Playwrights fest has nine offerings, debuts company

Theater column

May 17, 2007|By J. Wynn Rousuck | J. Wynn Rousuck,sun theater critic

Increased attention to script development is the focus of the 26th annual Baltimore Playwrights Festival, which begins in July and will feature nine plays produced by seven companies. Two indications of this focus, according to Rich Espey, festival chairman, are the creation of a biweekly playwrights group and the debut of a new theater company.

Founded by director Barry Feinstein and playwright Terry Kenney, the Theatrical Mining Company sprang up to work on some of the scripts that didn't make the cut for last year's festival. The company will produce two of those in the 2007 festival.

"Hopefully, we will put things on stage that are further along in the development process," Espey said. "We don't have to push the baby on stage quite so soon."

Here are this year's selections:

Touch of Spring, by Ben Logan (July 5-22). A long-married couple's love extends beyond the grave in this drama. Fell's Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann St.

The Blessed Mothers of War, by Ty DeMartino (July 6-22). Two mothers, one Arabic and one American, make very different discoveries about the fate of their sons in the Middle East. Theatrical Mining Company at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, 4701 N. Charles St.

Perpendicular, by Joe Dennison (July 26-Aug. 5). A woman fulfills her dream of visiting Paris, leaving her husband and young son to fend for themselves. Vagabond Players, 806 S. Broadway.

Barbie: A Doll Her, by Kenney (July 26-Aug. 12). A 1962 Barbie doll is the protagonist in this exploration of issues ranging from happy childhood memories to abuse and forgiveness. Uncommon Voices at Fell's Point Corner.

Almost Vermilion, by Sonja Kinzer (Aug. 3-19). A mother in 1950s rural West Virginia attempts to protect the artistic son who is despised by his father. Theatrical Mining Company at Notre Dame.

Last Night at the Owl Bar, by Mark Scharf (Aug. 3-19). A theater director who lacks direction off stage indulges in imaginative journeys and a questionable romance that threatens to break up a friendship. Chesapeake Arts Center, 194 Hammonds Lane, Brooklyn Park.

CYA, by Kimberley Lynne (Aug. 3-25). Two administrative assistants at an investment bank take widely divergent paths when the company is sold to a German firm. Mobtown Players, 3600 Clipper Mill Road.

Save Me, by Stephanie Zadravec (Aug. 16-Sept. 2). An artist's struggles with cancer change the lives of her daughter, sister and best friend. Fell's Point Corner.

Rudy Doo, by George Purefoy Tilson (Aug. 17-Sept. 2). An heiress, a former hockey player and a recluse with cerebral palsy are the central characters in this unconventional comedy. Audrey Herman Spotlighters Theatre, 817 St. Paul St.

Booklets of six tickets cost $45. For more information, go to bal

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