OJAI, CA -- Patterned after the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, the first Ojai Playwrights Conference will take place July 24-26 with six new plays being given staged readings by actors from the Ojai and Los Angeles areas.
Among the showcased playwrights are Christopher Durang, Rick Cleveland and Bernardo Solano.
"It all starts with the play. Without the play, there is no theatre, and without new plays, theatre could very well go the way of the dinosaur," said Chris Fields, OPC's artistic director. "Playwrights are an endangered cultural resource and -- now more than ever -- need to be protected and preserved. This conference is dedicated to them and their work."
Kick-off time is Friday July 24, 8 PM with a reading of David Lindsay Abaire's A Devil Inside, directed by Jorge Luis Cachero.
The Saturday schedule includes two children's workshops and readings of three plays, including Durang's latest,Betty's Summer Vacation, directed by Fields. Two more plays (and another workshop) will be held on Sunday. Venues are at Theater 150 and Happy Valley School in Ojai.
Tickets are sold by donation; suggested amount $10 per seat. Reservations are necessary. Call (805) 640-0400.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent