Got a Mystery? Whodunnit Festival in KY Welcomes New Plays | Playbill

News Got a Mystery? Whodunnit Festival in KY Welcomes New Plays
Tony Award-nominated producer Zev Buffman, known for bringing Elizabeth Taylor to Broadway in The Little Foxes, and for producing in Florida for 30 years, has announced The First Annual International Mystery Writers Festival, to be held in Kentucky in 2007.

Playwrights and plays are being sought. Cash awards and productions are part of the ambitious experience.

Sponsored by the State of Kentucky, the Daviess County Fiscal Court and City of Owensboro, the festival — June 12-17, 2007, at the performing arts center RiverPark Center, in Owensboro, KY — is "the only new works festival in the English-speaking world specializing in discovering new mysteries."

Buffman (whose surname used to be spelled Bufman, with one "f") is the president and CEO of RiverPark Center. Owensboro is southwest of Louisville, on the banks of the Ohio River.

The festival is seeking original whodunnits, crime and courtroom plays, screenplays and teleplays to be juried by a panel of professional readers who will reduce the hundreds of submissions to 36 semi-finalists.

A panel composed of celebrated writers, directors, performers, literary agents and producers will then reduce the list to the final 12. Categories include Best New Work (play) $10,000 prize; Most Promising New Writer (all categories) $5,000 prize; Outstanding Screenplay or Teleplay, $2,500 prize; Best Direction; Best Actor; Best Actress; Best Supporting Actor; Best Supporting Actress.

Two plays will receive full Broadway-style productions at the Center's Cannon Hall; two plays will be fully staged at the Experimental Theatre; two plays will be presented at Theatre Workshop of Owensboro (TWO); six screenplays and teleplays will receive staged readings at the Center's Woodward's Stage or the Holbrook Balcony Theatre.

In addition, "Angie" Awards, named to honor the life work of Oscar, Tony and Emmy Award-winning Hollywood, Broadway and television star Angela Lansbury, will be presented during the Festival's June 17, 2007, closing gala. Ernie Fletcher, Governor of Kentucky, will honor Lansbury with the "First Lady of Mystery" Award. (Lansbury starred in the popular TV series "Murder, She Wrote").

Writers are invited to contact The First Annual International Mystery Writers Festival, 101 Daviess Street, Owensboro, KY. 42303. Scripts and cover letters are welcome. Agented and unagented submissions will be accepted. Deadline for submissions is Nov. 30, 2006.

Selection of the Festival Final 12 will be announced Feb. 15, 2007. For more information, e-mail


Located on the banks of the Ohio River, west of Louisville, KY, The RiverPark Center — the site of the mystery festival — is a 100,000 square foot "multi-structure performing arts center." Scheduled to celebrate its 15th anniversary with the premiere of the festival, the Center is composed of Cannon Hall (1,479 seats); Experimental Theatre (300 seat multi-purpose black box theatre); BB&T Plaza, (1,000 seat outdoor riverfront venue), and the International Bluegrass Music Museum.

The Center, under the aegis of Buffman, is home to The Broadway Series; the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra Series; an Indoor-Outdoor Movie Series; The Young Adult Theatre Academy (YATA); the Owensboro Dance Theatre, and international touring shows, more than 800 performances/events and several major outdoor festivals, attracting approximately 250,000 patrons each year.

The venue has hosted the tech rehearsals of major national and international touring shows prior to their launches.


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