A previous announcement of the suspension of the fest until 2010 no longer holds. The 2009 festival primarily devoted to mystery, thriller and crime plays will run Aug. 11-16 at RiverPark Center in the Ohio River town.
Broadway producer Buffman (Elizabeth Taylor's Broadway debut in The Little Foxes) is president and CEO of RiverPark Center, where many Broadway tours have teched and rehearsed prior to playing other markets. The annual mystery fest was Buffman's idea, and in the past two years major mystery writers have made the trip to Owensboro.
The 2009 festival will premiere four Agatha Christie classic mysteries in a radio-theatre format. The shows will be presented as two double-bills during the course of the festival.
In 2010, fully-staged mysteries are expected to return to the festival stages.
The four exclusive Christie works are Three Blind Mice, Yellow Iris, Butter in a Lordly Dish and Personal Call. Mathew Prichard, Agatha Christie's grandson, said in a statement, "I'm delighted that Zev's team are putting on my grandmother's wonderful BBC plays which number among some of her best works. I'm sure that the USA live audience will enjoy them enormously."
Here's a look at the Christie plays being produced in 2009:
Personal Call, "was presented on the 'BBC Light Program' on Monday, May 31, 1954. The play reuses the legendary character of Inspector Narracott from the 1931 novel 'The Sittaford Mystery.' (This work was never been published.)" The producer-director team of these classic works will be International Mystery Writers' Festival veterans and Grammy Award winners David Ossman and Judith Walcut.
Other events surrounding the festival include classic outdoor movies series, celebrity master classes, writing workshops, guest speakers, meet-and-greets, book signings and the Aug. 16 Angie Awards — named after Angela Lansbury, star of TV's "Murder, She Wrote," and first recipient of the prize.
This year's recipient of the festival's First Lady of Mystery Award is acclaimed Kentucky novelist Sue Grafton. An invitation went out to the state's First Lady Jane Beshear to repeat the honor of the presenter. Grafton was also this year's Grand Master Winner of the Mystery Writers of America in New York City.
The International Mystery Writers' festival has been heavily supported by the State of Kentucky since its inception, according to the organizers.
For more information, visit www.newmysteries.org.
RiverPark Center has nearly 100,000 square feet including a 1,479-seat auditorium (Cannon Hall), the 300-seat multi-purpose Experimental Theater, an outdoor entertainment patio on the banks of the Ohio River, meeting rooms, and a bricked center courtyard.
Resident groups include the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra and Owensboro Dance Theatre.