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The 10th Anniversary Barbour Playwrights Award Begins with GRAND THEFT MUSICAL by Lissa Moira

In 2007, the Episcopal Actors' Guild established a special award to honor the legacy of actor, playwright and EAG member Thomas Barbour (Arthur, Great White Hope) whose support for emerging artists was an inspiration to many. Now, ten years later, the Barbour Playwrights Award has presented staged readings of 27 new plays and given $5,000 to local writers.

The Barbour Playwrights Award continues this month with readings of three new plays by writers from Theater for the New City, as well as a special night of celebration including a panel discussion with past winners on the life and creative process of today's playwrights.

The festival begins on Thursday, March 9 at 7:00 pm with a reading of Lissa Moira's Grand Theft Musical, a musical comedy based on Robert Sickinger's 1994 musical Platinum Taps, with music composed by John Taylor Thomas.

Grand Theft Musical celebrates and lampoons the world of musical comedy to hilarious effect. Lissa Moira will direct the cast of 17 characters which includes a powerful, bisexual, vindictive columnist and his network of adorable spies; a ridiculously successful good guy Broadway producer, his gorgeous super-smart stripper girlfriend, and his envious sneaky business partner; an exceedingly dangerous mafia Don and his tap-dancing nephew; a larger-than-life Broadway director - a big bear of a man who is an unapologetic Socialist; a beautiful, sensitive suicidal actress; a wide-eyed, optimistic writer composer; a stunningly insufferable supers-star British couple who invite sexual intrigue; and a highly talented acid-tongued choreographer.

This reading will be followed by a reception.

Lissa Moira (AEA, SAG, AFTRA) is a two time Jerome Foundation grantee. Ms Moira's dramedy Time It Is was a finalist for the International Chesterfield/Paramount screenwriting competition in 2001 and her 2007 play Before God Was Invented was an American nominee for the Susan Brownell-Smith International Playwrights Award.

Theater for the New City is a Pulitzer Prize winning cultural center that is known for its high artistic standards and widespread community service. One of New York's most prolific theatrical organizations, TNC produces 30-40 premieres of new American plays per year, at least 10 of which are by emerging and young playwrights. TNC also presents plays by multi-ethnic/multi-disciplinary theater companies who have no permanent home. TNC seeks to develop theater audiences and inspire future theater artists from the often-overlooked low-income minority communities of New York City by producing minority writers from around the world and by bringing the community into theater and theater into the community through its many free Festivals. TNC productions have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and over 42 OBIE Awards for excellence in every theatrical discipline. TNC is also the only Theatrical Organization to have won the Mayor's Stop The Violence award.

The Episcopal Actors' Guild was established in 1923 and is a charitable organization offering emergency assistance and career support to professional performers "of all faiths, and none." We also host a full calendar of events and fundraisers including concerts, variety shows, play readings, and professional workshops. Learn more at

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