Washington D.C.'s Source Theatre Company opens its 17th annual Washington Theatre Festival with the world premiere of Carter W. Lewis' Soft Click of the Switch. The production runs July 9-Aug. 10.
Switch, workshopped at New York's New Dramatists' Theatre and London's Royal Court, combines black comedy and vaudeville by following two men on the outskirts of society, who find each other and seek recognition by blowing up things. Lewis will be in residence July 12, offering a post-show discussion after the performance.
Lewis has won the Rosenthal New Play Prize, The Live Oak Best New American Play Award and Beverly Hills Theatre Guild/Julie Harris Playwrighting Competition. His previous work includes An Asian Jockey in Our Midst and Golf With Alan Shepard. Lewis is currently the Literary Manager and Playwright in Residence at NY's GeVa Theatre.
Festival General Director Keith Parker calls the Washington Theatre Festival "A wondeful mix of finesse and frenzy...the idea has always been to create workshop opportunites for aspiring locals--an entry point for new talent in the DC area."
In fact, Source Theatre Company sposkesperson Lane Bushcel says the festival "gives people a chance to branch out into other areas of theatre where they might not have otherwise. . . Actor Christopher Lane is directing ...Switch. Equity actors submit plays, and become directors. Things they don't ever get to do anywhere else." The Washington Theatre Festival has staged more than 650 scripts since its founding in 1981, including four Helen Hayes Award winners and 13 nominees. The festival is introducing more than 60 new scripts this year, in eight showcases, staged readings and the 12th Annual 10-Minute Play Competition (July 28-Aug. 1). Source's Festival is the recipient of the 1994 Mayor's Art Award for Excellence in Service to the Arts and 1993 The Washington Post Award for Distinguished Community Service.
Highlights of this year's Festival include the world premieres of 18-year old Rebecca Nesvet's Mina Darling (July 9-12), Paul Donnelly's Whole Against the Sky (July 17-19), Leslie Milk's Woman Spends Year in Labor (July 24-27), John Justice's Savages (Aug. 2-5), and Wendell Edward Carter's Revolutionaries (Aug. 2-5).
Ticket prices vary. For more information about the Festival call (202) 462-1073, or refer to the The Source Theatre Company on Playbill On-Line.
--By Sean McGrath