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CoHo Productions Presents Steve Patterson's IMMATERIAL MATTERS, 1/23-24

The winning play, Immaterial Matters by Steve Patterson, will be presented in a series of two staged readings at the CoHo Theatre on Sunday, January 23 and Monday, January 24, 2011 at 7:30p.m. during the Fertile Ground Festival of new works. Brenda Hubbard will direct.

Tickets for the reading of Immaterial Matters are Pay What You Will and can be purchased online. It's not too late to support the playwrights! You can still donate $10 to the 2010 NEWXNW Play Competition here. 100% of funds collected go to the winning playwright and the runner-up.

This is the 3rd year CoHo Productions has sponsored its new play competition. The winner and runner-up receives prize money from donations to the competition and anticipated ticket purchases for the readings. The dozen-plus readers and evaluators for this year's competition included George Taylor, the 2009 NEWXNW winner for his play, Good Citizen; Philip Cuomo, associate director of Portland Actors Conservatory and company member of Third Rail Repertory Theatre; Joel Harmon, a Theatre Vertigo company member; Russ Cowan, author (book and lyrics) of the musical Madder Music and Stronger Wine; and Jessica Nikkel, Production Management Associate at Portland Center Stage.

Other readers include patrons, playwrights, dramaturgs and other live theater advocates and supporters. Keep an eye out for CoHo's 4th annual NEWXNW guidelines in 2011!

Immaterial Matters is a journey play--we follow the primary character on a journey of discovery, both about life and himself. It's also kind of a mood piece, akin to a tone poem, with a heavy center, but also some humor.

SYNOPSIS: Crane Wordsworth takes pictures for the studio owned by Reilly O'Rourke. Carrie helps Crane with the setups. Crane takes photographs of the recently dead; Carrie has direct knowledge of the best way to capture the essence of Crane's models. Reilly doesn't understand the way it works; he just knows it does, to his financial advantage. Crane doesn't quite understand it either, but at times he glimpses what may be the truth of his occupation. What makes us human? Is it the fate we all succumb to? Or is it how we face our fate? Can that be captured on film? Can the photographer remain unaffected by the passing of those who previously were strangers? Or does death take its toll on the living as well?

The runner-up submission, The Court Martial of Austin Tate is a highly topical, relevant and open-minded look at the treatment of prisoners following the U.S. invasion of Iraq, touching on matters such as the abuses at Abu Ghraib, the handling of investigations into such treatment, and the perspectives of the soldiers, officers, civilians and incarcerated enemy combatants. The emotions and the physicality of the piece evoke a still-raw response on the part of everyone involved in, affected by, or simply paying for the Iraq war.

SYNOPSIS: Sergeant Austin Tate, a U. S. Army military policeman stationed at a Baghdad prison, is accused of abusing multiple detainees prior to their interrogation by military intelligence officers. His media-savvy civilian attorney, Peter Conroy, contends that Tate was merely following orders, whereas Army prosecutor Robert Whittaker argues that Tate is nothing more than a renegade soldier who acted solely on his own. As Tate' s court martial unfolds, Robert's brother Randy, a reporter assigned to cover the trial by his Washington-based newspaper, hears from a well-placed source that Tate's actions, however sadistic, may have been set in motion by secret directives issued at the highest level of the government. While Robert and Conroy do battle in front of a military jury, Robert and Randy engage in their own version of civil war outside the courtroom.

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