OPC 2019 Gala Performers/Playwrights Announced

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OPC 2019 Gala Performers/Playwrights Announced

The Ojai Playwrights Conference is announcing the company of performers and playwrights for their annual Gala Benefit, a farm-to-stable celebration to be held on Saturday, May 4, 2019, at Aspen Grove Ranch, a stunning private ranch in upper Ojai.

In the spirit of OPC, the evening will feature notable theatre artists, including Lucy Alibar, Barbara Bain, Aziza Barnes, Perla Batalla, Bill Cain, Steve Connell, Anthony Fedorov, Davis Gaines, Linda Gehringer, Deidrie Henry, Jennifer Paz, Ruby Rae Spiegel, Tracie Thoms, Steven Weber and Zakiya Young, who will pay tribute to the community builders being honored.

Festivities for the event begin at 4:00 p.m. with a cocktail reception featuring fine wines from Ojai Alisal Vineyard, craft cocktails, and tasty appetizers. Starting at 5 p.m., attendees gather under a big top tent to enjoy the original show produced for the Gala with Broadway songs, original monologues and tributes to the evenings' honorees, Patrick J. Adams, Alan Mandell and The Helene Gordon Family/Twin Peaks Ranch. The evening culminates with a four-course dinner prepared by innovative chefs Nick Barainca and Michael Hollingsworth. All proceeds from the Gala support the development of new plays for the American theatre at OPC's annual Summer Conference and New Works Festival held in Ojai.

The original evening of theatre will be curated by OPC Artistic Director/Producer Robert Egan, who stated, "This is going to be another thrilling evening for OPC as we honor master community builders, who have been building and sustaining the theatre community in Southern California and beyond. We're pleased that some of theatre's finest performers and playwrights are coming together to create this one-night only special event."

Ojai Playwrights Conference 2019 Gala honoree Patrick J. Adams is an OPC board member, actor, dramaturge, mentor and artist of international acclaim; Alan Mandell is a legendary director, actor and producer whose renowned career spans over 80 years; and The Helene Gordon Family/Twin Peaks Ranch has been the spiritual and creative center of OPC for over 20 years by housing playwrights and providing hospitality to visiting artists.

Tickets for the Gala Benefit are $250. Patron and table packages are also available. Tickets are limited, and may be ordered online at www.ojaiplays.org.

Since 1998, theatre professionals and enthusiastic audiences have converged in Ojai to participate in the development of new plays for the American theatre. Each year's participating playwrights - chosen through a rigorous selection process - join together for an intensive two-week, in-residence workshop program, which culminates in public workshop presentations featuring professional actors, during the OPC New Works Festival. In addition to the new play workshops, the Festival features prominent artists in engaging forums on a range of cultural and artistic subjects in the Intersections Series. OPC also nurtures the writing talents of young artists through its Intern Program and Youth Workshop Program, where college and high school students are mentored by professional artists and have opportunity to write and present their own original works.

Plays developed at OPC have gone on to have numerous productions on Broadway, off-Broadway, and at regional theatres across the country. Some have been nominated for and won prestigious awards. Both "Fun Home" by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori, and Jon Robin Baitz's "Other Desert Cities" were Pulitzer Finalists; "Fun Home" won the Tony Award for Best Musical; and Danai Guiria's "Eclipsed" and Stephen Adly Guirgis' "The Motherf**ker with the Hat" were each nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play. Most recently, one of OPC's youngest playwrights, Lily Padilla, was named the 2019 Yale Drama Series Prize winner for her play "How to Defend Yourself," which was developed at OPC in 2018.

Patrick J. Adams
Patrick J. Adams is an acclaimed actor of both stage and screen. For seven seasons he charmed audiences worldwide as Mike Ross in the USA Network's hit drama, "Suits," a role which garnered him a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination in the category of Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series. Patrick has devoted himself to OPC as a faithful member of its acting company for over a decade, a dramaturge, Youth Workshop mentor, board member and collaborator with acclaimed playwright, Bill Cain. Patrick's tireless commitment has been instrumental in building the OPC Community and helping it achieve national recognition.

Alan Mandell
Alan Mandell is a legendary, award-winning actor, director, and producer of productions both on and off-Broadway. He is a founding member of the San Francisco Actor's Workshop and co-founder of the San Quentin Drama Workshop, which started with a performance of Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" inside the prison. Mandell toured with original productions of "Godot" and "Endgame," directed by Beckett, and has also performed throughout the U.S., including on and Off-Broadway, in Dublin, London and Italy. His film work includes "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" by John Cameron Mitchel and "A Serious Man" by the Coen Brothers. In addition, Mandell is an accomplished voice-over actor. He served as general manager of the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center and consulting director at LATC. His diverse efforts have helped to promote and build the theatre community throughout the United States, and especially in Los Angeles. He is the winner of numerous awards, including several Ovation Awards.

For more than 20 years, Helene Gordon and her family have been a guiding force of OPC and their home, Twin Peaks Ranch, has been the spiritual and creative center of OPC's annual Summer Conference. Hundreds of OPC artists have been housed, fed, nurtured and entertained by the Gordon family, and inspired by the immense natural beauty of Twin Peaks Ranch in Ojai. The Gordon Family and Twin Peaks Ranch have been fundamental to the evolution of the OPC into one of the premiere new play development programs in America.

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