Where have all the playwrights gone, Veronica Kehoe rightly wondered when she first took up producing, only to find a dearth of new plays worth the staging. A mother of five, she took her cue from her children and started combing colleges for potential playwrights. That was five years and $100,000 ago. The fruits of her labors--three plays selected in a nationwide competition of 30 universities and colleges--will make their official public bows this month.
The 21st Century Playwrights Festival, which she founded under the auspices of the Gypsy Road Company, are premiering the trio on New York's Theatre Row. Two one-acts--"Oh, That Wily Snake!" by Martin Dockery from Columbia University and "Where I'm Headed" by Leah Ryan from Smith College--will be presented in repertory with a full-length mystery play--"Finding Rose . . ." by Bonnie Morgan from University of Virginia--at the Theatre Row Theatre (424 West 42d St), opening Friday, Jan. 19 and running through Sunday, Feb. 11.
Alison Fraser, Tony-nominated for "Romance Romance," and Arthur Hanket comprise the cast of the Dockery opus, a comical metaphor for seduction. "Where I'm Headed," its companion piece, concerns the travels and travails of two runaway teenage girls. Carol Higgins Clark, daughter of novelist Mary Higgins Clark, stars in "Finding Rose . . . ," under the direction of Thomas Edward West, along with Jay Devlin, Anita Keal, Mary Bacon and Jim Fantone.