"ER"'s Kellie Martin, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"'s Amber Benson and "Heavenly Creatures"'s Melanie Lynskey are featured in the 2002 Young Playwrights Festival, sponsored by the Blank Theatre in Los Angeles. Performances of the twelve winning play from across the country are held June 6-30 at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre.
A bonus for the selected playwrights, who range in age from 13-year-old New Yorker David Watson to 19-year-old Californian Jeremy Gable, is the Festival's mentoring and director program, which paired Gable with 2002 Tony nominee Michael Mayer, 18 year old Lacy Cox with Wicked bookwriter Winne Holzman and 16 year old Megan Hovany with playwright Jonathan Tolins. Actors D.B Sweeney and Susan Egan (Beauty and the Beast) are among the directors.
The twelve plays, ranging in mood from romantic comedy to 9-11 tragedy, are Lisa Rand's Reservations, Gable's Algor Mortis, Cox's Looking Forward to a Beautiful Life, Philippa Ainsley's Time Is on My Side, Bryce Goodman's Some People, Hovany's Don't Feed the Animals, Liza Kaplan's Les Chaussers Rouge, David Watson's The Widows, Colin Mannex's Stoplight, Michelle Samuels' Chaver Hatov B'yoter (Best Friend), Stacey Lloyd's Apply Yourself and Jenna Ahrens' Amazing Grace.
Tickets are $12 with a Festival Pass for $40. The Blank Theatre plays at the Hudson in Hollywood. For ticket information, call (323) 661-9827. The Young Playwrights Festival is on the web at http://www.youngplaywrights.com.
The Blank Theatre Company is known for its recent productions of the soon-to-be recoreded First Lady Suite, The Why, Starr Struck: A Musical Investigation and Hello Again as well as its artistic producer, TV's Noah Wylie. The Los Angeles-based company was founded in 1990. — By Christine Ehren