The series will kick off March 15 with Alex Webb's two-actor Civil War drama Amelia, featuring Webb and Shirleyann Kaladjian. Robert Richmond, known for his innovative, physical stagings for Aquila Theatre Company, will direct.
The Davenport Theatrical Developmental Reading Series is open to new works (plays or musicals) at no cost to the participants. Davenport said in a statement, "It amazes me how many passionate writers there are out in the world. Everyday, scripts are submitted to my office from hopeful writers who have committed their idea to paper, and now want to share it with as many people as possible. I have been brainstorming all year on how to thank everyone for their submissions and thank them for their passion for the process of creating theatre. After much deliberation, I decided that what writers really want, even more than money, is to have their work performed in front of an audience."
Davenport Theatrical Enterprises will pay all expenses for each of the four readings, will help find a director if needed, assist with casting and dramaturgy, and coordinate all reservations. In addition, they will send out a press announcement and prepare a post-show quantitative and qualitative audience survey.
Information regarding submissions for the three remaining reading slots in the series can be found at www.davenporttheatrical.com.
The 2010 readings will take place at 8 PM on the following dates: March 15, June 14, Sept. 13 and Dec. 13. A venue will be announced. Davenport's producing credits include Off-Broadway's Altar Boyz, My First Time, The Awesome 80s Prom and Broadway's Oleanna, Speed the Plow, You're Welcome America and Blithe Spirit. He is author of the blog www.TheProducersPerspective.com. His current projects include adapting the novel and film "Somewhere in Time" into a Broadway musical and a documentary film about Red Wanting Blue, one of the top unsigned rock bands in the country. He is the founder of www.BroadwaySpace.com.
Amelia, a Civil War-set romance in which two performers embody separated lovers — and a diverse wider society — got a previous private reading Manhattan reading Nov. 23, 2009. Award-winning screenwriter-director Webb, a veteran of Off-Broadway's Aquila Theatre Company, bills Amelia as "an epic Civil War love story," that travels from rural Pennsylvania to the horrors of the Andersonville Prison Camp. Webb's recent short film, "Hove," featuring Olympia Dukakis and Kaladjian, had its world premiere at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and has gone on to be an official selection at festivals in Los Angeles, Boston, Toronto and Montreal.
Kaladjian will be featured opposite Webb in the new Amelia reading, playing the title character, who disguises herself as a Union soldier to reunite with her husband in wartime.
Webb and Kaladjian are former members of the critically acclaimed Aquila Theatre Company.
Webb previously told Playbill.com that while doing research at the Library of Congress for a role in the Civil War drama, The Andersonville Trial, he stumbled across a single line in a Union soldier's Andersonville camp diary.
"This rather highly charged multiple character, two-person play is the result of that discovery," Webb said, adding that the diary vaguely referenced a rumor among Union troops "that a woman has come in here after her man."
Webb explained, "Amelia is the story of one woman's odyssey across the battlefields of the American Civil War in search of her husband, Ethan. Amelia's story reaches a crescendo at the gates of Andersonville, the notorious prisoner of war camp in Georgia where thousands died."
The fall 2009 reading tested changes that the playwright made to the material.
Webb is the recipient of a Panavision New Filmmaker Award. His first film, "The Girl in 2C," received a silver medal at WorldFest — The Houston Int'l Film Festival and was also seen at the acclaimed Clermont-Ferrand Festival in France. His script, "Welcome to L.A.," was awarded Honorable Mention in the Cinequest screenplay competition. He collaborated on the script for A Very Naughty Greek Play, an adaptation of Aristophanes' The Wasps.