PlayFest Santa Barbara’s 5th Annual Festival of New Plays

Posted on Jan 26 by SEASONS Magazine

Playfest Artistic Directors, Jeffrey Meek and R. Michael Gros, courtesy photo.

Playfest Artistic Directors, Jeffrey Meek and R. Michael Gros, courtesy photo.

PlayFest Santa Barbara has selected Diane Grant as their 5th Annual Festival of New Plays Honoree Playwright for her play, The Last of the Daytons. A staged reading of the play will be performed at the Center Stage Theatre (751 Paseo Nuevo) on Saturday, January 28 at 7:30 p.m., followed by a moderated audience talkback. On Sunday, January 29 at 10:30 a.m., Grant along with other Festival playwrights hosts a panel discussion.

Grant’s production was chosen from 57 plays and musicals submitted from around the world. Other finalists include Paula Cizmar for her play, Strawberry, Donna Hoke for her drama, Brilliant Works of Art, Steve Karp for his production, Reunion and Laura Schmidt for her play, The Eleventh Chapter.

An award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Grant cofounded Toronto’s Redlight Theatre, the first professional theatre for women in Canada. Her plays include The Piaggi Suite, Has Anybody Here Seen Roy?, Sunday Dinner and A Dog’s Life, which have been produced in both the United States and Canada. Grant’s credits also include a short film, Too Much Oregano, which won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. A member of the Female Playwright Initiative (FPI), the Dramatists Guild, The Playwrights Guild of Canada and the International Center for Women Playwrights, Grant is the former Vice-Chair of the Los Angeles Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights.

The festival begins on Saturday morning at 10 a.m., with an original production of Breakfast with Smartasses, Five Sassy Plays by Five Sassy Women Writers presented by Festival partners Dramatic Women and Speaking of Stories and written by playwrights Ellen Anderson, Tania Israel, Brooke Mackenzie, Shannon Noel and Chelsea Sutton. Directed by Maggie Mixsell, the plays will be presented as staged readings and be followed with a discussion with the director, actors and playwrights accompanied with breakfast “goodies” and mimosas.

Later, at 1:30 p.m., DramaDogs administers an acting workshop focusing on “Physicalizing the Text,” led by directors E. Bonnie Lewis and Ken Gilbert and featuring elements of Grant’s honored play, The Last of the Daytons.

For more information on this event, please visit www.playfestsantabarbara.org.

For ticket information information please call 805/963-0408 or visit www.centerstagetheater.org.

—Kathryn Shim

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