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West Side Show Room receives grant for New Play Festival

ROCKFORD — The West Side Show Room production company has received a $2,500 grant from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois to help support its Rockford New Play Festival.

The grant, announced last month, will help provide opportunities for aspiring and established playwrights from the Rockford area to have their work evaluated, selected, and presented professionally to the public alongside national and international playwrights.

The Rockford New Play Festival, the only theater festival of its kind in area, started in 2014 as a collaboration between the Rockford Area Arts Council and The West Side Show Room. Official selections are chosen from hundreds of entries.

Submissions for 2018 will be accepted from March 15 to April 15. Six scripts will be chosen as official selections of the festival and will be presented as part of an evening of staged readings in Rockford, Aug. 23.

Past selections from Rockford area playwrights include “Earth From The Moon” by Derick Edgren, “The Grove” by regular Times contributor Paula Hendrickson, and “Dinner For Dear Husband” by Rachel León & Ryann Robertson.

“The first year we were expecting thirty people and ended up squeezing over a hundred into the tiny recital room at the Mendelssohn PAC’s Starr Center,” said Mike Werckle, President and Artistic Director of The West Side Show Room. “Now that we are in our fourth year, we are delighted to be working with the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, and are confident their support will enable us to continue attracting talented professional playwrights.”

For more on The West Side Show Room and its programs visit

CFNIL has supported hundreds of community organizations since its founding in 1953. For more information visit R.

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