ACT & Icicle Creek Announces New Play Festival: An Uncorked Conversation 8/23, 8/24


In partnership with ACT Theatre, the Fourth Annual Icicle Creek Theatre Festival (ICTF), based in Leavenworth, Washington brings new plays by two of this country's most talented contemporary theatrical voices, along with cases and cases of extraordinary wine from Leavenworth's best wineries, to Seattle's ACT Theatre, for An Uncorked Conversation: New Play Festival and Wine Tasting, August 23 and 24, 2010.

Starting at 5:30 p.m., on Monday and Tuesday evenings, The Central Heating Lab at ACT hosts this first-of-its-kind event with ICTF, which allows attendees to sample more than two dozen types of wine from eight different Leavenworth wineries before moving into the theatre for an exciting new play reading by either Laura Jacqmin or Yussef El Guindi.

ICTF Artistic Director Allen Fitzpatrick reviewed countless submissions before arriving at this year's two selections. "Experiencing the birth of a new play is thrilling and I want ICTF and ACT audiences to understand how valuable their reactions and feedback are during the play reading and workshop process. It's vital to a new play's development and I'm thrilled that these two plays will benefit from the sophisticated insights that Leavenworth and Seattle audiences will undoubtedly provide," said Fitzpatrick. All the ICTF plays selected since 2007 have been developed further; four of the plays (Atomic Farmgirl, Dov and Ali, On the Nature of Dust, and Charm) have evolved to completed, fully-staged productions at regional, international, and off-Broadway houses. The two plays selected for readings at this year's Fourth Annual ICTF are Laura Jacqmin's, And When We Awoke There Was Light and Light and Yussef El Guindi's Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World.
In And When We Awoke There Was Light and Light, 2008 Wasserstein Prize winner Laura Jacqmin relates the story of Katie, a student desperate to get into Harvard, who meets a new friend online, David, a teenaged soldier in Uganda. Katie becomes determined to help him escape to the U.S. and asks, "If I'm trying to do something good, then what's the harm in using his story for my application essay?" When she learns that David hasn't been completely honest about himself, she must decide whether to abandon her ideals or trust a virtual stranger.

2009 winner of the Osborn Award by the American Theater Critics Association and 2008 winner of ACT's New Play Award, Yussef El Guindi will present his engagingly witty and romantic new play, Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World. Musa, a recent immigrant from the Middle East and NYC taxi driver, meets Sheri, an American waitress and woman with an unfortunate dating history. They fall head-over-heels in love, but their chances for making it are blocked by several skeletons in their respective closets.

An Uncorked Conversation: New Play Festival and Wine Tasting offers a rare opportunity to see a new play come to life at its first public reading AND sample much of what Leavenworth has to offer without crossing The Pass. ICTF Executive Director Shana Pennington-Baird has invited representatives from Leavenworth's best wineries, hotels and arts organizations to cross the pass. For two wonderful evenings, folks from Icicle Arts, The Icicle Creek Music Center and The Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort and more, will set up a temporary shop in Seattle's ACT Theatre lobby spaces to provide samples and give away loads of prizes. Participating wineries include: Silvara, Wedge Mountain, Icicle Ridge, Vin du Lac, Cascadia and more!

The Acting Company for the Fourth Annual ICTF will be announced in July 2010. ACT Literary Manager Anita Montgomery will serve as dramaturge for both plays. The ICTF Acting Company will also conduct play readings as part of ICTF in Leavenworth on August 21 and 22 at 1:00 and 7:00pm. Those readings will take place at the Icicle Creek Music Center near Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort. Overnight packages that include train transportation from Seattle, admission to the Leavenworth new play festival, and sleeping accommodations are available through Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort.

Tickets to Seattle's An Uncorked Conversation: New Play Festival and Wine Tasting at ACT are $40 and include a commemorative wine glass, admission to the Wine Festival, and entrance to the New Play Reading. ACT Monthly and Charter Members receive free admission to the play reading and pay only $20 for the Wine Festival. Tickets and Memberships are available through the ACT Ticket Office at 700 Union Street, Downtown Seattle, (206) 292-7676, or online (festival/wine tasting tickets only) at Both readings are in the Bullitt Cabaret. For more information about The Icicle Creek Theatre Festival, visit For more information about ACT, visit

About The Playwrights
Laura Jacqmin received the 2008 Wasserstein Prize, a $25,000 award to recognize an emerging female playwright. Her play Ski Dubai was produced in Steppenwolf Theatre Company's 5th Annual First Look Repertory of New Work; Look we are Breathing will be workshopped at the 2010 Sundance Theatre Lab on Governors Island, with director Mark Brokaw. Her plays include Dental Society Midwinter Meeting (which will be produced in association with Chicago Dramatists, July 2010), Folk Song, and Do-Gooder (nominee, 2011 Cherry Lane Mentor Project), among others. Jacqmin's work has been produced and developed by Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Ars Nova, Goodman Theatre, Second Stage Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Page 73 Productions, Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago Dramatists, The 24 Hour Plays Off-Broadway, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, and more. From 2007 to 2008, she was a contributing writer for The Onion A.V. Club and A.V. Club Chicago. Jacqmin is currently working on a Sloan commission from Ensemble Studio Theatre. She lives and works in Chicago.

Yussef El Guindi's most recent productions: Language Rooms at The Wilma Theater, The Review, a short Internet play performed with actors in Cairo and San Francisco, produced by Golden Thread; and Hostages, staged by the Miscreant Theater Company in New York. Other productions: Jihad Jones and the Kalashnikov Babes, produced at Golden Thread in San Francisco, at InterAct Theater in Philadelphia, and at Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas, as part of the National New Play Network. Our Enemies: Lively Scenes of Love and Combat, produced by Silk Road Theatre Project in Chicago, where it was Jeff Nominated, and was among the six finalists for the 2009 American Theater Critics Associations Steinberg/ New Play Award. The American Theater Critics Association has also given it the 2009 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award. Other productions: Back of the Throat was winner of the 2004 Northwest Playwrights' Competition held by Theater Schmeater. It won L.A. Weekly's Excellence in Playwriting Award for 2006. It was also nominated for the 2006 American Theater Critics Associations Steinberg/ New Play Award, and was voted Best New Play of 2005 by the Seattle Times. It was first staged by San Francisco's Thick Description and Golden Thread Productions; then later presented in various theaters around the country including The Flea Theater in New York. Another play of his, Ten Acrobats in an Amazing Leap of Faith, staged by Silk Road Theatre Project, won the After Dark Award for Best New Play in Chicago in 2006. His two-related one-acts, Acts of Desire, were staged by the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles. Back of the Throat, and the two related one-acts, now titled, Such a Beautiful Voices is Sayeda's and Karima's City, have been published by Dramatists Play Service. The latter one-acts have also been included in The Best American Short Plays: 2004-2005, published by Applause Books. His play, Ten Acrobats in an Amazing Leap of Faith, is included in Salaam/Peace: An Anthology of Middle-Eastern-American Playwrights, published by TCG in 2009. Yussef holds an MFA from Carnegie-Mellon University and was playwright-in-residence at Duke University.

About Icicle Creek Theatre Festival
Icicle Creek Theatre Festival (ICTF) was created by actor and director Allen Fitzpatrick to help playwrights prepare their scripts for productions in regional theatres around the country. 2008's Charm went on to win the Connecticut Commission on the Arts' highest award for playwriting, was further workshopped by the LArk Theatre Company and Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, and just completed a full 2010 production by the Salt Lake Acting Company. 2008's Kingdom of Dust was part of the 2009 JAW Festival at Portland Center Stage. It was later retitled, On the Nature of Dust and the New Century Theatre Company produced a full production in 2010 at ACT Theatre. 2007's Atomic Farmgirl was produced Off-Broadway by the Drilling Company, and 2007's Dov and Ali opened Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre, following a successful London production. 2009 plays Him and The Jewel in the Manuscript are currently holding workshop readings at a variety of regional playhouses in 2010 and 2011.

About ACT
Located in the heart of downtown Seattle and serving a population of curious, open-minded, and brave audiences, ACT - A Contemporary Theatre is the only local theatre dedicated to producing contemporary work with promising playwrights and local performing artists since 1965. A Theatre Of new ideas, ACT serves as a cultural engine that makes plays, dance, music, and film that touch us. Because contemporary life demands examination, ACT is driven to inspire and strengthen our diverse community through works that advance our understanding of human life. ACT is an interactive community where artists and the public witness, contemplate, and engage in dialogue on today's thought-provoking issues, ideas and art, presented with intelligence, insight, and humor.

Support for Icicle Creek Theatre Festival is provided by Icicle Fund, City of Leavenworth, Norcliffe Foundation, and Dramatists Play Guild.
Support for ACT is provided by ArtsFund, ACT Foundation, The Mayor's Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and The Shubert Foundation, along with Producing Partners 4Culture, The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, The Boeing Company, Microsoft Corporation, Nesholm Family Foundation, the Peg & Rick Young Foundation, and PONCHO.

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