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Plays & Playwrights

Contests and collections.

Winning Writers

The American Century, a one-act play by Murphy Guyer, is the winner of the $1,000 Steinbright Award, given to the best comedy of The People’s Light and Theatre Company’s annual New Play Festival. Set in a 1945 American kitchen, the play depicts the joyful reunion of serviceman Tom Kilroy and his wife Margaret after World War II. When the couple’s future son travels back in time to witness his conception, the result is a comic view of America’s recent history, as the neurotic son baffles his parents-to-be with tales of their future. Playwright Guyer, author of Eden Court, has also been an actor and a director for the Malvern, Pa., company. The American Century received its second production as part of Actors Theatre of Louisville’s SHORTS Festival in November.

Mollie Ann and Walter J. Meserve have won first prize in this year’s Country Playhouse Playwright Competition with their murder mystery Cry Woolf. The husband-and-wife team receives $1,000, and their play will be produced by the Houston theatre. The next Country Playhouse competition deadline is Jan. 7, 1985. One-act plays also compete in a separate category; two are awarded $250 each and second-stage produc tion. Obtain an application from John Newell, Competition Coordinator, Country Playhouse Playwright Competition, Box 218124, Houston, TX 77218; (713) 467-4497.

Tea Without Sympathy

Don’t be fooled by Joe Morton’s winning smile, as he serves tea to Delphi Lawrence. Before Sheldon Rosen’s play Souvenirs is over, most of the white tourists enjoying their holiday on the fictional island of Lacona will be dead at the hands of the natives. Nominated for TCG’s Plays in Process script series by the New York Theatre Studio, which co-produced the play with New York Theatre Workshop last May, Rosen’s comedy-drama is slated for Off-Broadway production this winter. Other scripts included in PIP’s fifth season, which is available by subscription, are The Grunt Childe, Lawrence O’Sullivan’s dramatic fantasy about the Vietnam War, nominated by East West Players in Los Angeles; Why The Lord Come to Sand Mountain, Romulus Linney’s retelling of the story of Joseph, Mary and the boy Jesus as a Smoky Mountain folktale, nominated by Philadephia Festival Theatre for New Plays; Jonestown Express, James Reston, Jr’s dramatic exploration of the tragedy in Guyana, nominated by Providence’s Trinity Square Repertory Company; Dog Lady and The Cuban Swimmer by Milcha Sanchez-Scott, a pair of comedies featuring Hispanic young women, nominated by INTAR in New York; and William Wise’s Man with a Raincoat, a psychological drama centering on a detective’s 25-year search for the solution to a brutal sex slaying, nominated by Houston’s Chocolate Bayou Theater Company.

Playwrights’ Update

To commemorate the opening of a new 300-seat playhouse, Stephens College, an undergraduate college for women, has announced a new playwriting contest, partially funded by the Missouri Arts Council. Named after American actress Maude Adams, who began the theatre program at Stephens, the competition awards $750 and a full production to the winning playwright. Works by, about or for women or with major roles for women are preferred, but any unpublished and unproduced full-length play, or bill of related one-acts, is eligible. Deadline for submissions is Jan. 31, 1985. Obtain contest rules from Addison Myers, Maude Adams Playwriting Competition, Stephens College, Columbia, MO 65215; (314)

San Francisco’s Young Performers Theatre is offering $1,000 and production to an original, unpublished play for young audiences, suitable for a cast of children and adults. Submission deadline is Dec. 31. Obtain information from Children’s Theatre Playwright Contest, Young Performers Theatre, 2698 Pacific Ave. San Francisco, CA 94115; (415) 346-5550.

As a direct result of the recent Ongoing Ensembles grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Theatre Program, Circle Repertory Company has announced that it is once again interested in receiving unsolicited scripts. Send plays to Bill Hemmig, Circle Repertory Company, 161 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY 10013; (212) 691-3210.

For information on hundreds of contests, grants, awards and other opportunities for playwrights, translators, composers, lyricists and librettists, refer to TCG’s Dramatists Sourcebook. The 1984-85 edition can be ordered for $9.95 plus postage and handling by using the order form in the back of this issue.

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