11th Playwrights’ Festival opens at Key City Playhouse
Premieres of three award-winning plays by Jefferson County playwrights
Port Townsend, Wash. – Key City Players’ 2007 mainstage season kicks off with the 11th Annual Playwrights Festival, opening this Friday, Feb. 23 and running for three weekends.
Now in its second decade, the Playwrights’ Festival features the works of the three winners of the 2006 One-Act Competition for Jefferson County playwrights. The competition, sponsored by the Port Townsend Arts Commission, culminates with the winning plays being produced by Key City Players.
All three plays are shown at each performance, and the 17-member festival cast includes veteran performers as well as exciting new talent discovered at Key City Players’ recent general audition.
“Gathering,” is Art Reitsch’s first attempt at playwriting. The Port Townsend resident explores the intricate web of family life with a story centered on a retiree looking back over his life. In his Key City Players debut, David Hundhausen directs and also acts along with Nancy Israel, Kristin Wolfram and Tristan Ward.
“The Switch,” by first-time festival winner Paul Anderson of Port Hadlock, examines the madness we are driven to by the choices we face. Sherie Guilliat makes her Key City Players debut directing this absurdist comedy centered on a controversial switch. The main characters are played by John Clise, Richard Bruce and the young Freya Fennwood.
“A Few Moments at the Sonatina Café” comes from repeat festival winner Jack O'Connor of Chimacum. He has written a delicate and beautiful exploration of interpersonal relationships and our inner selves, in the familiar setting of a coffee shop. Veteran director DJ Adams works with actors Michael Cavett, Susan Yawman, and the young Torrey Berkson, among others.
“The Playwrights’ Festival is unique, as it provides emerging local playwrights with all the production tools necessary to see their plays come to life for the first time,” says Denise Winter, artistic director of Key City Players. “Adding an audience to the mix is often the most exciting step for the playwrights, as the live responses to the plays inform the next evolution of the playwrights’ work.”
Informal “AfterWords” discussions with the playwrights, directors and cast follow all performances. Other 2007 mainstage productions will include this special feature on Thursdays and Sundays.
The 11th Annual Playwrights’ Festival runs Feb. 23-Mar. 11 at the Key City Playhouse, 419 Washington St., Port Townsend. Performances are Thurs., Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m.; Sun. at 2:30 p.m. General admission is $12; $10 for students. The pay-what-you-wish performance is Thurs., Mar. 1.
All advance ticket sales are handled by Quimper Sound Music and Media, 230 Taylor St., Port Townsend; www.quimpersound.com. 2007 FLEXpass vouchers, member and gift passes may be exchanged for tickets at Quimper Sound. Theater patrons are encouraged to secure tickets well in advance, as seats are limited in Key City’s intimate playhouse and the 2006 season sold out nearly every weekend. For information about group sales and subscription packages, call Key City Players at 360-379-0195, or visit www.keycitypublictheatre.org.
Key City Players is funded in part by a generous grant from the Port Townsend Arts Commission.