Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Holidays

Whatever holiday/s you celebrate at this time of year... may they be the best ever! See you next year!

Jim Betts
Bill McCann, Jr.
Steve Taylor
Bruce Williams
517 Playwrights/Kentucky Playwrights' Workshop, Inc.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

January Meeting to be at Common Grounds

Common Grounds, a coffee shop, located on High Street in Lexington, KY will be the site of our January 10, 2010 meeting. The meeting will begin at 2:00 pm in the Yellow Room on the SECOND FLOOR. Come early get a drink and something to eat then wind your way through the building and go up the stairs to the yellow room. We'll read new scripts and discuss where we go from here. As usual the meeting will end at 5:00. Please join us.

Monday, December 7, 2009

No December Meeting

December is for family and friendsm for celebrating the winter solstice however you wish: Hannuka, Christmas, Kwannza or in some other way. Have a great December. See you in January!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Join us....

If your house is like mine you are on the third day of leftover turkey, you've been shopping and you've had enough of the house guests who haven't left. So... its time for you to leave and join 517 Playwrights as we read two one act plays be Steve Taylor and plan for the organization's future! That's right 517 Playwrights will be one year old tommorow and we'd like you to join us at COMMON GROUNDS (coffee house) on High Street in Lexington, KY. The meeting will begin at 2:00 and end at 5:00 so sneak away from the football and the relatives and join us. See you there!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November 29th meeting

The next meeting of 517 Playwrights will be held on Sunday November 29th 2009 at Common Grounds Coffee House on High Street in Lexington from 2-5 pm. The first two hours will be spent reading new works, so if you have a new play in the works please bring it.

If you would like your work read then please bring enough copies for every reader to have his/her own script to read from. If there are four characters please bring four copies of the script with you.

If you have an interest in new works for the stage please join us. Playwrights are important to the process of developing new works, but so are directors, techies and audience members. If you'd like to participate then please join us on November 29 for what will be the first anniversary of 517 Playwrights. Who knows, we might even have a cake!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The End of (517's) History

By August what was to be the future Midway Festival of Plays was in the making. Directors had been selected for each of the plays. Among the directors were both Bob Singleton and Jim Betts. Also among the directors were Leif Erickson Rigney who agreed to direct two plays (and act in a third), Ross Carter, Lillie Ruschell and Scott Turner.

September found the plays cast with some of the areas finest local actors and also with a member of 517 Playwrights, Bruce Williams who was in Leon Kaye's MORE PASTA.

September was also when the Kentucky Playwrights' Workshop, Inc. was incorporated with the Kentucky Secretary of State's Office as a non-profit. The purpose of the KPW, Inc. was to establish a nonprofit that could produce the Midway Festival of Plays and future productions of plays either written by members of 517 Playwrights or selected by them for production.

October was production time in the Bluegrass: the Midway Festival of Plays opened on Friday Ocotber 9th with a nearly full house. The following two performances on Saturday and Sunday were full houses. Not bad for a first production.

When all was said and done nearly 220 people came to the Thoroughbred Theatre in Midway, Kentucky for the Festival of Plays and the organization made about $500. It was a small profit, for a small production, in a small theatre (capacity was about 85), in a small town but it got our organization off to a BIG start.

Looking forward: we are seeking new members with new plays and lots of ideas about where and how we go forward from here. We need to do a lot of "paperwork:" writing a mission statement, bylaws and all the rest. We need a board of directors. We may need an advisory board. We do need a direction for the next year year. Would Stephen Colbert, of The Colbert Report, want to sponsor a 10 Minute Play Contest? Would you, or the company you work for?

Mostly, what 517 Playwrights and the Kentucky Playwrights' Workshop, Inc. needs is YOU! We need your plays, your ideas, your enthusiasim.... you. Come join us. Be part of our future; make us part of yours.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

More History

When it became evident that we were actually going to have to judge the submissions Bill McCann contacted Actors Theatre of Louisville for help. One of the heroes of our tale, Amy Wegener ATL's Literary Manager came to the rescue. Riding out of Louisville into the outer reaches of Central Kentucky Ms. Wegener came to the group's June 7, 2009 meeting.

By this time members of 517 Playwrights had reduced the 100 submissions by about half. Contest Coordinator Bill McCann had forwarded about 20 or so submissions to each of the other judges and judged the remainder himself. At the early June meeting Ms. Wegener gave the group ideas about how to select not only good plays but plays that would work well together to create an evening's entertainment that would be both varied, but unified.

Two weeks later the judges met again and selected the contest winners:

Crish Barth, Orinda, CA, Hill Cattle

Len Cuthbert, Mt. Brydges, Ontario, CANADA, Enigmatic Lucidity

Lawrence DuKore, New York, NY, The Day that Brando Died

Leon Kaye, Hyde Park, NY, More Pasta

Thomas Pierce, Seattle, WA, Almost Connect....

Kay Rhoads, Ankeny, IA, Last Church of Lost Souls

Steven Schutzman, Baltimore, MD, The Weight

With the selection of winners, the hard work began. Jim Betts was selected to produce the plays: he found directors and actors, a venue oversaw the finding of props and scenery, and otherwise made the event happen. Meanwhile Bill McCann made certain that we had contracts with the playwrights and kept the playwrights up to date about what was going on with the contest.

Jim though had the biggest task-- getting the plays on stage. He found a venue in Midway, Kentucky The Thoroughbred Theatre located in the heart of that vibrant but small community midway between Lexington and Frankfort. Working with the theatre's owners Jim and John McDaniel and their staff a date for the production was settled on: October 9th throu the 11th. Time it seemed started to move faster.

Jim secured the help of Bob Singleton to co-roduce the event. Between them Jim and Bob found five other local thespians to help them cast and direct the shows.

1st Anniversary will Soon be Here!

The first anniversary of 517 Playwrights is coming up! On the Sunday following Thanksgiving last year-- November 30, 2008-- the first meeting of 517 Playwrights was held in the kitchen of a house on Georgetown Road outside Lexington, KY. At that first meeting-- hosted by Greta Fields-- Bruce Williams, Steve Taylor, Bill McCann, Jr. and Greta Fields read through Bruce William's delightful full-length play TIM: A CHRISTMAS STORY while enjoying snacks and drinks provided by Greta Fields.

Members of 517 Playwrights took the month of December 2008 off. In January 2009, at a meeting of the group at the Beaumont Branch of the Lexington Public Library, Jim Betts joined the group. As the meeting was winding down Betts suggested that the group should hold a 10 minute play contest. There was enthusiasim for the idea so a day or two later Bill McCann, Jr., who had been serving as moderator of 517 meetings announced on line that the group was holding a play contest for 10 minute plays beginning February 1, 2009 and ending July 30th or whenever it "received 100 entries."

At the February meeting of 517 Playwrights Bill McCann announced that he had done as the membership had asked and posted the rules inviting entries for the 517 Playwrights 10 Minute Play Contest. However, it quickly became evident that the posting was a mistake; noone had meant to begin a play contest. Misunderstanding or not though members agreed that since the contest had been posted the contest should be held. So, the contest continued, and entries continued to arrive in Bill's email mail box.

Who would have guessed that the 100th entry would be received March 11th 2009; the contest was "closed" that same day. The play contest had been advertised in only two places: this blog and Playwrights Forum! According to the contest rules the submission period ended with the 100th entry. But getting that word out was more difficult than that there was a contest. Entries continued to arrive, more than 150 total!

At the March meeting it was evident 517 might have bitten off more than it could chew. We had more than 100 plays to read and judge, what now?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Next Meeting: Sunday at 2:00 pm.

The next meeting of 517 Playwrights will be Sunday October 18th at 2:00 pm, second floor, at the downtown branch of the Lexington Public Library. This will be our regular meeting and though we be distracted into discussions about the recent success of the plays produced in Midway the focus will be on what playwrights bring to read. We will go back to our traditional meeting structure: reading and discussing the plays that members are working on.

Whether you are a playwright or not, if you have an interest in new works for the stage please join us this Sunday. Playwright, actor, director or simply someone who enjoys the theatre please come and participate. The meeting will end not later than 5:00 pm.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A success in Midway! Thank you!

From Rich Copley's pen to the world's ear, the word got out: you've got to go to Midway and see the festival of new plays. And so they came. On Saturday and Sunday the performances were sold out! Altogether, nearly 250 people attended the performances at Midway's Thoroughbred Community Theatre.

Thanks to one and all who worked so hard to make the first 10 minute play fest such a huge success: the playwrights, producers Jim Betts and Bob Singleton, the directors and of course the 17 actors who brought the plays to life on stage. None of it would have been possible without the hard work and dedication of all these people. Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kay Rhoads at Festival

With ambitions to appear on Good Morning Kentucky on Friday October 9th with Festival producer Jim Betts, Kay Rhoads set out from her home near Des Moines with her husband and sheltie in tow. But by late Thursday night after an all day slog through regional downpours and thunder storms they had only made it to Louisville. Bob Singleton would have to take her place on the television show.

Friday morning, with still more rain trying to ruin their trip the trio made it to Frankfort where they put down "roots." Ms. Rhoads then drove to Midway (about 15 minutes from her Frankfort hotel) did a little afternoon sightseeing -- checking out the theatre and some of the town's nice restaurants and antique shops. A few hours later she returned and attended the show.

Attendance for Friday's show was good-- about half full-- due to walk-in ticket purchases and good local and regional publicity: Rich Copley's very nice article about the festival and the plays ran in Friday's Lexington Herald Leader; a picture from one of the plays-- Hill Cattle by Crish Barth-- had run in Thursday's Woodford Sun. During the evening of shows laughter ran rampant during some plays; during Last Church of Lost Souls, a drama that takes place in a prison cemetary, you could have heard a pin drop!

After the play Ms. Rhoads, the director of her play (Last Church of Lost Souls), Lief Rigney, and Festival cast and crew went out for drinks a few doors down from the theatre.

Tickets for tonight's show are still available.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Betts and Singleton on Good Morning Kentucky

Producers of this year's Midway Festival of Plays, James Betts (of 517 Playwrights and the Kentucky Playwrights' Workshop, Inc.) and Bob Singleton, appeared on Good Morning Kentucky with host Kellie Wilson to promote the event that opens tonight at the Thoroughbred Community Theatre in Midway, KY and runs through Sunday.

Asked how the interview went Betts replied, "It went really fast. We probably weren't on camera for more than about a minute. But we were able to discuss the festival and promote it."

Playwright Kay Rhoads, author of Last Church of Lost Souls that is among the featured 10-Minute plays, was unable to make it to Lexington in time for the 6:00 am interview. However, Ms. Rhoads and her husband will be at the theatre for tonight's opening of the festival.

Curtain for tonight's performances is at 8:00 at the Thoroughbred Community Theatre, 127 Main Street, Midway, KY.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Invited Audience Performance

Tonight the "Festival of New Plays" in Midway, Kentucky will unofficially open with a final dress rehearsal before an invited audience of friends and family, theatre people and critics from across the local area.

More than 150 people from community, college and university, and professional theatres have been invited to attend the final dress rehearsal for this year's inaugeral "Festival of New Plays."
Additionally, invitations went out to members of the press and, of course, were given out to members of the plays' casts and crew.

Asked whether or not everyone ws ready for tonight's debut Jim Bett, producer of the event and director Steven Schutzman's The Weight, said, "Sure. We've all been working on this project for months. The actors and directors are all excited to get on stage and perform. Hopefully, we'll have a full house tonight and for every performance."

Tonight's invited guest performance begins at 8:00 pm. Performances on Friday and Saturday begin at 7:30; Sunday's matinee performance begins at 3:00 pm. Tickets for the weekend performances are still available at $10 each.

Cast Lists for 10-Minute Plays

Hill Cattle by Crish Barth
Directed by Scott Turner
Cast: Julia: Joanna Jerome Laura: Aubin Munn
The Day That Brando Died by Lawrence DuKore
Directed by Ross Carter
Cast: Pete: Lief Rigney Bernie: Kelley Hale
Last Church of Lost Souls by Kay Rhoads
Directed by Lief Rigney
Cast: Delphine: Leah Dick Gloria: Natalie Cummins
Almost Connect... by Thomas Pierce
Directed by Lillie Ruschell
Cast: Megan: Celeste Buxton Megan's inner self: Tara Adkins
Paul: Kevin Greer Paul's inner self: Zack Hightower
The Weight by Steven Schutzman
Directed by Jim Betts*
Cast: Eli: Jim Trujillo Laurie: Ellie Todd
More Pasta by Leon Kaye
Directed by Lief Rigney
Cast: Gina: Kathy Swango Carlo: Bruce Williams* Michael: Kevin Greer
Enigmatic Lucidity by Len Cuthbert
Directed by Bob Singleton
Cast Angelina: Ali Darden Bob: Timothy Hall

Members of 517 Playwrights/Kentucky Playwrights' Workshop, Inc. are shown with an * following their names.

Arts reporter at rehearsal

Rich Copley, arts reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader was at this past Monday night's first technical rehearsal. Mr. Copley interviewed Jim Betts, producer of the Festival's plays and director of The Weight by Steven Schutzman, Bob Singleton director of Enigmatic Lucidity by Len Cuthbert, and others involved in bringing the event together.

After his interviews Mr. Copley stayed around and took pictures of two of the plays as they were being rehearsed on stage at the Thoroughbred Community Theatre in Midway: Hill Cattle written by Crish Barth and directed by Scott Turner and The Day That Brando Died written Lawrence DuKore and directed by Ross Carter.

Mr. Copley said that his article about the Midway "Festival of New Plays" featuring the winning plays of the 517 Playwrights 10-Minute Play Contest will run in the Friday October 9th "Weekender" section of the Lexington Herald-Leader. Mr. Copley's article will also be available on line at Kentucky.com

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Kay Rhoads to be on GMA, oops... GMK

Kay Rhoads of Akeny, IA, the author of LAST CHURCH OF LOST SOULS, a 10-minute play about a female convict searching for her mother's grave in a prison cemetary, will appear on a local segment of "Good Morning America" known as "Good Morning Kentucky" on October 9th.

Ms. Rhoads who will be interviewed on Lexington, KY's ABC television affiliate Channel 36 for local airing of "Good Morning Kentucky." Host Kellie Wilson of GMK will interview Ms. Rhoads at about 6:15 am! on Friday October 9th for a segment that will air later that same day.

Ms. Rhoads will be in Lexington to attend the opening night performance of the "Midway Festival of Plays" which features Ms Rhoads' 10-minute play and six others. The festival runs for three performances: Friday October 9th at 8:00 pm; Saturday October 10th at 8:00 pm; and Sunday October 11th at 3:00 pm. All performances will be given at the Thoroughbred Community Theatre 127 Main Street, Midway, KY.

All seven plays were chosen as part of the 517 Playwrights' first international 10-minute play contest. The seven plays to be presented in Midway as part of the festival are:

Hill Cattle by Crish Barth, Orinda, CA
The Day That Brando Died, Lawrence DuKore, New York, NY
Last Church of Lost Souls, Kay Rhoads, Akeny, IA
Almost Connect...., Thomas Pierce, Seattle, WA
The Weight, Steven Schutzman, Baltimore, MD
More Pasta, Leon Kaye, Hyde Park, NY
Enigmatic Lucidity, Len Cuthbert, Mt. Brydges, Ontario, Canada

Producing the festival are the Kentucky Playwrights' Workshop, Inc. a Kentucky non-profit and the Thoroughbred Communuity Theatre. The event's producer is James Betts of Lexington.

Tickets for the event are $10. Reservations may be made by calling (859) 846-9827.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Playwright Kay Rhoads to Attend Play Festival

The Thoroughbred Community Theater, The Kentucky Playwrights Workshop, and 517 Playwrights are pleased to announce that playwright Kay Rhoads will be attending the premiere of the “Midway Festival of Plays,” an evening of 10-minute plays that will be held Thursday Oct. 8 though Sunday Oct. 11 at the Theater located at 127 East Main Street in Midway, KY.

Ms Rhoads is the author of “Last Church of Lost Souls,” which chronicles a female inmate’s search for her mother’s grave. A native of Iowa, Rhoads was an administrator of programs and services at the state women’s prison; much of her writing reflects the struggles of women who have not had the encouragement or opportunity to develop their potential.

Ms. Rhoads has had plays produced in many U.S. cities, including her hometown of Des Moines, and has publishing credits in several anthologies. Recent productions include “Prison of Lost Souls” in San Diego, and “From the Backseat” and “Date Night” in Williamsburg, VA.“A Simple Matter of Fear”, produced in Des Moines in 2008, is scheduled for a three week run in New York City in 2010.

Ms Rhoads will be attending the Oct. 8 and 9th performances.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Entertaining Evening of 10-Minute Plays

The inaugural “Midway Festival of Plays” to be held Thursday Oct. 8 through Sunday Oct. 11, 2009 at the Thoroguhbred Community Theater located at 127 East Main Street in Midway, KY.

The festival is the brainchild of Jim Betts and is being produced by Thoroughbred Theatre in association with The Kentucky Playwrights Workshop, Inc. and 517 Playwrights. 517 Playwrights solicited the scripts for its annual competition–conducted between February and July 2009–and chose the winning entrants.

The seven 10-minute plays that will be performed were selected from over 100 submissions. The winning playwrights hail from east coast to west coast, as far north as Canada, and spots in between. Their dramatic topics range from the poignant and humorous to the irreverent and farcical. With casts of characters ranging from 16 to 65 years old, “The 10-Minute Play Festival” promises something for everyone.

The directors, designers, actors and crewmembers of the “Midway Festival of Short Plays” hail from Lexington, Woodford County, Georgetown and Berea, and include experienced, well-known members of the Central Kentucky theatre community.

Performances of the seven plays begin on Friday Oct. 9 at 8pm with additional showings on Saturday evening Oct. 10 (8pm curtain) and a matinee on Sunday Oct. 11 (curtain at 2pm).

“We’re thrilled to host the inaugural “10-Minute Play Festival,” said TCT manager Jim McDaniel. “It’s symbolic of exactly the kind of stage productions we aim to bring to the community: inventive, entertaining, and a perfect marriage of local and international talent. We’re sure this will be an annual event the whole town can look forward to,” McDaniel added.

“I was inspired to produce a short play festival after participating in a playwriting course,” said Betts, “and started looking around for a place to stage it. The McDaniel's were enthusiastic about it, and offered their theatre as a venue. It seemed too good an opportunity to pass up, so we ran with it.”

Tickets are available by calling the theater at (859) 846-9827. Seats are $10 except on Student Night when they are $5 with valid student ID. For additional information about the TCT visit the website at www.thoroughbredtheatre.com.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Next Regular Meeting to be October 18, 2009

The next regular meeting of 517 Playwrights will be held on Sunday October 18, 2009 at the main (downtown) branch of the Lexington Public Library from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm on the second floor. Please join us.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sunday September 13th

Friday the 13th is supposed to be bad luck. No such superstition is attached to a Sunday the 13th so there is nothing to keep you from joining 517 Playwrights this coming Sunday at 2:00 for our regular meeting at the Beaumont branch of the Lexington Public Library.

We will be meeting in the small conference room there at the library for the purpose of doing a table reading of Bill McCann Jr.'s newest script, It's Who You Know: A Play about Identity and Opportunity.

Set 30 years in the future It's Who You Know is about a president of the United States and how he goes about the process of selecting a nominee for the Supreme Court. The President and his two aides (Bernard and Mac) are faced with selecting a nominee from a field that has been winowed, by Bernard, to four. The four candidates include two law school professors (one African American and one white), a federal appeals court judge (a white female) and a former two term MA attorney general who has only recently undergone gender reassignment surgery (and is now a transman).

Reading the script is an opportunity for the playwright to hear how his words sound aloud. After the reading the floor will be opened for comments and discussion about the script. Generally, the playwright doesn't respond much to the comments the purpose of which are to give him feedback that may (or may not) be reflected in changes to the script.

Up to this point the organization has done only table readings of members' scripts. At some point in the future, we will no doubt do public readings for an invited audience. And there is also some possibility that we may-- under the auspices of the Kentucky Playwrights' Workshop, Inc.-- produce some scripts either as script-in-hand readings, workshop productions, or even full-scale productions of members' scripts. But all of that is in the future.

For now we are focused on doing table readings. Please join us for our meeting this Sunday and a reading of It's Who You Know: A Play about Identity and Opportunity. The reading will be at the Beaumont Branch of the Lexington Public Library beginning at 2:00 pm. Please join us.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Busy, busy, busy fall

As a teacher my definition of the season includes that fall has arrived when students are back on campus and the yellow school busses are again prowling neighborhood streets picking up and disgorging children. Fall is here: school is back in session!

Fall finds members of 517 Playwrights very busy indeed. Jim Betts is producing our evening of 10 minute plays, even as he is busy directing one of them: Steven Schutzman's The Weight. Jim is also producing another play, Shakespeare Abridged for a different local community theatre. And, full-time Jim is the owner, chief baker, and bottle washer at Bluegrass Baking Company at 3101 Claysmill Road, Lexington: 859 296-0581. (The Chocolate Mousse Cake is fabulous!)

Bill McCann, Jr. is getting his play, Its Who You Know: A Play about Identity and Opportunity, ready for its first (table) reading on September 13th; after the reading he is planning to make some additional revisions before submitting it to Sundance. Bill is in rehearsal for On Golden Pond in which he plays Charlie Martin. The curtain on On Golden Pond, produced by the Little Colonel Players in Pewee Valley, KY, will rise on Sept 24th for seven performances. (Reservations at 502 588-1557). Luckily for Bill he has few responsibilities for the Evening of 10-Minute Plays or he'd be burned out long before the second weekend in October!

Steve Taylor, a lawyer by profession a playwright by aspiration, is working on a larger stage than the rest of us. Steve is preparing briefs and arguments for a case he is arguing before the Kentucky Supreme Court later this fall.

Last, but certainly not least, Bruce Williams is seeking a second production by actively promoting his full-length play Tim: A Christmas Story; he is also awaiting word from Baker Plays as to whether or not they will publish it. Additionally, Bruce is appearing in Leon Kaye's More Pasta.

We're a diverse group with lots of talent. What we lack though is the talent YOU could bring to our little but ambitious group. Join us on September 13th for the next meeting of 517 Playwrights at the Beaumont Branch of the Lexington Public Library. The meeting will begin at 2:00 pm in the small conference room where we will read a members' work and then discuss it. Join us. 517 Playwrights is open to anyone-- actors, directors, playwrights, theatregoers-- with an interest in helping develop new works for the stage.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Directors Announced for Winning Plays

James Betts, producer of the winning plays from this year's 517 Playwrights' 10-Minute Play Contest, announced the directors for the plays that will be produced under the auspices of the Kentucky Playwrights' Workshop, Inc. October 9-11, 2009 at the Thoroughbred Community Theatre in Midway, KY.

The plays and their directors, listed alphabetically by playwright are:

Scott Turner, director of Crish Barth's Hill Cattle.
Bob Singleton director of Len Cuthbert's Enigmatic Lucidity.
Ross Carter director of Lawrence DuKore's The Day Brando Died.
Lief Rigney director of Leon Kaye's More Pasta.
Lillie Ruschelle director of Thomas Pierce's Almost Connect....
Lief Rigney director of Kay Rhoads', Last Church of Lost Souls.
Jim Betts director of Steven Schutzman's The Weight.

More about Crish Barth's New York Success

San Francisco area emerging playwright Crish Barth has found success in New York. Alright, his play General Admissions didn't open in a Broadway theatre-- but at least he's in the same city. What began for Barth as an opportunity to be noticed, had its intended result. Barth's play was named a semifinalist in the The Strawberry One-Act Festival. And one of the actor's in his play, Andrew Guilarte, was awarded the festival's "best actor" award.

General Admissions is a 25 minute one act play in which a couple's (Dan and Sheila) night at the theatre turns into a relationship changing event. And it's all sparked when Dan (Andrew Guilarte) notices that they are seated in handicapped seating and Sheila refuses to move.

In 2009 The Strawberry One-Act Festival embarked on its 16th season this summer. The Strawberry Festival, the brainchild of The Riant Theatre Artistic Director, Van Dirk Fisher, is a play competition in which the audience and the theatre's judges cast their votes to select the best play of the season. Twice a year, hundreds of plays from across the country are submitted for the competition, of which 40 are chosen to compete. Plays move from the 1st round to the semi-finals and then the finals. The playwright of the winning play receives a grant and the opportunity to have a full-length play developed by the Riant.

Crish Barth is also the author of Hill Cattle that is being presented as part of "An Evening of One Act Plays" October 9-11, 2009 at the Thoroughbred Community Theatre in Midway, KY. Hill Cattle is one of seven winning 10-minute plays selected for production through the 517 Playwrights' 10-Minute Play Contest. His play and the other six winning plays are being produced by the non-profit Kentucky Playwrights' Workshop, Inc.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tim: A Christmas Story

Bruce Williams author of Tim: A Christmas Story is seeking a group that would like to produce the second coming of the play. Produced first in 2008 by the Georgetown Community Theatre, Georgetown, KY where it was directed by Gil Thurman following a developmental workshop, Tim is a modern re-telling of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Updated for modern audiences with a diverse characters that include Indian (as in natives of India) and Mexican characters as well as Lebron James and settings that include a Mexican restaurant Tim: A Christmas Story is a play that will truly get audiences in the 'Christmas Spirit.'

If you or your theatre wants to find out more about this play that is well suited for community theatre or high school productions leave a comment or write to ky.playwright@yahoo.com

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Next Meeting: Sunday September 13, 2009

The next meeting of 517 Playwrights will be Sunday September 13, 2009 at the Beaumont Branch of the Lexington Public Library. The meeting will run from 2:00 to 5:00 pm solely for the purpose of reading and discussing new works by our playwright members.

The play to be read and discussed will be Bill McCann, Jr.'s full-length play It's Who You Know: A Play about Identity and Opportunity. The play, set 30 years in the future, is about the selection of a nominee to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. With two unit sets, ten scenes that all take place in the White House, seven characters (President, Mac and Bernard aides to the president, and four potential nominees for the court), this is a play of ideas and comedy which asks several question including: is the country ready for a trans-gendered female to serve on the highest court in the land?

Bill McCann, Jr., is a cofounder of 517 Playwrights and Treasurer of the Kentucky Playwrights' Workshop, Inc. His play There is No Wrigley Field was a 2007 finalist in the Lakeshore Players' 10-Minute Play Contest. As an actor Mr. McCann is currently in rehearsal for On Golden Pond that is being produced by Little Colonel Players in Pewee Valley, KY; Mr. McCann is playing the role of Charlie Martin.

If you would like to read an excerpt from It's Who You Know prior to September 13 please request it by writing ky.playwright@yahoo,com

Though we need playwright members, you need not be a playwright to attend our meetings. Meetings of 517 Playwrights are open to anyone having an interest in reading and supporting the development of new works for the stage.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Crish Barth Play Named Semi-finalist

Crish Barth's play, General Admissions, has advanced from the 1st round to the semi-finals of the Strawberry One Act Fest in New York. The next performance will be Tuesday, August 18 at 7pm at Theatre St. Clements. To obtain tickets go to Barth's facebook page or go to http://www.facebook.com/l/;theatremania.com and search for Strawberry One Act Festival.

Barth is one of seven winners of this year's 517 Playwrights' 10-Minute Play Contest; his play Hill Cattle will be produced at the Thoroughbred Community Theatre in Midway, KY October 9, 10, and 11, 2009 by the Kentucky Playwrights Workshop, Inc.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Audition Notice: A Night of 10-Minute Plays

Auditions for the seven 10-minute plays to be produced by the Kentucky Playwrights Workshop, Inc. will be held on Tuesday August 18 and Wednesday August 19, 2009 from 6:00 - 9:00 pm in CONFERENCE ROOM B, fourth floor, of the Main Branch, Lexington, Public Library. Directors of all seven plays will be present to select actors for their plays. A total of 9W and 8 M are needed. Actors may audition to appear in multiple plays/play multiple parts.

Kentucky Playwrights Workshop, Inc. is producing the seven winners of 517 Playwrights' 10-Minute Play Contest. Production of the plays will be the second weekend of October, 2009 (9, 10, 11) at the Thoroughbred Theatre in Midway, KY:

Crish Barth, Hill Cattle, 2 F (30s - 40s)
Will the man of her dreams show up to carry her away, as she contends?

Len Cuthbert Enigmatic Lucidity 1M 1F (20s to 50s)
Is the woman he loves trying to kill him? Or is he dreaming?

Lawrence DuKore, The Day Brando Died 2M (40s to 50s)
Two tennis players meeting for tennis learn about the common girl friend in their pasts

Leon Kaye More Pasta 1 M (20's) 1 M 1F (50s)
More is at stake than pasta when a family sits down together.

Thomas Pierce, Almost Connect 2 M 2W (20s to 40s)
A couple almost meet over coffee.

Kay Rhoads, Last Church of Lost Souls, 2 F (20s to 40s)
A female inmate and a guard look for the inmate's mother's grave.

Steven Schutzman, The Weight 1 F (16-18) 1 M (20's)
A girl runs away from home and shows up at the apt. of an older musician she admires.

The plays allow for great casting flexibility; nearly all plays can be cast with people of any race, ethnicity or age. So if you have an interest in acting this is a great opportunity to be showcased in new, interesting and challenging new work.

Come audition August 18 or 19 at the main branch, Lexington Public Library, 4th Floor, Conference room B, from 6 to 9 pm. Join in the fun of being in a play, or two, or maybe more! For additional information contact Jim Betts at (859) 321-2852.

MEETING Sunday August 16, 2009

The meeting scheduled for August 9th was cancelled at the last moment due to a death. So, this coming Sunday, August 16, 2009, 517 Playwrights and Kentucky Playwrights Workshop, Inc. will be meeting at the Thoroughbred Community Theatre 127 Main Street in Midway, beginning at 2:00 pm. The purpose of the meeting is to allow 10-minute play directors an opportunity to view the venue where the plays will be produced, take measurements, determine sight lines etc.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

NEXT MEETING: Sunday August 9, 2009

The next meeting of the 517 Playwrights will be held this Sunday, August 9, 2009, at the Thoroughbred Community Theatre 127 Main Street, Midway, KY. The purpose of the meeting is to allow directors of our 10-Minute Plays to view the venue where the plays will be produced. Discussion will also focus on audition times and locations and other matters related to getting each play cast and rehearsed. As always the meeting will begin at 2:00; it is expected that the meeting will conclude by 4:00 pm.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Help the arts, support the artist: Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye, author of More Pasta, is an insurance agent who has written four full length comedies and many one acts and short works. He is published by: Brooklyn, Baker's, Heuer, and Playscripts. He lives in NY with his wife and children and owns the Kalayjian, Oaks & Associates insurance agency.

If you have auto or other insurance needs contact Kalayian, Oaks & Associates at 10 New King St., White Plains NY 10604. Leon Kaye may also be contacted by phone at 914-428-3200 or by e-mail at lhk@koa1.com Help the arts, support the artist!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

We CAN accept donations but....

517 Playwrights is an unincorporated entity: basically, though we hold public meetings, we are a private group. We charge no dues and have no expectations of our members except that they come to meetings and share in them either as a playwright or as a supportive individual who is trying to help playwright members improve their scripts. That's all we do. The organization can accept no donations; it has no bank account, officers or official "existence."

On the other hand, just this past week, a group of us have incorporated the KENTUCKY PLAYWRIGHTS' WORKSHOP (KPW), Inc. as a nonprofit and registered that name with the Kentucky Secretary of State's Office in Frankfort. We are NOT registered with the US Dept. of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service as 501(c)3 tax exempt organization; I do not know if we will ever do that, though we may.

The KPW is the producing group that is putting on the evening of 10-Minute Plays that will be produced at the Thoroughbred Community Theatre in Midway in October of this year. If you wish to make a donation to help us underwrite production costs for that event, that would be appreciated. At this point though the future of the KPW is simply unknown.

We have not made plans beyond the October production. After that production, presumably sometime in late October we will work on doing the things necessary to get the organization organized: writing a mission statement, electing officers, setting dues, establishing an annual meeting date and all such similar matters. In the meantime, we will be raising funds solely for the purpose of underwriting production costs that are ANICIPATED to be in the neighborhood of $1,000.00

It is anticipated that there will be two primary sources of funding for the production: selling advertising in the program; donations. We will be charging admission for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows. What we don't know is whether people will drive to Midway for an evening of 10-Minute shows since the community is roughly 10 miles or more from the nearest other towns: Lexington, Georgetown, Frankfort and Versailles.

If you would like information about how you can support the Kentucky Playwright's Workshop and the production of the 517 Playwrights' 10-Minute Play Contest please either leave a comment or write to us at ky.playwright@yahoo.com

Check with your accountant or other knowledgeable person about whether not, to what degree (if ANY) your donation to KPW is tax deductible.

If you would like to take out an ad in the program for the 10-Minute plays to be produced in October please leave a comment or write us at ky.playwright@yahoo.com

Thank you for your interest in supporting our work and the playwrights whose works we are producing.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Crish Barth One Act to be Produced in New York

"General Admissions," a one act play by Crish Barth, will be produced as part of New York's 2009 Strawberry One Act Festival. The festival runs August 15 - August 23, 2009; all performances will be at Theatre St. Clements 423 West 46th StreetNew York, NY 10036.

Mr. Barth is one of seven winning playwrights of the 517 Playwrights 2009 10-Minute Play Contest. His winning play in that contest, Hill Cattle, will be produced by the Kentucky Playwrights Workshop, Inc. in October 2009 at the Thoroughbred Community Theatre, Midway Kentucky.

Meet Maryland Playwright Steven Schutzman

Steven Schutzman, author of The Weight, is a playwright and fiction writer from Baltimore, MD. He is the author of dozens of published plays with more than 30 different different produced plays to his credit; productions of his plays have been mounted at such theatres as New Jersey Repertory, Cleveland Public, Baltimore Theatre Project and Revolution Theatre (Chicago).

The playwright's play "Normal Is A Country" was a finalist in this year's Actor's Theatre of Louisville's National Ten Minute Play Contest. That play was just produced in July at the Arts Center Live, 10 by 10 In The Triangle and will be published by the One Act Play Depot later in the year.

Mr. Schutzman's long one act "Tree Man" won first prize in the First Stage LA National One Act Contest/2004 and was recently produced by Team Venture Productions in Chicago.

For 16 years Mr. Schutzman was a resident playwright/teacher for Center Stage Baltimore's Young People's Theatre program. Currently he is a Resident Playwright/Teacher in the Maryland State Playwriting in the Schools Program. You can find out more about his work at http://mysite.verizon.net/stevenschutzman/

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Playwright Kay Rhoads

Kay Rhoads, author of Last Church of Lost Souls, is a native of Iowa who spent her professional life as an administrator of programs and services at the state women’s prison. Retired now much of Ms. Rhoads' writing reflects the challenges and struggles of women who have not had the encouragement or opportunity develop a vision of their potential.

Ms. Rhoads has had plays produced in many US cities including her home town of Des Moines and has publishing credits in several anthologies. Recent productions include “Prison of Lost Souls” in San Diego, “From the Backseat” and “Date Night” in Williamsburg, VA.

“A Simple Matter of Fear”, produced in Des Moines in 2008 is now scheduled for a three week run in New York City in 2010

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Playwright Thomas Pierce

Thomas Pierce, author of Almost Connect..., is a Seattle based playwright who is having a play produced in Kentucky for the first time. Previously, Mr Pierce has had productions of his plays mounted in Seattle and Spokane (WA), Portland (OR), San Francisco and Los Angeles (CA), Chicago (IL), College Station (TX), Charlestown (WV) and Columbus (OH). He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and Seattle Playwrights Studio. Mr. Pierce is an instructor in philosophy at South Seattle Community College, Seattle WA.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Meeting in MIDWAY on August 9th

The next meeting of 517 Playwrights will be held at the Thoroughbred Community Theatre, 127 Main Street, Midway on Sunday August 9th at 2:00 pm. The purpose of this meeting will to allow directors to look over the venue as an aide to them and for members of 517 Playwrights to meet the owner of the theatre to plan other aspects related to the production.

Presently, we have two directors signed up to direct 4 of the 7 plays; we are still looking for at least one, preferably two more directors. If you have an interest, please leave a comment or send a message to ky.playwright@yahoo.com giving your name and how we can contact you.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lawrence DuKore: Legendary playwright?

Lawrence DuKore, author of The Day Brando Died, may well be legendary among playwrights because he has managed to make a living writing. His career began with the writing of the screen play for the Richard Pryor movie Greased Lightening. He followed this success with the teleplay A Mistaken Charity was produced PBS/American Playhouse and nominated for a Writers Guild of America award for best dramatic writing.

As a lyricist his songs have been recorded by Bernadette Peters and Chita Rivera.

Mr. DuKore has also written daytime tv serials: One Life to Live for ABC and Search for Tomorrow for NBC.

For Saturday morning television, he wrote the cartoon series, Thunder Cats and Silver Hawks. For somewhat older teenage girls, his novels, Never Love a Cowboy and Long Distance Love, were published by Bantam. The Boy Barrier and its French version, La Rivale were published by Scholastic.

Mr. Dukore is a member of the Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit and the HB Playwrights Foundation (Uta Hagen/Herbert Berghof). His plays have been produced regionally and off-Broadway. Exploding the Swan had its world premiere at the Montauk Playhouse. His play, Spinsters, was presented at Tennessee Stage (Knoxville)and also at CenterStage in Greenville, South Carolina. More recently, Tennessee Stage presented his coal-mining play, Carry Me Back to West Virginia. Mr. DuKore has been a semi-finalist three years running in the American Globe Theatre Festival of One Act Plays. He was a finalist in the Heideman Awards competition at the Actors Theatre in Louisville for his one act play, When Men were Men. His one act play, The Day that Brando Died, was also a finalist in the Heideman Awards at the Actors Theatre in Louisville.

Mr. DuKore, the only one of our seven playwrights to have an agent is represented by the Susan Schulman Literary Agency: http://www.schulmanagency.com/

Meet Playwright Len Cuthbert

Len Cuthbert, the author of Enigmatic Lucidity, has been writing plays since the late 1980's and is the creator of Fridge Door Live! a summer theatre camp for kids and youth. He has had several plays produced and published. He lives with his wife and two children near London, Ontario, Canada. For more information about Len or to learn about his plays and career visit his web site http://www.lencuthbert.com/

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Meet Crish Barth

Crish Barth is one of seven winners of this year's 517 Playwrights' 10-Minute Play contest. His play Hill Cattle will be produced October 9, 10 and 11 by the Kentucky Playwrights Workshop at the Thoroughbred Community Theatre in Midway, KY.

Crish is a San Francisco Bay Area based emerging playwright. Recent shows/awards include – 2009 Strawberry One Act Festival (New York), 2009 Salute UR Shorts Festival (New York), 2008 & 2009 Bay One Acts Festival, 2008 Best of PlayGround Festival, 2008 & 2009 SF Theatre Festival, 2008 & 2009 Short Leaps Festival (all in San Francisco), PlayGround 2008 Emerging Playwright Award, Ensemble Studio Theatre 2009 One Act Play Marathon Finalist (New York).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

10-Minute Play Contest Winners!

The judges of this year's 517 Playwrights 10-Minute play contest have selected 7 winning plays by playwrights from Canada and the United States. More than 100 entries were received from as far away as Ireland, England and as close as Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky. The winners of this year's contest, listed alphabetically by playwright are:

Crish Barth, Orinda, CA, Hill Cattle
Len Cuthbert, Mt. Brydges, Ontario, CANADA, Enigmatic Lucidity
Lawrence DuKore, New York, NY, The Day that Brando Died
Leon Kaye, Hyde Park, NY, More Pasta
Thomas Pierce, Seattle, WA, Almost Connect....
Kay Rhoads, Ankeny, IA, Last Church of Lost Souls
Steven Schutzman, Baltimore, MD, The Weight

We are grateful for all who entered and who in doing so shared something of themselves with us. Those of us who judged the plays are also playwrights so we know how difficult it is to write, much less submit a play that others will accept or reject. Thanks go to all who put themselves out and took a chance by submitting to our contest. We appreciate the time and effort required to do so.

The seven winning plays will be produced at the Thoroughbred Community Theatre in Midway, KY October 9, 10 and 11th, 2009. The Friday and Saturday performances will be at night, the Sunday performance will be a matinee.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 26, 2009

The next meeting of 517 Playwrights will be Sunday July 26, 2009 at the downtown branch of the Lexington Public Library. We will meet at a table near the window on the second floor. If you are a director interested in directing one of the 10-minute plays please join us. Or if you are an actor interested in biting into some meaty new plays, please come to the meeting. We will be discussing the selected plays, seeking out directors and planning for auditions. If any of this sounds like something you'd like to be involved with join us at 2:00 pm on July 26th.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Waiting for playwrights

Six of the eight playwrights who have had plays selected for production have responded and said that yes we could produce their shows. Once we have heard from the other two-- probably after the Fourth of July-- I will post the names of the winning plays and their playwrights on this blog along with a one sentence description of each plot. Check back.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Winners to be produced at Thoroughbred Theatre

The Thoroughbred Theatre in Midway, KY will host the winners of 517 Playwrights First 10-Minute Play Contest. Production dates will be October 9th 10th and 11th. The venue will seat only 80 people so you'll want to get tickets early for the opportunity to see the production of our contest winners. More information will be forth coming soon, but its not too soon to put the second week of October on your arts planning calendar!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Winners to be announced soon! Check back.

Winners of the first 517 Playwrights 10-minute play contest have been selected. Each of the selected 8 playwrights will be contacted to see if they still wish to have their play performed even though we do not have resources to pay them anything in the way of royalties or prize money. (This lack of resources of course is the downside of being a new organization and of not charging an entry fee.)

Check back in the next few days. I will post the winners as I receive confirmation of their interest in being show cased on stage. Once all eight have accepted I will also post the list of all winners on Playwrights Forum.

To all those who entered let me say again how impressed we were with the quality of the plays submitted. From 100 submissions we first received the judges cut to 15 plays and then to the final 8. Winners selected come from California, Canada, Iowa, Maryland, New York, and Washington (state) etc.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Next Meeting: Sunday June 28th, 2:00 pm

The next meeting of 517 Playwrights will be Sunday June 28th at 2:00 pm at the main branch of the Lexington Public Library. We will meet on the second floor near the elevators and then find a quiet table where we can finalize play selections and a production venue, discuss a name for the organization and how to more formally organize, and most exciting Greta Fields' plans for a playwrights retreat. As always our meeting will conclude not later than 5:00 pm (when the library closes). Hope you can join us.

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Directors Welcome!

Yes. Even if you have never directed a play before you will be considered for an opportunity to direct one of the contest plays. Simply let us know of your interest and you will be considered.

Ten-minute plays are a good place to get directing experience: they're short, have simple sets and generally few technical requirements. So if you've acted in plays, or worked as a stage manager, done lighting or scene design work you may be a good candidate to direct a contest play. If on the other hand, you've simply stumbled across this blog or want to direct on a "lark" you probably won't be asked to direct.

As playwrights ourselves the members of 517 Playwrights are searching for directors who have an understanding of how plays come together, how directors, actors and technical personnel work together collaboratively to bring any play to the stage.

And as playwrights we want to know that our directors, whether they are directing their first play or their 100th, have an understanding of theatre. We want to give directing opportunities to individuals who can think conceptually about how to take a play from page to stage.

We are seeking as directors men and women (age 18 and older) of any race or ethnicity who can explain to themselves and their casts (and technical assistants) their vision for the play and how to put it on stage. Directors need to understand the characters and be able to help their actors to come to a similar understanding. Directors must be able to work collaboratively with their actors when there are disagreements about interpretation. He or she should be willing to include the playwright/s in the process to the extent that that is possible.

Plays entered have come from as far away as Ireland and as close as our own community. We are still in the process of selecting the finalists so the possibility for playwright involvement ranges (at this point) from unlikely to probable. We want directors to be willing to communicate with playwrights to seek their guidance and input recognizing that there would be no play without the playwright.

After all that any individual who wishes to be considered for the opportunity to direct a new play should send a brief email expressing interest and his/her resume of directing, acting and or technical experience to:
please put "Play Director" in the subject line.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Directors Needed!

Put out the word to near and far, 517 Playwrights needs directors (and actors) for its 10-Minute plays! On or about June 28th we will be selecting the finalists for our first 10-Minute Play Contest. At that point, if not before we need to begin lining up directors for the selected plays.

If you are a director then please get in contact with Bill McCann, Jr. at 2020 Armstrong Mill Road, #823, Lexington, KY 40515. Send him a letter expressing an interest in directing one (or more) of the shows. Also, please be sure and give an address or phone number so that he can get in touch with you.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Update on the Play Contest

Amy Wegener of Actors Theatre of Louisville attended the June 7th meeting bringing solid advice and lots of encouragement about the play contest. Ms. Wegener's comments helped the judges clarify what was most important in choosing plays.

Discussion focused on questions like: from a practical standpoint can the play be produced in the space and with the resources available; are actors available for the roles; does the play sustain itself for its entire length; is diversity important in terms of such matters as where playwrights are from, gender (of playwrights and/or of the characters in their plays)? And so forth.

We did not read or discuss particular plays with Ms. Wegener. We did however, get into practical considerations regarding the contest such as venues in which to produce the selected plays (TBA after confirmation of the dates with the venue owner), the care and feeding of playwrights LOL:)! (contracts, contacting and working with out-of-area playwrights, etc.), where and how to find actors and directors for the plays we select and who, how and (even) whether or not to select a (single) winning play.

Though many of the questions were discussed at some length I'm not sure it is possible to say that we came up with many answers. In fact, it may be most accurate to say that we simply decided to defer conclusive answers to our next meeting on June 28th at 2:00 pm. Between June 7th and June 28th the final 15 plays will be read by all four judges with an eye towards selecting the final 6 to 10 plays that will ultimately be produced.

Once the finalists are chosen the playwrights will be contacted to notify them of their selection and to get formal permission to produce their work before winners names are posted on this blog and on the Playwrights Forum. Hopefully, posting of winners will happen sometime in mid-July or early August.

Pending confirmation of the dates and times production of the selected plays will be the second weekend in October 2009, October October 9, 10 and 11.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Please don't forget that our next meeting will be Sunday June 7th at the Beaumont branch of the Lexington Public Library. Anyone-- whether they are a playwright or not-- is welcome to join us. Our speaker for this month's meeting is Amy Wegener of Actor's Theatre of Louisville who will discuss how to judge entries in a play contest.

517 Playwrights' first play contest "concluded" on March 11th with the submission of the 100th play. The group is now in the process of determining semifinalists that will be produced later this year. Ms. Wegener's advice and insights should help us conclude the judging phase of the process more quickly than might otherwise be the case.

The quality of plays submitted has been truly amazing! Thanks to all who submitted plays, my fellow judges and I have really enjoyed reading them. And if you did not submit, or did so after we had received 100 scripts, please submit next year. Information about next year's contest will be posted late this year or early in 2010.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Would you like your play televised?

If you were a playwright would you like to see your award winning play televised? When we began the play contest we thought we would pick the best few plays, find a few directors and actors and either do a staged reading or perhaps stage them. End of story.

Well, a little research and difficulty finding a suitable venue has lead to SOME (not much, admittedly) discussion about filming the plays and putting them on tv. This would mean that fewer plays could be selected, but that they'd get greater exposure. What do you think? Comment and let us know. Thanks very much.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

ATL Literary Manager to Speak

Amy Wegener, Literary Manager of Actors Theatre of Louisville (ATL) will speak at our June 7th meeting of 517 Playwrights. Ms. Wegener who has a large say in whose plays make it to the stage of Actors Theatre will discuss how to judge play contest entries.

The National 10 Minute Play Contest, sponsored in part by Actors Theatre of Louisville, receives hundreds of entries annually for just a few spots in the Humana Festival of New American Plays, and judging that contest is part of Ms. Wegener's job description. So 517 Playwrights is fortunate to have someone of her knowledge and skill to guide us as we get down to the final selection of plays for the First Annual 517 Playwrights 10 Minute Play Contest.

Our first 10 minute play contest, which received 100 entries in less than 6 weeks time, will be judged and semifinalists notified not later than July first of this year. Thereafter, we will begin looking for actors and directors to bring the plays to life on a Lexington stage.

If anyone is aware of a director who might want to be involved in this project please have him or her contact Bill McCann, Jr. at 859 940-9510. Thanks.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Join Us Sunday...

You do not need to be a playwright to be involved with 517 Playwrights so please join us this Sunday, May 17th, at 2 pm for our regular meeting. The meeting will be at the main branch of the Lexington Public Library on Main Street, across from the Downtown Arts Center. We will meet near the elevators on the 2nd floor, then find a quiet table to meet at. The meeting will begin promply at 2 pm; however, if you're running late we'll catch you up!

The agenda will primarily consist of reading and discussing scripts received for the 10-minute play contest. However, we will also discuss how to find directors and actors for the winning plays as well as where and when the plays will be either read and/or produced. The meeting will end no later than 5 pm (as that is when the Library will close).

Whether you've ever attended a meeting of 517 Playwrights or not, whether you are a playwright or not, you are welcome to join us for the Sunday and future meetings. Hope to see you Sunday at 2 pm.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 17th Agenda

Our May 17th meeting is likely to a bit different than most of our meetings: in an effort to try and find the semifinalist plays we'll focus on reading and discussing submissions to the play contest. This of course will not be our last opportunity to judge submissions, or to discuss them. But, at least from my perspective, judging the submissions has been difficult work; the quality of scripts entered in the contest has been high, cutting down to only nine semi-finalists is going to be a hard job. We need this opportunity to discuss the plays that have been submitted.

So, even if you've never been to a meeting of 517 Playwrights, plan to come to this month's meeting. We will meet near the elevators on the second floor of the downtown (main) branch of the Lexington Public Library then find a quiet table where we can read and discuss submitted scripts. Please join us in finding the best nine (9) semifinalist plays possible.

Monday, May 4, 2009

May meeting

Just a reminder: the May meeting will be on Sunday May 17th at the main branch of the Lexington Public Library. The meeting will run from 2 to 5 pm. We'll meet on the second floor, near the elevators, then find a table to read scripts, discuss the play contest and conduct any other business. Please join us!

Monday, April 27, 2009

We've signed up for Ad Sense

Google ads will begin appearing on this blog shortly. Revenue from clicks on the ads on this page will help underwrite 517 Playwrights. Please support us by clicking on the ads. Thanks very much.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

June Meeting

May isn't even here and already we're concerned with June's meeting. Crazy isn't it? Be that as it may, June's meeting is a special one because Amy Wegener of the literary department of Actor's Theatre of Louisville is going to be our guest speaker. Ms. Wegner will be discussing how to judge contest entries in a play contest. The meeting will be June 7th at the Beaumont Branch of the Lexington Public Library from 1:00 to 4:30 pm. Come join us!

*** *** ***

By the time of the June meeting initial judging of this year's 100 entries will have taken place and it will time to get down to a maximum of nine (9) semifinalists for this year's contest. Based on just the 30+ entires I've read getting down to 9 will not be easy; from those I read I culled down to 7! I haven't spoken with the other judges to see how their initial readings and selections went but my guess is that the initial judging has identified at least 25-30 very high quality entries from which we will be selecting the 9 semi-finalists.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Contest is CLOSED!

This year's 10 minute play contest is CLOSED. Emailed submissions are being deleted without being opened. Our thanks to all who have entered submissions, however we have long ago reached our 100 submission cutoff and are no longer accepting new scripts. Check this blog though for infomation about our 2010 contest which is presently scheduled to open on Feb. 1, 2010. Thanks very much.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

May meeting of 517 Playwrights

The next meeting of 517 Playwrights will be held on Sunday 17 May at the main branch of the Lexington Public Library. As we did this past Sunday we will meet on the second floor and then find a table to sit around and read scripts and discuss the play contest or other business. The meeting will last from 2 pm to 5pm. If you have questions please contact me at (859) 940-9510.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Exciting news: Sometimes the mountain comes to us

As unbelievable as it may seem sometimes the mountain comes to the prophet, instead of the prophet having to go to the mountain: On June 7th a representative of Actor's Theatre of Louisville will attend the monthly meeting of 517 Playwrights!

The reason for a member of ATL's literary department to attend the meeting is to give members (and anyone else who'd like to attend) insights into how to judge a play contest: criteria, number of recommended judges, number of readers, etc etc. and to answer questions we might have about Actor's Theatre and the Humana Festival (which I think nearly all of our members have entered at least once).

Details about WHERE and WHEN (the time) of the meeting will be posted once plans have been finalized. But if you'd like to attend the meeting please send a message to me at ky.playwright @yahoo.com so that I can have some idea how large a facility will be required. Thanks.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Actors, directors and fans of theatre: Join us!

517 Playwrights is open to anyone and everyone. If you are a playwright come and share your work with other playwrights: you'll be given feedback about what works and what doesn't. You'll be given encouragement to keep working and writing. You'll be given suggestions from fellow writers about how to make the play better. And always you'll be hearing the works of others who also are 'struggling' to make their works work.

Sounds like we only want playwrights doesn't it? Not at all, Theatre is a collaborative effort and new plays need to be no less. Right now all of our members and participants are playwrights, but for this organization to really succeed we also need directos and actors, plus theatre goers and technicians, to join in our efforts. People who have a different interest in theatre work each bring a different perspective to new works. So please, whatever your theatrical 'calling,' join us in bringing new works to the stages of our minds in the hope that one day those plays will move from the mind to the stage!

See you Sunday April 5th at the main branch of the Lexington Public Library, near the second floor elevators. We'll gather there then pick out a table and read and discuss the new scripts our members bring to the table. The meeting will begin at 2:00 and end promptly at 5:00 pm (when the library closes). Based on the plays we've read up to this point you will be impressed by the talent of our area playwrights. Join us.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of 517 Playwrights will be Sunday April 5th. We will meet from 2 pm to 5 pm at the downtown branch of the Lexington Public Library. We'll meet by the elevators on the second floor then get a table. Bring a script you've been working on. Hope to see you there.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I do not have everyone's email address. Please respond to ky.playwright@yahoo.com and let me know if you want to help in judging the play contest so that I can forward some of the scripts for initial judging. We will discuss HOW to judge the scripts (criteria and how many rounds of judging should be undertaken to select the winners, etc.) at our April 5th meeting. Thanks.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Well, for reasons unknown (could it be the full moon?) we received 41 entries to the play contest in the last 24 hours. This means that 122 submissions have been received. The rules said we would accept and judge only the first 100 entries. Therefore no other entries will be accepted. I am sorry to be a bearer of bad news for those who wanted to submit, but hadn't done so yet. To those who did submit-- we are pleased that you submitted and wish you good luck.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Contest Rules are archived, but still available

Play contest rules were initially posted on January 25th and 26th of this year. If you are wanting to enter the 10 minute play contest and need to know the contest's rules please go to the archives portion of the blog and read the rules. Thanks.

Next Meeting

The next meeting of 517 Playwrights will be held on Sunday April 5th at 2:00 at the Central Library-- Main Street in Lexington. We will not have a reserved room. Instead we'll meet on the second floor, get a table and have our readings and meet there.

Among the items for the meeting portion will be discussion will be discussion of how to split up of the scripts received from the play contest for initial judging. At this point we have received 76 submissions, by April 5th my guess is that we will have received the 100 scripts necessary and the contest will have to be "Closed." So, during the meeting we will need to officially close the competition and determine how judging will work: initial judging, and how many rounds of judging will be necessary to determine the 10 finalists. Come to the readings and meeting on April 5th: 2-5 at the Central Library, 5th floor.

If you are a playwright, or simply interested in new plays you are welcome to come to the April meeting.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


The next meeting of 517 Playwrights will be Sunday March 1, 2009 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm at the Northside Branch of the Lexington Pulic Library. You do not need to be a playwright to attend; you only need to be interested in encouraging new play development. If you are a playwright-- whether you've come to our meetings before or not-- feel free to bring a play you're working on and we'll read it and give you feedback. The goal is to be supportive of others like ourselves who are working hard to develop new works for the theatre.


Speaking of new play development: the play contest is booming. So far we have received well over 50 submissions. We will cut off submissions at 100 for this year's contest. So if you haven't already submitted do so soon. Presently we are receiving scripts at a rate of one or two a day. That rate is rather like a trickle-- but a trickle of water can fill a sink pretty fast. And a trickle of plays can end a contest's submission period long before it is set to officially end. Don't lose out on your chance for your 10 minute play to be considered for this year's contest!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


The play contest is really going well: less than a month into the submission period we have received almost half of the submissions. At this rate we might very well reach 100 submissions by the end of March. So please get your submission in ASAP.

The next meeting of 517 Playwrights is scheduled for March 1, 2009. Anyone who wishes to may attend the meeting at the Northside branch of the Lexington Public Library. Bring a play you would like to have read. Not finished? Get busy! Time is a wasting.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Submissions have been coming in at a steady rate. But recently I have received two submissions that have not had anything in the subject line. I don't know about you, but this always raises alarms with me because much of the spam I receive has no subject in the subject line, and I hate spam. SO IF YOU WANT YOUR SUBMISSION TO BE READ INSTEAD OF DELETED AS SPAM please list "2009 play contest," "play submission" or something similar in the SUBJECT line. Thank you for understanding.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Keep those plays coming

Keep those plays coming. As is so often true with contests (plays or otherwise) we were slammed with a huge response at first. But once the first two days passed the response has slowed.

Now, I'm generally receiving one maybe two submissions a day. Even at that slow pace though we will have received 100 submissions long before the July 31 closing date. So don't wait. Submit today!

We're a small group reading a judging 100 submissions will be quite a challenge for us. But we do hope that your play will be among the 100. Thanks.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Next New Plays Readings

517 Playwrights will meet at the Northside Branch of the Lexington Public Library on Sunday March 1st, 2009 to read new plays. The meeting will run from 2:00 - 5:00 pm in the small meeting room. The Northside Branch is located on Russell Cave Road about a mile north of New Circle Road. Come join us!

PS. Those who attended the last meeting may recognize that I have had to CHANGE the meeting DATE, but I have not changed either the time or place.

Monday, February 2, 2009

10 Minute Play Contest Update

Less than two days into the acceptance period for our first play contest 517 Playwrights have received 26 entries! Of those received 1 has come from Manchester, UK; 2 from Canada; 7 from KY; 3 from NY; 2 each from GA, IL, NH and OH; 1 each from CA, MT, MA. One was sent without contact information, which could present a problem later on.

Keep those entries coming. We will only accept (and judge) the first 100 entries received. Still, we have a long way to go before we reach 100. So it's not too late to get busy, finish up that 10 minute play you've been working on and e-mail it to b.mccann@insightbb.com before July 31, 2009. Good luck.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Next New Plays Reading

The next meeting of 517 Playwrights for the purpose of reading new play scripts will be held on Sunday February 22, 2009. Time and location still to be determined. Plan now to join us.

Monday, January 26, 2009

10 Minute Play Contest Clarifications

I have already received a submission to the 10 minute play contest-- which is wonderful, except that the contest is not accepting submissions until February 1, 2009. Please do not submit until on or after February 1st.

Keep in mind that this is a 10 minute play contest. It is not a one page contest. Nor is it a five minute contest. Please submit 10 minute plays (on or after Feb. 1st). Thank you.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

10 Minute Play Contest

This is to announce The First Annual 517 Playwrights 10 Minute Play Contest. As those of you who follow this blog know 517 Playwrights is a new organization, founded in November 2008, for the purpose of supporting and encouraging the creation of new plays and the playwrights who write them. Presently we have only six members.

So, for this first play contest we will judge the first 100 scripts received between February 1, 2009 and July 31, 2009; after the first 100 scripts are received all others received will not be judged.

Copyright remains with the playwright; those submitting agree, by virtue of entering the contest, that their scripts may be produced by 517 Playwrights at no cost, for up to one year after the contest closes.

1.)Any playwright who wishes to may submit one play, in standard script format.
2.)Plays may be comedies or dramas, on any topic, but must be no longer than 10 pages/10 minutes in length.
3) Plays longer than 10 minutes in length will not be considered.
3.)Submissions are to be made be made by email to b.mccann@insightbb.com.
4.)There is no fee for submitting by email; snail mail submissions will NOT be accepted.
5.) Deadline: July 31, 2009 (or the first 100 received)

Up to 10 of the plays received may be cast and produced using local Lexington area actors and directors on a local stage for at least one, possibly more performances during October 2009.

Don't forget...

Don't forget to bring extra copies of your script with you to today's new scripts reading at 2:00 pm TODAY-- an hour from now! Please keep in mind that it is very hard for five or six people to share a single script. It is not necessary for there to be a script per actor, but bring enough that it is not difficult for the readers to keep their places and for the play to be read at a "normal" pace. See you soon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


It's awfully hard to blog without a computer-- which explains my long silence, since mine has been in the shop for almost two weeks! I got it back today and here I sit...

Last week (January 16th) Steve Taylor's three one acts were premiered; I hope lots of folks got out and supported Steve and the good cause they were being produced to support: LIFE House.

This coming Sunday-- January 25th-- from 2-5 pm we'll have our second meeting to read new plays. Bring your new script, however 'good' it may be and hear it read aloud. Only when playwrights hear their words is it possible to truly get them 'right.' So bring your script. Join the fun, meet fellow playwrights and get some of the 'warm fuzzies' every writer needs and few playwrights seem to find easily.

PS If you didn't make it to the first play reading you can still join us Sunday at the Beaumont brnach of the Lexington Public Library from 2-5pm. See you then!

Friday, January 9, 2009

How to get tickets

Tickets for the production of Steve Taylor's three one act plays (which includes dessert) can be arranged by contacting Joe Johnson at (502) 695-4560. Call today!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Plays Reading

Finish up your first draft, or polish up that master work and bring it to the next new plays reading to be held at the Beaumont branch of the Lexington Public library on Sunday January 25th from 2 to 5 pm. Hope to see you there.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Tickets for the Frankfort LIFE House fundraiser-- featuring Steve Taylor's three Poe one-act plays-- is $25.00 per ticket and includes admission not only to the plays but also the dessert and silent auction.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe Revisited

Steve Taylor's one act plays based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe are "Lost Lenore," which is based on "The Raven." The play looks at the meaning of the poem from the perspective of Lenore. "The Cask of Amontillado" and "Hop-Frog" are adapted from the Poe short stories of the same titles; Both deal with revenge.

The performances are Friday, January 16th, and Saturday, January 17th, at 7:30 p.m. at Frankfort High School on Shelby Street in Frankfort.

The production is sponsored by the Frankfort LIFE House animal charity. (Frankfort LIFE House does not have a website.) Along with the production there are a dessert theatre and a silent auction which will go on at Frankfort High School from 6 to 7:30 both nights.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Wishing great success for you and yours in the coming year. Happy New Year!