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Female playwrights think outside the lines

Courtesy Photo/Tiffany Antone<br>Austin Olsen as Gabriel and Allie Elliot as Mary in Nancy Cooper Frank’s “An Announcement,” which will be performed at the Fourth Annual Women’s Playwright Festival on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 6, 8-9 at Prescott Center for the Arts.

Courtesy Photo/Tiffany Antone<br>Austin Olsen as Gabriel and Allie Elliot as Mary in Nancy Cooper Frank’s “An Announcement,” which will be performed at the Fourth Annual Women’s Playwright Festival on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 6, 8-9 at Prescott Center for the Arts.

It's time once again for something a little different with the Annual Women's Playwrights Festival, co-presented by the Prescott Center for the Arts and Little Black Dress Inc.

Now in its fourth year, the festival is back at the PCA, presenting 12 new short plays and monologues all written by women, including one local playwright.

Producer Tiffany Antone said the original festival came about when she and PCA Executive Producer Jon Meyer were working together on the Young Playwrights festival. The interest was there and the festival was born.

"I had been in LA prior to that and you don't get that kind of response in LA because it's much harder to find space over there," she said. "So it's very exciting; it made the whole thing possible. If you don't have space, you're sunk."

Antone said she is glad the festival is back at the PCA, after having to do it at First Congregational Church last year because the PCA was not available due to Christmas shows.

This year's theme for the festival, Antone said, is "Outside the Lines" and the playwrights can take it as literally or as creatively as they like. Antone said the festival themes are interesting, but not too specific. For this year's, an image of a woman's silhouette came to her, prompting her to think what's beyond that shape, she said.

Plays to be presented at the festival include "An Announcement," by Nancy Cooper Frank, "Down There," by Sharon Goldner, "Ephemera," by Beth Kander, "The Feast," by Celine Song, "For Anyone Who Cares," by Hannah Baker, "If I Were a Man," by Mercedes Segesvary, "Pythagorean Triplets," by Bridgett Dutta Portman, "The Shoebox," by Anne Hamilton, "This" by Jen Huszcza, "With My Eyes Shut," by Kira Rockwell and "Green Dog," by Delia Whitehead, who is from Prescott.

Antone said the festival is a chance to see plays and monologues that wouldn't be seen otherwise in Prescott. She also likened the festival and the number of plays to a tapas menu.

"You go out for tapas and you sit down and have a lot of different little appetizers," she said. "That's what this is like, it's a lot of little appetizer plays."

And with so many plays in such a short period of time, audiences will be able to go and laugh, squirm and be surprised all in one evening, Antone said. She compared seeing so many short plays to seeing one full-length play, noting that seeing the former is like taking a couple little road trips as opposed to the long journey of the latter.

Meyer also said the 10-minute play format gets right to the point of the story, noting that it's just skin and bones with no excess fat.

"You have to get right to it; you have to get those people on stage focused on those characters right from the get-go," he said. "Not that you wouldn't in a full-length, but it's just right there and you have to hit that hammer on the nail right away."

The Fourth Annual Female Playwrights Festival will be on the main stage of Prescott Center for the Arts, 208 N. Marina St., at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, and Saturday, Aug. 8, as well as at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, and Sunday, Aug. 9.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at www.pca-az.net.

Follow Reporter Jason Wheeler on Twitter @Prescott Wheels. Reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2037 or at 928-642-5277.

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