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New plays in Cedar, Logan

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The Utah Shakespearean Festival's annual New Play Series is scheduled throughout August on Thursdays and Fridays at 10:15 a.m. in downtown Cedar City's Cedar Theatre, 33 N. Main, three blocks east of the festival complex. In addition to each play's two initial readings, the four scripts will be read a third time on four successive mornings, Aug. 29-Sept. 1.

At the other end of the state, Utah State University is seeking original manuscripts for its second annual Festival of New Plays.

This summer's play readings in Cedar City will be:

"Whistler v. Ruskin," by Salt Lake writer/director Larry West, Aug. 3, 4 and 29; guest-directed by Sylvie Drake of the Denver Center Theatre. The play is centered around the courtroom battle of flamboyant American painter James McNeill Whistler (famous for painting his mother) against British critic John Ruskin, described as "a notorious prig."

"The Tears of Time," by Stuart Boyce, Aug. 10, 11 and 30; directed by longtime USF performer George Judy. It's the story of three Cheyenne women and their violent journey to identify and bury the bones of their dead in the aftermath of the Sand Creek Massacre. A congressional investigation discovered that the 500 Cheyenne "warriors" killed in the 1864 battle were actually 180 women, children and elderly men.

"Memorabilia," by Red Shuttleworth, Aug. 17, 18 and 31; guest-directed by Bruce K. Sevy, a former Utahn now affiliated with the Denver Center Theatre. This is a dark and gritty comedy set in Las Vegas.

"Little Red Wagon Painted Blue," by Don Monaco, Aug. 24 & 25 and Sept. 1; directed by David Marlin-Jones. This is described as a comedy about a businessman distressed by his son's taking a full-time job.

Admission to the staged readings is free, but a contribution of $5 is suggested to help defray costs and encourage the process of exploring new plays.

Plays in the series are usually chosen to give special attention to Western writers and subjects, themes, issues, characters and dramatic perspectives concerning the Western experience.

UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY'S department of theatre arts announces the second annual Festival of New Plays and seeks original, one-act plays never produced before on stage.

"If you have a play you'd like to see staged, and you live in or around Cache Valley, here's a great opportunity to workshop and present your work to the public," says festival director and USU theatre arts department professor Mark Damen.

According to Damen, plays should be typed, paginated and written in a standard playwriting format. Include a title page with your name, address and phone number.

All plays must be submitted by Friday, Sept. 8, to the Theatre Arts Department, Utah State University, Logan, UT, 84322-4025.

All works must be one-act plays. No full-length or 10-minute plays will be accepted. Modern, realistic drama will receive higher consideration than children's, absurdist or musical plays.

Plays will be evaluated, and playwrights will be informed by phone or mail (using the address or phone number provided on the title page) whether or not their works have been chosen by Friday, Sept. 29.

Playwrights must be in residence in Cache Valley during the fall of 2000 when plays will be workshopped. Plays will be produced in January 2001 in the annual Festival of New Plays sponsored by the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation and the USU theatre arts department.

For more information, contact Mark Damen at 435-797-3786 or e-mail at mdamen@hass.usu.edu