate the three local playwrights whose one-act plays premiere at Key City Playhouse this Friday, Feb. 22. The production opens Key City Public Theatre’s 50th anniversary season and is generously sponsored by Port Townsend’s FairWinds Winery.
Also debuting are the results of an extensive off-season remodel of Key City Playhouse that added 20 new seats to the intimate theatre, bringing the number to 66. Expanding into the space next door also created a spacious lobby, box office and concession stand (enhanced refreshments are among the new patron comforts.)
Selected for this year’s festival production from the 38 submissions by Jefferson County playwrights to the 2007 One Act Play Competition are DD Wigley’s play “Apple,” Judith Glass Collins’ “Veteran’s Day,” and Sandy Diamond’s “Eight Women, or the Bears.”
“Apple” is Wigley’s first play, although she was a finalist in the WPA's 10th Annual Bart Baxter Performance Poetry Competition at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle this past April. With allusions to the Biblical forbidden fruit, “Apple” is a surrealistic exploration of the search for meaning in human relationships with each other and our maker. DJ Adams directs a cast comprised of Clise, Matkins, Heather Poulsen and Ezekial Wakefield.
“Veterans’ Day” is informed by Collins’ experience as a trauma therapist treating veterans. Her recent work in drama therapy and her doctoral studies in clinical psychology inform her story of two Vietnam War vets (Keith and Raven) battered by wars fought at home and abroad who are dragged back into an unwelcome past by a mysterious stranger (Patti Quintero). Denise Fleener directs.
“Eight Women or, The Bears” makes Diamond a three-time winner and two-time honorable mention playwright in the One Act Play Competition. A published poet and former artist-in-residence at Centrum, she creates in this play an exciting and terrifying roller-coaster ride for her main character (Marcy MacGregor) that leaves her searching for solace from her childhood favorite comedian (Douglas Taylor). Don White directs a cast that also includes Cavett, Ramon Daily and Kathi Taylor.
Informal “AfterWords” discussions with the playwrights and members of the artistic staff and cast follow all festival performances.
“As a member of the audience, your responses to these new plays shape the works and affect their next incarnations,” says Denise Winter, KCPT Artistic Director. “After all, these are the stories our neighbors are choosing to tell; these are the issues on our minds; these are the problems and triumphs we face—and this is our forum to share them.”
Key City Playhouse is located at 419 Washington St. , Port Townsend (longtime patrons, note the new entrance is one door to the west). Festival performances run Feb. 22-Mar. 9, Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. General admission is $15; $10 for students.
For the pay-what-you-wish performance on Thurs., Feb. 28, advance tickets are available at full price and donations are accepted at the door for the remaining seats on a first-come, first-serve basis. This evening is sponsored by the Port Townsend Arts Commission to encourage accessibility to quality live theatre for and by the community.
All advance ticket sales are handled by Quimper Sound Music and Media, 230 Taylor St., Port Townsend; 360-385-2454. FLEXpass vouchers and gift passes may be exchanged for tickets at Quimper Sound.
New in 2008 are two special events associated with all mainstage shows. A “Second Saturday” pre-show wine and cheese reception in the new lobby with the directors and artistic director is held at 6:30 p.m. Mar. 1 (cost: $20; attendance is limited). And a Sunday morning brunch offers an opportunity to dine with the three winning playwrights. Brunch is served at 11 a.m. Mar. 9, in KCPT’s uptown offices before the final performance (cost: $50; attendance is limited). For special event reservations or information about group sales and subscription packages, call KCPT’s administrative office at 360-379-0195.
Please note that all three plays contain adult themes and may not be suitable for children.
For more about the show or schedule, call the KCPT show info line at 360-385-7396 or visit the show page and calendar..