Playwrights 6 is proud to present a staged reading series of the finalists in its 2010 Play Contest, featuring three new pieces by Los Angeles playwrights.
The free readings will be held at 8 p.m. three Tuesdays in January and February at The Underground Theatre, 1312-1314 N. Wilton Place, Hollywood 90028. A free reception with refreshments will follow. For information, call (323) 860-6625 or go to www.playwrights6.org.
The schedule is as follows:
• Jan. 12: “Homokay’s Medea” by Julianne Homokay. In this contemporary adaptation of the classic play by Euripides, Medea is still out to exact revenge on her husband for throwing her over for a younger woman. Only now, Medea is a movie star, Jason an Oscar-winning film producer, and Corinth, Hollywood.
Homokay, a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, is a poet and dramatist with more than 70 productions and readings at colleges, universities and theaters like Venus Theatre (Laurel, Md.), Ensemble Studio Theatre (New York), the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Blank (Los Angeles), Bloomington Playwrights’ Project (Indiana), William Inge Center for the Arts (Independence, Kan.), Fulton Theatre (Lancaster, Pa.), American Theater for Actors (New York), and Mill Mountain Theatre (Roanoke, Va.). Homokay works on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Jan. 26: “Muggsy,” by Dave Field. In this new comedy, an outspoken macaw and the tabloid press raise superficiality to a new standard.
Field, a former ad man, ran his own Los Angeles radio creative service for 40 years. He turned to play writing full time in 2000, enjoying success with many one-acts and full-length plays. His most notable play, “Symmetry,” was staged in 2005 at the Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago where it received a Joseph Jefferson Award nomination for best play.
• Feb. 9: “Brecht in L.A.” by Rick Mitchell. Set in the U.S. during 1941-1947, “Brecht in L.A.” features renowned German playwright Bertolt Brecht and the great actor Charles Laughton, who takes one step out of the closet only to find himself compromised by a government operative. As Brecht struggles, with little success to make it in Hollywood and on Broadway, complications arise in his relationship with mistress/collaborator Ruth Berlau, yet he continues to work closely with Laughton on an adaptation of “Galileo.” The play opens in Los Angeles and is about to premiere on Broadway, but not before Brecht is called to testify in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee.
The author of more than 20 plays, Mitchell has had his critically acclaimed work seen throughout the U.S. and in Europe. This past May, Mitchell was awarded the Holland New Voices Award for “Brecht in L.A.,” which has been presented as readings at Brecht-Haus in Berlin, Germany (in German translation), the Orlando Shakespeare Festival’s PlayFest, and the Great Plains Theatre Conference. His play “The Composition of Herman Melville” was produced in January 2009 in New York as part of Metropolitan Playhouse’s theatre festival, “Melvillapalooza,” and Mitchell’s plays about Brecht and Melville are both published and available in the U.S. through the University of Chicago Press. Mitchell teaches playwriting at California State University, Northridge, where he’s a full professor of English.
The critically acclaimed Playwrights 6 is one of an elite group of playwright-managed theater companies in Los Angeles. Founded in 1999, it is dedicated to developing and producing new works by Los Angeles playwrights. Its 2010 Play Contest, open only to Los Angeles County residents, had more than 50 entries that yielded three finalists.
Playwrights 6 productions have earned several L.A. Weekly Theatre Award nominations and Backstage West Garland Award honorary mentions. Playwrights 6 productions have also made several “Critics Top 10” lists and garnered several “Critic’s Picks.” Recently, the company was featured in articles in The Dramatist, American Theatre and L.A. Stage magazines.