Four One-Acts Will Premiere in Attic Theatre Festival in L.A.

News   Four One-Acts Will Premiere in Attic Theatre Festival in L.A. The Attic Theatre and Film Center's 18th Annual Denise Ragan Wiesenmeyer One Act Play Festival will feature four world-premiere works Sept. 11-Oct. 3. The four finalist playwrights are Frank Cossa, Demetra Kareman, Wendy Graf and Matthew Tucker.

Performances of the 120-minute evening, comprised of the four one-act plays, will be given on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM at The Attic Theatre and Film Center, 5429 W. Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA.

Jamie Gray, The Attic Theatre and Film Center's literary manager and producer of the One Act Play Festival, said in a statement, "This year we received 150 submissions, from locally-based playwrights, as well as other playwrights hailing from around the country, including international entries from Canada, Europe and Israel. A little over 20 percent of this year's applicants are local. Our company's literary committee for the One Act Play Festival has now selected four finalist plays to be presented in fully staged performances at The Attic. Also, this year, for the first time, we have changed the name of the event from a One Act Marathon, to a One Act Play Festival, as now we present four new plays over a four-week span of time, as opposed to presenting 12 plays over a four-day period, as we have in the past."

The goal of the festival is to "discover fresh and exciting new theatre and writers, while providing both a fun event for the audience and simultaneously a serious professional experience for the playwrights."

Here's the festival one-acts at a glance:

Cross Purposes, written by Frank Cossa, "explores the dynamics of a relationship between a college professor, who is a priest, and one his students, over brunch at a coffee shop." Under the direction of Christine Stump, the cast will include: James Carey as Tom More, A Professor; Amber Flamminio as Tiffany Will, A Student; and Elysa Williams as Millie Burns, A Waitperson. Bethany/Bakol, written by Wendy Graf, is "a one-person show exploring religious identity, loyalty, and attendant feelings of safety or threat." Under the director of Marla DuMont, actress Allison Deyer will appear in the dual roles of Bethany/Bakol.

Lessons & Carols, written by Demetra Kareman, "takes place in The Marymount School for Girls, a boarding school in Tarrytown, NY, where two teenage students try the patience of a nun who serves as the school's nurse." Under the direction of Craig Jessen, the cast will include Angela Ryskiewicz at Lila; April Grace Lowe as Gloria and Terri Marsteiner as Sr. Fleming.

Jon and Mary Go To Pluto, written by Matthew Tucker, "is set 1,000 years from now, as NASA launches its first manned mission to Pluto. While trekking off into space two people start to make small emotional connections while learning about each other's past." Under the direction of Michelle Begley, actor Tom McCafferty will appear as Commander Jon Barnes; actress Marilyn Anne Michaels will appear as 2nd Commander Mary Templeton; and actors, Chipper Albers and Harriet Stuckey will appear as the Voice from Houston.

Tickets are $20 for all performances and can be purchased by calling The Attic box office (323) 525-0661, or online at attictheatre.org.

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About the Playwrights

Frank Cossa (Cross Purposes), a native of the Bronx, NY, has won international awards as a playwright (for The Queen's Knight), filmmaker (for "The Expert") and author of fiction ("Cloud Shadows"). He divides his time between Manhattan and Charleston, SC, where he is professor of art history and film studies.

Wendy Graf (Bethany/Bakol) is a multi-award winning Los Angeles-based playwright. Plays include Lessons; Leipzig; The Book of Esther; Zeno's Paradox; LA Tales; No Word In Guyanese For Me; The Cross And The Saber; and Shanghai Ghetto. Bethany/Bakol is the first act of the full length Behind The Gates, looking forward to a 2010 production.

Demetra Kareman (Lessons & Carols) is a born and bred New Yorker. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2001 with a degree in history, and in 2008, received her MFA in playwriting from The Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. In 2007, her play Hoops was a finalist in The Tennessee Williams National One-Act competition. Her one-act play Lessons & Carols was a finalist for the 2008 Award in Drama from Arts & Letters Journal of Contemporary Culture, and took first prize at this year's Dylan Days Festival. She currently teaches playwriting at the School House Theater and expository writing at Rutgers University.

Matthew Tucker (Jon and Mary Go To Pluto). After working as environmental investigator for the County of Orange, CA, for seven years, Tucker began writing creatively in 2005. His short plays, Rest Stop and Game 7, premiered at the 2006 Riverside Cultural Consortium's Art Festival and Circus Theatricals 2009 One Act Play Fest, respectively. He also writes short stories, film reviews, produces independent cinema, and is currently editing his feature length documentary, "Billy Tucker Ends the Decade."

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Denise Ragan Wiesenmeyer was raised in Springfield, IL. She graduated from Webster College outside of St. Louis, MO with a degree in psychology. She moved to Los Angeles in 1980 and worked as a dancer and actress. She co-founded The Atticc with James Carey in 1987 when they took over the old Attic space on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, CA. Wiesenmeyer served as executive producer for all Attic shows until she left to return home in 2000 because of health and family reasons. She continued to be active on the board of directors until her death in 2007. The festival was named after her because of her contribution to the theatre group and because of her hard work in establishing and maintaining the One Act Play Festival (formerly known as the One Act Marathon) in its early years. Without her dedication, The festival and the theatre would have not succeeded.

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