The Tyler Civic Theatre Center welcomes playwrights from East Texas and beyond this afternoon as the annual New Play Festival gets underway.
The talent, Hargrove said, is as diverse as the subject matter.
“It's from some unexpected people. There's Grace Worcester, who's been around the theater for years and years and years, and all of a sudden she's got this play and I didn't even know she wrote plays. But it's a wonderful play about Alzheimer's. It's based on her grandfather and is a tribute to him,” Hargrove said. “Then we've got Mary Anzalone who has two plays. One is a very short, tongue-in-cheek play. … Her other play, 'The Novel Approach,' is just a great play. I'm really happy with (everything).”
Hargrove said the stripped-down nature of the readings is a great tool for both playwrights and actors as it forces the strength of the text to be brought front-and-center and it also provides an easily attainable launching pad for aspiring writers.
“I believe that things like this inspire people who have sat on a play for years and years, when they venture through and figure that if someone else can do it, so can they, since the playwright is not some guy up in New York City, it's a lot of local people writing stories,” he said.
The festival begins at 1 p.m. Each play is allotted a maximum of 45 minutes per reading, though same plays will run less than that.
Admission to the festival is free and open to the public. Tyler Civic Theatre Center is at 400 Rose Park Drive, next to Harvey Convention Center.
“A Novel Approach”
– A Dramedy by Mary Anzalone
A one-hit-wonder crime novelist on a bender in her Houston apartment meets a man who may hold the key to her past, all the while the city is being fumigated for an infestation of crickets. A story about success and failure in life and art and a city's failed attempt to de-bug itself.
– by Mary Anzalone
After a day at the local rodeo a mother and daughter must deal with a Texas thunderstorm and a few other surprises just to get home safely.
– By Lee Brady
Susan is a woman who is good at her job, but na´ve about love. After a drastic day at the office, she returns home to her husband, John, and more unpleasant truths. John has been confined to a wheelchair, and as his dark secrets are revealed, Susan is forced to admit that her marriage was based more on hope than truth.
– by John Kelly
His world rocked by divorce, Scott Callahan, 40, and single, tries to make his way through the shifting sand that is his life. His best friend, Gordon, and his job as a host of the radio program, “Movies & More,” give him a semblance of balance as he tries to get back on his emotional feet. But just as normality begins to return, an old love comes back into his life that has him questioning love, identity and his own place in the world.
A comedy filled with fun and eccentric characters, “True North” asks what it means to not only love and trust again, but where courage grows and how do we hang onto it when life hits us the hardest.
– by Grace Leona Worcester