Square Top Repertory Theatre presents New Works Festival 2009

The New Works Festival 2009 at Square Top Repertory Theatre is rapidly approaching. Be sure to mark your calendars and buy your tickets now for this unique theatrical event right here in Pagosa Springs.

Mississippi playwright Joseph Frost, Illinois playwright Joan Dunayer, and New York City playwright John Philpit make their way to Pagosa Springs on Sunday to start their week as playwrights-in-residence in Pagosa Springs.

During their time in town, the three playwrights will work alongside STRT directors Charlie Pepiton, Shane Fuller and Felicia Meyer and a cast of local and regional talent to hone their plays for the stage. The week culminates in three exciting evenings of world premier, staged reading performances of their work.

On Thursday night, March 19, see the staged-reading of, “Anathema” by Joseph Frost, directed by Shane Fuller and featuring local actors Dakota Jarvie and Dave and Lue Armbrecht. In this drama, set in a small Irish home, an elderly working class couple, Olive and George, support their son, Shaun, and his artwork. One day, Olive brings home a young girl, Alice, for her son. Shaun wants nothing to do with her, yet Alice continues to invade the family’s lives, eventually taking over Olive’s role as parent and art agent. Family secrets are revealed, and the need for redemption becomes clear. “Anathema” is heartwarming, startling and definitely not to be missed. “Anathema’s” playwright, Joseph Frost, is an award-winning playwright and currently serves as assistant professor and chair of the Theatre Department at Belhaven College in Jackson, Miss. His plays have been presented around the country, including a short play “van Gogh,” at an exhibit of the artist’s work at the Chrysler Museum of Art, and two works — “The Great Play” and “DisEase” — performed at the 2003 CITA North American Conference. Joseph is a member of Christians in the Theatre Arts (CITA) and the Dramatists Guild of America, a participant in the annual Art Within Symposium for writers of faith, and the founding artistic director of the Floodlight Theatre Company.

On Friday night, March 20, see “Seeking Flight,” by Joan Dunayer, directed by Felicia Meyer and featuring local talents Emmi Greer and Rebekah Wilkins-Pepiton. This comedy-drama takes place in a psychology laboratory at a U.S. university. The main characters, Monty and Enzi, are African gray parrots. Experimenter Sandra Barstow tests the parrots’ ability to understand and speak English, name, count, and classify objects. However, Monty and Enzi already know enough English to understand what Sandra says, but she has no idea. “Wanna be parrot! Wanna be free!” “Seeking Flight” is as hilarious and sly as it is thought provoking and moving. A professional writer-editor, Joan Dunayer is the author of articles and essays published in magazines, journals, and anthologies; the commentaries for new editions of nineteen literary classics; two nonfiction books; and, since 2007, five plays. Her short play “Time to Go” was produced by Heartland Theatre Company (Normal, IL) and Love Creek Productions (New York). A graduate of Princeton University, Dunayer holds master’s degrees in English education, English literature, and psychology. She currently resides in Champaign, Ill.

Finally, on Saturday night, March 21, join us for “Contrapositive,” by John Philpit, directed by Charlie Pepiton and featuring seasoned Durango actors Freddy MacDaniel and Wendy Ludgewait. This suspenseful thriller focuses on Father Joseph, a Dean at a Roman Catholic college and Martha, a partner at a think tank in Washington, DC. The two seriously considered marriage before he decided to attend seminary. When Martha mysteriously shows up 20 years later at his office, their mutual affection immediately resurfaces. The tone soon takes a sinister turn when Martha reveals that she has stolen the only publicly available copies of his dissertation from Harvard Library and the Library of Congress. In fact, she plans to eradicate all knowledge of the writing. This is a play of murder, conspiracy, faith, and betrayal. Contrapositive will surely keep you on the edge of your seat and have you talking for days. John Philpit has been writing plays for over 15 years in New York City. Early productions include the one-act play “One Rose Among Us” and the full-length comedy “Model Son.” In 2000, his play about the difficulty of finding romance with a superhero, called “Super Eros,” played at the New York Fringe Festival.

All shows begin at 7 p.m., March 19-21, 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 visit www.squaretoptheatre.com or call 264-0264.

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this exciting and unique event right here in Pagosa Springs. Buy your tickets now.