Baltimore Playwrights Festival

Behind the Scenes

May 30, 1999|By Karin Remesch

Mission: To nurture the talents of Maryland playwrights by offering public readings, discussions, critiques and new-play workshops. Readings are held September through March. During the summer, the newly developed works are premiered at participating theaters. Since its first production in 1982, the Baltimore Playwrights Festival has produced 145 plays by Maryland playwrights.

Latest accomplishments: This year, the number of production organizations participating in the BPF increased from two to seven -- Spotlighters Theatre, Director's Choice Theatre, Fells Point Corner Theatre, Vagabond Players, Baltimore Street Players, Uncommon Voices Theatre Company and Mobtown Players. This month, the BPF received a $1,000 CityArts Grant. And earlier this year, a backstage internship program was established for ages 13-18. Through this program, close to 20 young people will work backstage during the summer season, gaining valuable theater experiences.

On the horizon: The BPF's 18th summer season runs June 4 through Aug. 29 at participating theaters and features 11 productions -- "Peter Pandemonium" by Glorianne Garth and "Women in Collison" by Geoffrey Bond (a double bill); "The Rim of the Wheel," Daphne R. Hull; "Urban Breakdowns," Mimi Teahan; "Snow," Gordon Porterfield; "Aquarium," Joe Dennison; "For Love of Art," Elaine Beardsley; "Caz," Kathleen Barber; "Keeping the Faith," Carol Weinberg; "Falling Grace," Mark Scharf; "Joe Pete," Jim Sizemore; "Gladys in Wonderland," Rosemary Frisino Toohey. An awards presentation for this season takes place in September. The deadline for script submission for next year's season is Sept. 30. Readings, which are open to the public, are scheduled the third Tuesday of the month, September through March.

About the BPF: Attendance: 10,000-12,000 annually.

Where: Mailing address: 251 S. Ann St. Call 410-276-2153.

Rodney Bonds, president of the board of directors: "Our goal is to increase participation by production organizations to the point where all of the submitted scripts that deserve production get produced. ... This year will be the strongest season we have ever fielded -- excellent scripts by very talented playwrights."

Members of the board

Robert Bardoff

Miriam Bazensky

Elaine Beardsley

Thurston Griggs

Ray Hamby

Ruth Henry

Audrey Herman

John Bruce Johnson

Maria Lakkala

Mike Moran

John Sadowsky

Beverly Sokal

Ryan Whinnem

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