Playwrights' Colony set

Renowned American playwright Lee Blessing (A Walk in the Woods, Cobb) will award a scholarship to attend the Fourth Annual Summer Playwrights’ Colony and Workshops to be held at Timber Lake Playhouse in Mt. Carroll, Ill. The five-day residency at Timber Lake’s tranquil, wooded location is a chance for both established and beginning playwrights to come together and work on new American plays that are currently in development. The Colony is now open for enrollment and will be Saturday, Aug. 13 through Wednesday, Aug. 17.

“Mr. Robert Koon of Chicago has been announced as the instructor for this year’s colony,” said Timber Lakes’ Artistic Director Brad Lyons, who founded the Colony three summers ago. “We are very pleased we were able to enlist such a strong, working playwright to head the program.”

Koon is a Resident Playwright with Chicago Dramatists, where his play, St. Colm’s Inch, will be produced in September. He is the director of the Chicago Dramatists affiliated writers’ program, The Playwrights Network, and his plays have been produced across the country. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and The Playwrights Collective, and has been a featured presenter for the Indiana Theatre Association and the William Inge Theatre Festival.

The Colony will offer each playwright intimate workshops and seminars, readings from their scripts, private one-on-one instruction and time to write. Discussions will also be held on how plays are marketed and what a producer considers when reading a script.

“This is the ideal setting for writers to fine tune their play or musical, or even start pounding out a new script idea,” Lyons said.

Other special events are being planned to coincide with the Colony, including a public staged reading of a new play, title soon to be announced.

Past participants of the Colony include James Sherman, Resident Playwright of the Tony Award-winning Victory Gardens Theatre and author of the Off-Broadway smash Beau Jest, as well as Cheri Coons, lyricist for the musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame, soon to be produced on TLP’s main stage. Coons worked on the new musical River’s End at the TLP Colony before it was selected to be a participant in the prestigious Eugene O’Neill Festival last summer.

For information on the Colony and the Lee Blessing Scholarship, contact Brittany Meier, public relations director, at (815) 244-4529. Space is limited for all events.

From the Aug. 3-9, 2005, issue

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