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5:09 AM Tue, Dec. 11th

Festival for female playwrights takes to the stage at Prescott Public Library

Actors Julie Harrington and Doug Suits perform in a play at last year’s festival. The two also were cast together for this year’s festival, reading Performance Review by Nedra Petzold Roberts of Atlanta.

Courtesy photo

Actors Julie Harrington and Doug Suits perform in a play at last year’s festival. The two also were cast together for this year’s festival, reading Performance Review by Nedra Petzold Roberts of Atlanta.

It will be women’s stories, told in the voices of local women and men – all brought to you by a program that aims to get more female-authored plays to the stage.

The Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Festival 2018 will take place at 2 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 21, at the Prescott Public Library’s Founders Suite, 215 E. Goodwin St.

The festival is free and open to the public.

Local playwright Micki Shelton, whose play “Jitterbug” will be one of those featured at the festival, notes that Sunday’s festival will be the seventh such event in Prescott.

Over the years, the event has taken place at a number of local venues, Shelton said, and this will be its first year at the Prescott Library.

A news release notes that Tomorrow’s Theatre and The Artist’s Path will be bringing Little Black Dress INK’s national sourced festival to Prescott.

Among the goals of the event is to raise the profile of the work of female playwrights.

Although females make up the vast majority of the theater-going audience, according to the news release, “Only about 24 percent of plays produced were written by women. Something’s off-kilter.”

Little Black Dress INK, a nationwide female playwright producing organization, annually invites female-identifying playwrights to submit short pieces that suit the ONSTAGE theme. This year’s theme: Volume Control.

Eight plays were selected as semi-finalists. While the lineup includes the work of playwrights from around the country, it also will features two locals, Shelton and Melanie Ewbank.

Shelton’s play “Jitterbug” begins with a Jewish New Yorker reminiscing about her first love – an Irish immigrant, in the days when such romances were not controversial. “Out to Pasture” by Ewbank “lets us rubberneck as a démodé My Pretty Pony suffers a meltdown,” says the news release.

Each play will feature a different director and cast. Among the lineup: Julie Harrington, Sean Jeralds, Linda Miller, Karen Murphy, Delia Whitehead, Jeffrey Zucker, and others.

The news release advises that some of the plays contain mature subject matter and language.

Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks. Reach her at 928-445-3333, ext. 2034, or cbarks@prescottaz.com.