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