Six new plays by eleven playwrights will be showcased at the 1999 Ojai Playwrights Conference in California which takes place July 23-25 at the Happy Valley School's Zalk Theatre. The Conference is now in its second year. Three plays introduced last year went on to critically acclaimed productions in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
All plays to be presented in readings this year will be rehearsed and revised. The readings feature professional actors from the Ojai and Los Angeles areas. Open discussions will follow each reading.
The Conference will kick off July 21 at 8 PM with a reading of Adam Rapp's Finer Noble Gases, which has been described as a "horrific and hilarious examination of contemporary alienation and youthful hopefulness." The Conference's artistic director Chris Fields directs.
Three plays will be read on July 24: The Room Plays, by The Writer's Unit of the Echo Theatre Company, directed by Corky Dominguez (noon; for younger audiences); Rules For Cheaters by Heather Dundas, directed by Becky Arntzen (3 PM); Lobster Alice by Kira Obolensky, directed by Will Pomerantz (8 PM). Dundas' play deals with a woman who has been cuckolded by her husband; Obolensky's work links Salvador Dali and a Walt Disney animator in a romantic liaison.
The final two plays on July 25 are Hard Feelings by Neena Berber, directed by Wendy C. Goldberg (4 PM); and Year of the Baby by John Quincy Long, directed by Kathleen Dimmick (7:30 PM).Among the participating actors are Precious Chong, Andy Milder, Anne Kerry Ford, Nancy Bell and Chris Hogan.
Individual tickets are $10 per seat. A limited number of passes to all rehearsals are available at $10. Children's and teens' workshops will be held free of charge on Sat. & Sun. mornings from 9.30-11 AM. They are limited to 15 students each and require attendance on both days.
The Happy Valley School is located at 8585 Highway 150. For tickets and information call (805) 640-0400.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent