In recent years, New York has seen his Florida Crackers (Circle Rep) and The Preservation Society (Primary Stages), but mostly playwright Wm. S. Leavengood has worked regionally, especially in California and Florida. A St. Petersburg resident, Leavengood has made a real connection with the American Stage theatre company, and the venue has been offering a reading series of five Leavengood plays. The series began Feb. 14 with The Preservation Society and continued March 20 with Afternoon Dreams, April 17 with various one-acts, May 1 with 17 Black, and May 22 with the screenplay version of Florida Crackers.
The series finishes up, June 5, with a revised version of Afternoon Dreams, with cuts and changes made following the aforementioned March reading of the play. Rumor has it that American Stage will continue its relationship with the author past the reading series, with a production looming (probably of one-acts) in the fall.
17 Black, Florida Crackers, as well as the farce, What Is Art? and several one-acts (including Day of the Onandaga and Space Hunter) were published in a Leavengood compilation, "Florida Bound," in 1994, by Holvoe Books. His latest project, the libretto for an epic musical titled Webb's City: The Musical, is getting workshop readings in two venues in Pinellas County, FL.
Regarding the Bill Leavengood "Signature Series," American Stage artistic director Kenneth Mitchell said in a statement, "We're excited to affort and to feel the power their words have on his work."
For information about the Leavengood series at American Stage, Third Street South in St. Petersburg, call (727) 823-PLAY. -- By David Lefkowitz