The Baltimore Playwrights Festival Continues 3/9

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The Baltimore Playwrights Festival Continues 3/9

The Baltimore Playwrights Festival (www.baltplayfest.org) continues its Thirty-Second Season with two play-readings on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at Messiah Lutheran Church, 1025 S. Potomac Street, Baltimore, MD 21224 (on O'Donnell Square, http://www.messiahodsq.com/ ). Starting at 1:00 p.m., plays to be read are The Gin Baby, by Sarah Shaefer, to be followed at 3:00 p.m. by Fifteen Men in a Smoke Filled Room, by Colin Crowley. After each reading there will be a discussion of the script with the playwright, director and actors. The event is free, and the general public is encouraged to attend.

In The Gin Baby, a dark comedy by Sarah Shaefer, a young, suicidal alcoholic, whose life has unraveled since getting sober, decides to spit in the face of her failures and commit herself to a psych ward.

Sarah Shaefer was born and bred in Baltimore, but now resides in NYC. Her plays address women's issues, specifically women who overcome major obstacles to find their own voices. Her work has been developed and/or produced in New York at Primary Stages, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Caps Lock Theatre Company, New River Dramatists, Filling the Well, HB Studios, Fresh Produce'd at Drama Bookshop, Jimmy's No. 43, the Maggie Flanigan Studio and the Red Harlem Readers. Selected acting credits include Yelling to the Sky (Berlin International Film Festival), Bring a Weasel and a Pint of Your Own Blood (Classic Stage), Five Very Pretty Girls (dir. Michael Greif), The Famished (dir. Ken Rus Schmoll), Follow (dir. Daniel Talbott), Too Much, Too Much, Too Many (dir. Hal Brooks).

Fifteen Men in a Smoke Filled Room, by Colin Crowley, takes place in 1920 - an election year in the United States - and Warren G. Harding, Senator from Ohio, is overwhelmed by the prospect of becoming the presidential nominee of the Republican Party. Hounded by an ambitious campaign manager, a paralyzingly superstitious wife, a starstruck young mistress, and the frightening pull of inevitability, Harding appears doomed to be president. Or is he? Fifteen Men In A Smoke Filled Room explores the extent to which fate controls our lives and the self-defeating role we play in our own destinies.

Colin Speer Crowley is a playwright-lyricist who has written a variety of works for the stage, including a musical (for which he wrote the book and lyrics) that was produced in the Seattle area in 2008 and again in Connecticut in late 2011. Screenplays by Crowley have received distinctions in national and international screenwriting contests (including The Movie Deal! contest and The PAGE International Screenwriting Competition) and songs to which he's written the lyrics have been performed in musical revues in London. Crowley's new musical, One Little Wish, was produced in Connecticut this past Fall and a new straight play of his was recently one of 5 plays considered for the premier production of a new NYC-based theater group. His Fifteen Men In A Smoke-Filled Room has been a finalist in the Stanley Drama Awards, the New American Playwright Project, the Firehouse Theatre Project's New Play Award, the Seven Devils Theatre Conference New Play Award, and the Hidden River Arts Competition, and it has been read by the Villagers Theatre in New Jersey, Long Beach Playhouse in California, and the North American Actors Association in London. Crowley is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Lambs Club, and Phi Beta Kappa and also President and founder of the new theatrical group Speerhead Theatricals, Inc.

The Baltimore Playwrights Festival has presented over 282 productions by 173 playwrights at 27 different theaters. Our mission is to provide an environment that nurtures the talents of Maryland and DC playwrights through public readings, discussions, critiques and workshopping of new plays. Our summer season is devoted to the presentation of these newly developed works to area audiences in cooperation with local area theaters. We are a volunteer-operated 501(c)3 organization, and welcome any and all participation. Get Involved! Become a Member! Further information can be found at www.baltplayfest.org.

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