Six original, previously unproduced works, including two with local ties, have been chosen for the Dayton Playhouse’s 21st annual FutureFest of new plays, slated for Friday, July 29-Sunday, July 31 at the Playhouse, 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave.
Selected from over 240 submissions and narrowed from a field of 11 semifinalists, the 2011 contenders are:
“A Woman on the Cusp,” a drama concerning mental illness and sibling treachery by two-time FutureFest finalist Carl L. Williams of Houston, Texas (“Under a Cowboy Moon,” 2003; “Coming Back to Jersey,” 2008).
“Allegro Con Brio,” a farce about a musical couple plotting revenge by Dayton resident Nelson Sheeley of Sinclair Community College.
“Drawing Room,” an introspective look at a Supreme Court sketch artist by Mark Elsman of New York City.
“The Haven,” a contemporary comic drama concerning a broken marriage and the possibilities of connection by Richard Etchison of Rockville, Maryland.
“Jinxed,” a 1930s aviatrix-themed account of Amelia Earhart and Jackie Cochran by Stacey Luftig of New York City.
“Roosevelt’s Ghost,” a drama centered on the special assistant to President Franklin D. Roosevelt convicted of perjury and accused of being a member of the Communist Party by Dayton native Michael Feely of Woodland Hills, California. Feely won the 2009 FutureFest for “Night and Fog” and was a 2006 finalist for “Bookends.”
The final playreading committee consisted of Wayne High School English teacher Tay Caplan, Playhouse executive director Wade Hamilton, theater enthusiast Jennifer Lockwood, Oakwood High School English teacher Brian Martin, Terry Morris of the Dayton Daily News, Playhouse board member Brian Sharp, and yours truly. Fran Pesch serves as FutureFest program director.
The finalists will be presented fully staged or as a staged reading judged on criteria including dramatic concept/theme, plot/story development, character development, and dialogue/language. This year’s adjudicators will consist of longtime New York-based judges David Finkle, Helen Sneed and Eleanore Speert along with Robert Koon, resident playwright/dramaturg of the Chicago Dramatists and a 2002 FutureFest finalist for “Vintage Red and the Dust of the Road,” and D. Lynn Meyers, producing artistic director of Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati.
Weekend passes to all six shows are $90, a slight increase from last year, and will be available to the general public beginning Wednesday, June 1. Single tickets cost $17, the same as last year, and will go on sale Friday, July 1. A select number of tickets will also be available before each performance. For questions regarding tickets, call the Playhouse at (937) 424-8477. Additional information regarding auditions, directors and performance schedule will be announced at a later date.