National festival of plays written by women returns to Prescott

Janelle Devin and Gina Steverson strike a pose as the characters in Model Behavior, one of 12 short plays that will be presented at Curves Ahead National Playwrights Onstage Project coming to the Prescott Center for the Arts Main Stage Oct. 6-8.

Courtesy Karen Murphy

Janelle Devin and Gina Steverson strike a pose as the characters in Model Behavior, one of 12 short plays that will be presented at Curves Ahead National Playwrights Onstage Project coming to the Prescott Center for the Arts Main Stage Oct. 6-8.

The fifth annual installment of the Female Playwrights Onstage Festival, titled “Curves Ahead,” brings 12 short plays to the Prescott Center for the Arts Oct. 6, 7 and 8.

Produced by Prescott native Tiffany Antone, who created Little Black Dress INK, which oversees the festival, it showcases plays written by women from around the country.

Antone’s no longer living here, but she has a strong connection.

“Even though I’m working in Arkansas now, Prescott always will be ‘home,’” said Antone. “Not to mention, the community of artists here is so supportive and welcoming.”

For this year’s festival, 41 plays were read in six cities before the winners were selected.

“By partnering with artists in multiple U.S. cities, we are able to bring these plays to more audiences than we would ever be able to do on our own,” Antone said. “This year we were actually able to add an additional production with our partners, Acadiana Repertory Theatre, in Lafayette, Louisiana.”

Antone has a play in the festival this year (“The Egg,” directed by Karen Murphy), as does local playwright Amber Bosworth (“Here There Be Curves,” directed by Julie Chavez Harrington).

Directors for the Prescott production include Antone, Murphy, Harrington, Don Langford, Frank Malle, Layla Tenney, and Mary Timpany.

“The thing that’s most exciting about our Onstage festivals is the broad range of genres on display,” said Antone. “Each play is under 10 minutes, so you are able to experience an eclectic range of work. A lot of the plays this year are really funny. Even the plays exploring big issues are doing so with a lot of laughs, so there is poignancy there.”

Little Black Dress INK was designed to give female playwrights a better shot at having their plays produced in an industry dominated by male writers, and also help them network.

“Little Black Dress INK wants to bring new work by female playwrights to expanded audiences, and the Onstage Project allows us to do just that,” said Antone.

There will be a post-show opening night reception at El Gato Azul, 316 W. Goodwin Street, on Oct. 6.

Note that some of these plays include adult topics and language, and may not be suitable for younger audiences.