Artists Rep to Launch FLASH READS, 1/27-28

Artists Rep to Launch FLASH READS, 1/27-28

FLASH READS is a new program at Artists Rep born of the desire to open the theatre and provide a platform for playwrights, companies and artists closely associated with Artists Rep to informally share new scripts with the public. FLASH READS are scheduled on relatively short notice and are presented simply, with just a few hours of rehearsal. The readings provide an opportunity to hear a new work, with the entire focus on the actor and the text. A post-play discussion, moderated by a dramaturg, will follow each and every Flash Reading.

"These Flash Readings not only support the development of a new work, they nurture our community of artists, and provide a spontaneous, fun and inexpensive night at our theatre," said Dámaso Rodriguez. "2014 may see as many as a dozen FLASH READS, each presented in partnership with writers, directors, actors and fellow theatre companies who have a strong connection and history with Artists Rep."

On January 27 and 28, Artists Rep partners with Playwrights West to present two, new works-in-progress by the award-winning Portland writers of Playwrights West. Playwrights West is a professional theatre company focused on presenting top-level productions of its members' work and supporting development of original work in Portland. Member playwrights: Debbie Lamedman, Karin Magaldi, Ellen Margolis, Steve Patterson, Andrea Stolowitz, Andrew Wardenaar, Claire Willett, Patrick Wohlmut and Matthew B. Zrebski.

Based on a real-life crime of passion, Calumnies is a tale of sex and scandal, race and revenge. The story unfolds in 1820s Kentucky, where old-world society meets wild western free-for-all, and the only thing rougher than the politics are the love affairs. Scraping by on the outskirts of Frankfort, Olivia Burke leads a precariously independent life. Her father is dead, her mother is bedridden, and her affair with Leopold Brass, a family man and aspiring politician, cannot end well. Enter Obediah Dupree, a naïve and feverishly romantic young man who would like to cast himself as the hero in her story. When Olivia becomes pregnant, the pressures increase--and secrets, lies, and slanders become the currency of her world. Cast: Matthew DiBiasio, Kayla Lian, James Peck, Jameson Tabor, Ithica Tell

Ellen Margolis is a founding member of Playwrights West and a member of the Dramatists Guild. Her plays include Splasher (Drammy Award, 2012), Signing the Papers, What We Thought, A Little Chatter, American Soil, and How to Draw Mystical Creatures. Her work has been produced throughout the United States and has appeared in publications from Smith & Kraus, Playscripts, and JAC Press. She has been recognized with commissions and honors by Mile Square Theatre, the New York International Theatre Festival, the Trustus Playwrights Festival, and the National 10-Minute Play Contest.

Janet Carter and her young daughter Lucy spend every summer in a vacation rental cottage at Carter Hall, the crumbling old manor that once belonged to Janet's family and is now a Historical Society-owned tourist trap. Janet has nothing more pressing in mind for the next few months than lazy time with her daughter (a hyper-imaginative child whose hobbies include practicing exorcisms and pretending to be a ninja), reminiscences with Alec, the ancient gardener who has known her all her life - and perhaps a little summer flirtation with Alec's handsome new assistant Thomas. But when the boy in the cottage next door goes missing on Midsummer Eve, Janet and Lucy are pulled headlong into a supernatural mystery that forces them both to confront the hidden reality that magical forces are at work in their daily lives. To rescue the boy, Thomas risks losing Janet forever by revealing the truth about who he really is - a fugitive from the fairy underworld hiding under Alec's protection. Janet, Thomas and Lucy set forth on a dark and dangerous quest to the mist-shrouded land of the fairies, braving dangerous creatures, impossible riddles, and the darkest secrets of their own hearts to rescue the missing child and bring him home.

Claire Willett is a company member of Playwrights West and was named the 2011 Oregon Literary Fellow for Drama and the summer 2011 Writer-In-Residence at the I-Park Artists' Colony in East Haddam, CT. Her play Dear Galileo was produced in March 2013 in the Hothouse New Play Development Series at Pasadena Playhouse. A founding Fertile Ground Festival artist, Claire has produced a staged reading in every festival since its 2009 inception, including Upon Waking (2009); How the Light Gets In (2010); That Was the River, This Is the Sea, co-written with Gilberto Martin del Campo (2011); Dear Galileo (2012), which was produced by Artists Repertory Theatre and funded by a Career Opportunity Grant from the Oregon Arts Commission; and The Witch of the Iron Wood (2013), a chamber opera based on Norse mythology co-written with Portland composer Evan Lewis. Claire has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Whitman College in Washington, and is a graduate of the Paul A. Kaplan Theatre Management Program at Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City.

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