Square Top Repertory Theatre to host National Playwriting Festival

By now, you have probably already heard about the upcoming New Works Festival at Square Top Repertory Theatre during the week of March 15-21. Since its first season, the theatre has worked to bring new and innovative professional theatre to local audiences right here in Pagosa Springs, but what is a New Works Festival? What exactly should you expect?

Last fall, Square Top hosted a countrywide playwriting search. Unlike similar national searches, STRT put no restrictions on the search, and it cost playwrights nothing to send in their script for consideration. As a result, playwrights of all ages, experience levels, and locations sent their new plays in hopes of being selected as one of the top three writers to be invited to work alongside a cast of actors and STRT directors Charlie Pepiton, Shane Fuller and Felicia Meyer.

During the week of March 15-21, Joseph Frost of Jackson, Miss.; Joan Dunayer of Champaign, Ill.; and John Philpit of New York City, will be playwrights-in-residence in Pagosa Springs.

Each day, the playwrights will work with their director and cast of local actors to hone their script for performance. This process, known as “workshopping” is the way a playwright perfects his or her written words into exciting theatrical language.

At the end of the week, the actors will perform a staged reading of the plays, which is far more than merely reading the script. A staged reading is a unique, live theatrical performance unlike anything else. The design is minimal, so that the focus is on the play itself.

Following each performance, audiences will have the opportunity to converse with the playwright, adding their feedback and further helping the writer to craft the script. Audiences are as vital to the New Works Festival creative process as the actors themselves.

On Thursday, March 19, come see Joseph Frost’s heartwarming and startling Irish drama “Anathema.”

On Friday night, March 20, STRT stages Joan Dunayer’s thought-provoking comedic drama “Seeking Flight.”

Finally, on Saturday evening, March 21, John Philpit’s suspenseful thriller “Contrapositive” will have you talking for sure.

All shows begin at 7 p.m. at the performance space in the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Boulevard and are rated PG to PG-13. Parents are encouraged to call for details.

Tickets are $5 each or $12.50 for a weekend pass.

For more information and tickets, visit www.squaretoptheatre.com or call 264-0264.

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of creating new work right here in Pagosa Springs. Mark your calendars now.

Photo courtesy STRT
During the week of March 15-21, Joseph Frost of Jackson, Miss., Joan Dunayer of Champaign, Ill.;,and John Philpit of New York City, will be playwrights-in-residence in Pagosa Springs as their works are featured at the New Works Festival at Square Top Repertory Theatre.