Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Contest is Closed

The Second Annual 517 Playwrights 10-Minute Play Contest is now closed. Our thanks to all those who entered this year's contest. It is our hope to be able to announce the winner's of this year's contest by mid-August and to produce the winners at the end of October or the first of November. Watch our blog for further developments. Again, our thanks to those who entered this year's contest.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One Day Left

There is only a little more than one day left to enter this year's 2nd Annual 517 Playwrights 10-Minute Play Contest; send in your entry today. The contest closes at midnight 30 June 2010 so don't delay in sending in your submission. The rules were posted on this blog on May 2, 2010. The email address for submissions is

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Liz Fentress to Consult with KPW

Liz Fentress, a theatre consultant based in Louisville, Ky. has agreed to work with members of Kentucky Playwrights Workshop, Inc. as we work towards applying for public charity status with the Internal Revenue Service. Best known as 501(c)3 status, the IRS requires that all non-profits wishing to obtain recognition as "public charity" apply by filing the appropriate application and supporting documents including bylaws and a mission statement. What Ms. Fentress will help KPW do is improve on drafts of the bylaws and mission statement and prepare a draft of the application. With much of this paperwork already drafted it is hoped that the application for 501(c)3 status can be submitted before September 30, 2010.

According to her biography on the Kentucky Arts Council web site, "Liz Fentress has extensive experience in professional, community and educational theatre as a producer, administrator, director, actor and teacher. Liz was the Associate Producer of Kentucky Repertory Theatre (formerly Horse Cave Theatre) for eight years, where she served on both the management and artistic teams. This included supervising fundraising and grant writing, coordinating the new play development and education programs, and directing and acting each season. Liz also served as the Executive Director of the Playhouse in the Park, the community theatre in Murray, KY. While there, she oversaw Board development, financial management, marketing, fundraising, volunteer coordination and programming of a nine-play production season, a new play festival and educational opportunities for all ages. Prior to moving to Kentucky, Liz toured extensively throughout the Midwest with the Guthrie Theatre and the Franzen Brothers Circus. She was a founding member of the Irondale Ensemble in New York."

Ms. Fentress' services are being provided to KPW by the Kentucky Arts Council (KAC) which seeks to encourage and develop the arts in Kentucky. The KAC is an agency of state government which provides resources to individual artists and arts groups throughout the state. More information about the KAC and its programs can be found by visiting

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Play Contest: One Week to Go!

You've put it off long enough. You know you have. That 10-minute play that has been parked in the back of your mind for months just waiting to burst out of you and onto paper needs to be written. So write it and submit it to this years 2nd Annual 517 Playwrights 10-Minute Play Contest. The dead line is 11:59:59 on June 30th so you have one week to finish your script and get it submitted for this year's contest. Submissions should be sent to

Complete rules can be found on this blog under the May 2, 2010 posting.

Winers will be announced later this year. Selected plays will likely be produced in October/November of this year.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Better Picture

Another picture from the June 13th meeting of
517 Playwrights. Left to Right are: James Brown,
Bill McCann, Jr., Steve Taylor, and Kathi E. B.
Ellis. Bill Forsyth was the photographer. (An un-
known coffee drinker/blogger is in the background.) Please come join us for our next meeting on July 11th, 2:00 pm at Common
Grounds Coffee House.

The Trilogy of Bob and Angelina

The first of six performances of Len Cuthbert's THE TRILOGY of BOB & ANGELINA took to the stage on Saturady June 19 at the London Fringe Festival.

Playwright: Len Cuthbert
Featuring: Sarah Elisabeth Abbott, Ray Wiersma
Comedy Drama
General Entertainment

A marriage proposal gone wrong (The Maladroit Romeo). A nightmare that won’t end (Enigmatic Lucidity). The art of communication (One Year One Day). Three plays for the price of one (Two award winning & one premier). A stimulus package everyone can enjoy. Up to date information @

Length: 45 min
Price: $10.00

Enigmatic Lucidity was presented in 2009 as part of the Midway Festival of New Plays at the Thoroughbred Community Theatre in MIdway, KY. The London Fringe is the first time that all three plays in the trilogy have been presented on the same stage, at the same time. This is an event not to be missed!

Information about the entire London (Ontario) Fringe Festival-- which runs through June 27th -- is available at

Monday, June 21, 2010

Picture Us: 517 Playwrights

Members of 517 Playwrights gathered at Common Grounds Coffee House on Sunday June 13th included: (l to r) Bill McCann, Jr, Steve Taylor, Kathi E. B. Ellis, and James Brown. The photo was taken by yet another member, Bill Forsyth. Missing are Shan and Trish Ayres and Jim Betts. New members are always welcome. The next meeting will be Sunday July 11th at Common Grounds at 2:00 pm. Anyone who has an interest in encouraging the development of new works for the stage is welcome to join us.

"Saving Grace" Selected for LYTE Program

London Community Players, London, Ontario, Canada have selected Len Cuthbert's play Saving Grace as part of its 2010 LYTE (London Youth Theatre Education) program. LYTE "is designed to introduce youth to the magic of theatre, offering them an opportunity to expand their creativity while cultivating self-esteem and performance skills in a stimulating, enjoyable environment." Each year playwrights are encouraged to submit one-act plays suitable for performance by young people. LCP then selects three plays which are developed during two weeks of rehearsals before being performed for family and friends.

For more information visit:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fridge Door Live Theatre Camp Still Has Openings

Len Cuthbert's theatre company for youth and children, Fridge Door Live, is running four weeks of camp in London Ontario, Canada this summer. Weeks two and three (July 5-16) are full. Weeks one and four still have some vacancies.

In 2006, Len Cuthbert created a Summer Theatre Camp designed for kids with an interest in the performing arts. Children and youth with an interest in the performing arts are involved in a variety of theatre activity while working together as a team to prepare a final production that will be presented before a live audience of family and friends.

Hillside Church, 250 Commissioners E. London
July 5-9 - Grade 3-6
July 12-16 - Grade 5-8
July 19-23 - Grade 7-10

Summerside Church, 1447 Commissioners E. London
August 9-13 - Grade 4-8

For more information visit the Fridge Door Live Theatre Company web site, via the link above.

In 2009, Len Cuthbert's 10-minute play Enigmatic Lucidity was presented as part of the Midway Festival of Plays at the Thoroughbred Community Theatre by Kentucky Playwrights Workshop, Inc.

A Few Good Men Stars a Playwright!

KPW's very own James Brown is featured as Major Markinson in Bluegrass Community and Technical College's production of A FEW GOOD MEN June 24-26th at 7:30 and June 27th at 2:00 pm. All perfomances are at the Downtown Arts Center in Lexington.

Aaron Sorkin's A FEW GOOD MEN is the story of military lawyers at a court-martial who uncover a high-level conspiracy in the course of defending their clients, United States Marines accused of murder. The play is co-directed by Tim X. Davis and Jared K. Sloan. Tickets are $12.00. All performances will be at the Downtown Arts Center, 141 E. Main Street, Lexington , KY 40507. For reservations call 859 225-0370.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Glass Menagerie Revealed in a 'Brilliant New Light'

KPW, Inc. member and director Kathi E. B. Ellis' version of Tennessee Williams' play Glass Mengerie recently opened to critical acclaim: said "ShoeString Productions and Ellis deserve thanks for bringing us this production that joins fine performances with one of America’s greatest dramatic works, and for revealing all in a brilliant new light.”

Don’t miss The Glass Menagerie! – four more performances at the historic Water Tower: June 20 and 29 and July 2 and 5. Performances at 8:30p.m. Gallery with Ne10: Louisville, illuminated glass art, exhibit open at 7:30p.m. Reservations at 502-741-8392 or

“Director Kathi E.B. Ellis casts four strong and accomplished performers — Megan Burnett (Amanda), Laura Ellis (Laura), Lee Look (Tom) and Doug Sumey (the Gentleman Caller) — to carry out her vision. All four give honor to their roles, illuminating and interpreting without resorting to type. New facets emerge throughout the evening, and none will disappoint; but to say more would be to rob you of the pleasure of uncovering the subtleties for yourself.” Lighting design by John Newman and sound design by Laura Ellis.

Check out the full review at

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kentucky Arts Council Grant Approved

Recently the Kentucky Arts Council (KAC) approved the Kentucky Playwrights Workshop Inc.'s application for assistance in applying for 501(c)3 recognition from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a charitable organization. With the help of a "peer advisor" (arts consultant) KPW will receive advice about how to organize its business affairs in order to receive IRS recognition as an approved charity.

The KAC's KPAN (Kentucky Peer Advisory Network) program is intended, according to the KAC website, as "a flexible, user-friendly program that has been designed to give arts organizations, community groups, schools, and eligible individual artists, professional assistance in a timely manner at minimal cost."

"KPAN is a program of the Kentucky Arts Council, a state agency in the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet that creates opportunities for Kentuckians through the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts."

"Organizations or eligible individual artists can apply to have a Peer Advisor assist them with specific issues such as: Board Development, Grantwriting, Marketing & Promotion, Strategic Planning, Festival Planning and More," year around. There is no application deadline or fee.

The KAC will pay the consultant's consulting fee; travel and incidental expenses will be the responsibility of the KPW. 517 Playwrights is the New Play Development Committee of KPW.

For more information about KAC or its programs, including KPAN, visit its website:

A potential KPAN consultant has been contacted to assist KPW. When an individual agrees to work with KPW the name and background of the consultant will be discussed in a future article.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Next Meeting

The next meeting of 517 Playwrights will be Sunday July 11th beginning at 2:00 pm at Common Grounds Coffee House in Lexington. The meeting will last until 5:00. The focus of this meeting will be to decide on the winning KENTUCKY plays for this year's 10-minute play contest as well as to read and discuss member plays.

Please not that we have changed the meeting time back to 2:00 from 1:30 in order to allow members who are travelling from out in the state-- we now have members from both Louisville and Berea-- to have time to make it to Lexington after attending church or other Sunday morning activites.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Membership Approved KAC Application

At the membership meeting on Sunday June 13th the membership of the Kentucky Playwrights Workshop, Inc. (KPW) approved submission of an application to the Kentucky Arts Council, Frankfort, requesting assistance in seeking approval of 501(c)3 status as a charitable organization from the Internal Revenue Service. The KPW was incorporated as a non-profit with the Kentucky Secretary of State's Office, Frankfort, in September 2009; In the months since then the organization has drafted a mission statement and a set of bylaws, but has not submitted those and such other paperwork as may be required to obtain charitable organization status from the IRS. It is hoped that with help from a KAC peer consultant that the basic requirements for 501(c)3 status can be met prior to year's end.

The KPW is the producing arm of 517 Playwrights; according to the draft KPW bylaws 517 Playwrights is the "New Play Development Committee" of KPW.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Contest Statistics

517 Playwrights Second Annual 10-Minute Play Contest closes in just 18 days. As of today we have received 143 submissions from 26 US states, 3 Canadian provinces and Australia. Of those 143 entries 34 (@25%) were authored by women.

Leading in submissions are Kentucky, with 22 scripts; California, 21; New York, 16; Illinois 7; Ohio 5; and with four each Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Canadian provinces from which entries have come are Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec.

The play contest closes at midnight on June 30, 2010-- still two and a half weeks away-- so it is not too late to submit a script. Complete rules can be found on this blog, May 2, 2010. Entries should be sent to Late entries will not be read; so, enter today!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Williams' Glass Menagerie Opens June 10th

Louisville's Shoestring Productions presents the immortal Tennessee Williams play The Glass Menagerie for seven performances beginning June 10, 2010; performances are June 10, 16, 17, 20, 29, July 2 and 5 at 8:30p.m. at the Water Tower, Louisville, KY.

“This is a memory play” Tom Wingfield informs the audience at the beginning of our time with him, as he reconstructs for us a particularly painful sequence of events in his family life.

St. Louis: the late 1930’s. The Wingfield family lives in a shabby tenement, a far cry from Amanda’s (Megan Burnett) girlhood memory of her Blue Mountain mansion when Gentleman Callers flooded her home. Now she peddles ladies magazines over the phone to help make ends meet for her, her son and her daughter: Tom (Lee Look) who barely holds down a low-level job at a shoe warehouse, while writing poetry, going to the movies and, possibly, drinking too much like the absent father; and Laura (Laura Ellis), the terribly shy daughter, who spends most of her days tending to her collection of glass animals. What, indeed, as Amanda says, is “to become of us”? We’re about to find out when Tom defensively invites Jim O’Connor (Doug Sumey) to dinner with the family. How volatile will it be to introduce a gentleman caller into these lives in this small apartment?

“I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion,” Tom also promises. The Glass Menagerie, like so many of Williams’ plays, draws on his family’s personalities and experiences. Memory, being mutable, is always a balance of truth and illusion; as is theatre…and here Williams explores truth and illusion refracted through light, memory, and reflections of glass.

This production of The Glass Menagerie, directed by Kathi E.B. Ellis, is produced in partnership with the Louisville Visual Art Association, in conjunction with their Ne10: Louisville exhibit, part of the National Glass Art Society conference in Louisville. The exhibit gallery will be open prior to each performance of The Glass Menagerie.

In addition to her work with Shoestring Productions Ms. Ellis is a member of 517 Playwrights and the Kentucky Playwrights Workshop, Inc., the Kentucky Theatre Association, Lincoln Center and Chicago Directors' Labs and is an Associate Member, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

For more information about the production go to Tickets are $15; $12 for seniors and students with valid id. For reservations at 502-741-8392 or

Produced by special arrangement with Dramatist’s Play Service.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Next Meeting: June 13th

The next meeting of 517 Playwrights will be Sunday June 13, 2010, from 1:30 - 4:30 at Common Grounds Coffee House. We will meet on the third floor for the purpose of reading new plays by members and dicussing the 2nd Annual 517 Playwrights 10-Minute Play Contest. If you would like to have a script read please bring one script per character (to a maximum of five copies) so that readers may have their own script.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Please Folks, Follow the Rules

Ok, Folks. Enough is enough! Please follow the rules: if you are a playwright AND a resident of Kentucky you may enter two scripts in this year's contest; if you are NOT a Kentucky resident, you may only enter one script. We have received close to 100 scripts now and between 25 and 30 playwrights have submitted two scripts, but only five of the multiple submission playwrights are Kentuckians. Please read the rules-- posted on May 2, 2010-- and follow them. We all learned in kindergarten to follow the rules, now as adults, we need to do what we learned as five year-olds! Thank you.