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.