Rockford New Play Festival opens August 20


By Anne E. O’KeefeGroupphoto2
Rockford Area Arts Council

The Rockford New Play Festival Thursday will be presented Thursday, August 20 at 7 p.m. at CNVR, 317 W. Jefferson St. Rockford Writers Guild’s President and Editor, Connie Kuntz, was one of the volunteers to read submissions.

“Reading through dozens of plays was like being visited by dozens of funny, caring, charming, crazy, eccentric – and sometimes evil – characters from earth and beyond,” said Kuntz. “I read every single play with great interest and was very happy to have my mind fill up with such artistry. The RNPF is absolutely a great opportunity for local writers.”

Local actors this year include: George Davis, Vickie Lynne, Adam Moderow, Erin Philipott, Alex Ruano and Adrienne Thompson.

This year’s selections are: “Thin Air” by Tom Coash, New Haven, Connecticut. Coash has had his plays produced world-wide, including theatres such as: Portland Stage, the InterAct Theatre, Abingdon Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Bailiwick Theatre and West Coast Ensemble.

“Dividing Adam’s Ashes” is by A. K. Forbes, Fort Thomas, Kentucky. Several of Angela’s works have been selected for readings by organizations such as the D.C. Source Festival, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE), the Kentucky Playwrights Workshop and Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative.

“For a Moment, Rehatched” is by Susan Goodell, Weston, Connecticut. Goodell’s “Hope Throws Her Heart Away” will be staged this fall by Genesis Theatrical Productions in Chicago. Other accomplishments include: Steppenwolf Theatre Company commission, Djerassi Resident Artists, a Denver Drama Critic’s Circle nomination and the Denver Post’s 10-best list.

“The Grove” by Paula Hendrickson, a Rockford-based freelance feature writer focused primarily on covering the entertainment industry, education and vintage homes for publications including Variety, Emmy Magazine, Creative Screenwriting and American Bungalow, and the standing television critic for The Rock River Times.

“Until The Grove, I don’t think I’d written a play since college, where our scripts were read by fellow playwriting students, not actors, so this really will be a first for me to hear real actors interpreting my words,” said Hendrickson.

“The Megaphone” by Michael Long, Burke, Virginia is one of a dozen of his festival selections, produced in Minneapolis, New York City, and Philadelphia. His one-act “Hostages” at New York City’s Players Theatre was voted “Best of Festival” as was the romantic comedy “Brad Pitt”.

“Hydrangea Journal” is the second work to be presented by Derick Edgren. Derick Edgren, a Rockford native, studies English at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. His play “Skin” was recently published by Samuel French in an anthology of new work, and his short play “Earth from the Moon”, which was read at the first Rockford New Play Festival, premiered at La Strada Ensemble’s Chance Festival in New York City this past March.

“The readings and those small, minimalistic productions become more about the playwright’s potential for imagination, and all rests in the words. But when the audience sizes grow, and fingers crossed they will, I hope to maintain that atmosphere with my work. For me, theater is at its finest an animated conversation with friends,” said Edgren of the format of Rockford New Play Festival.

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