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 will offer a reading series of five Leavengood plays, beginning Feb. 14.
Here's the line-up:
The Preservation Society (Feb. 14), is about two women who want to legalize their loving relationship, only to have to cope with old-fashioned family members.
Afternoon Dreams (March 20), is a new piece, about "a group of misfits who come together in Tinsel-Town to pursue dreams and exorcise demons." The play will also be the last reading of the season, June 5, presumably after the author has been able to rewrite based on audience suggestions and his own inclinations.
Various one-acts will be read April 17, while May 1 brings 17 Black, a drama about politics and gambling developed at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center. "Florida Crackers: The Screenplay" will be read May 22. This adaptation of Leavengood's best-known play tells of lazy, drugged-out, Florida rich kids getting an unpleasant wake-up call as the times change around them. 17 Black, Florida Crackers, as well as the farce, What Is Art? and several one-acts were published in a Leavengood compilation, "Florida Bound," in 1994, by Holvoe Books.
Regarding the Bill Leavengood "Signature Series," American Stage artistic director Kenneth Mitchell said in a statement, "We're excited to afford our audiences the opportunity to come into direct contact with a playwright and to feel the power their words have on his work."
-- By David Lefkowitz