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Playwrights Forum Festival At Civic Offers Six Class Acts

Longtime fans of the Spokane Civic Theatre’s Playwrights Forum Festival already know the joys of this annual collection of one-acts.

For one thing, you get to see new work by playwrights from around the country.

For another thing, if one play doesn’t ring your chimes, just wait a minute. Another play is right around the corner.

This year’s Playwrights Forum Festival begins Thursday and continues for two weekends.

It consists of six one-acts, presented in rotation, three each night.

Five of the plays are part of the competition. The sixth is by the Civic’s playwright-in-residence, Bryan Harnetiaux.

The five finalists were chosen from 34 entries from around the country. Here’s the lineup:

“Atlantic Crossing” by Jeffrey B.

Embler of Portland - This is a drama about an expatriate poet living in Paris in the ‘30s. He is returning by ship to America to escape the gathering storm in Europe, and he encounters a fan of his work.

“The Last Touchy-Feely Drama on the American Stage” by Greg Gamble and Lee Howard of Federal Way, Wash. - In this comedy spoof, plays about “victimhood” have finally been banned by law. Characters can no longer whine about being victims. So this final legal performance becomes a nationally televised event.

“Sacrifices Must Be Made” by Klara Bowman and Emily Himmelright of Spokane - This is the Youth Division entry, written by two Spokane 12-year-olds. It’s a fable about two sisters in medieval times who try to stop a plague.

“Area Code 212” by James Mirrione of New York - This is a drama about a man who picks up a ringing pay phone at a bus stop. A surprising relationship ensues. Mirrione is the playwright-in-residence at New York University.

“Breathing In Isis” by Jacki Putnam of Spokane - A daughter returns home to see her stepfather and confronts some unresolved issues.

“Going Home” by Bryan Harnetiaux - The third in a trilogy of pieces by the Civic’s playwright-inresidence about the problems of aging.

“Going Home,” “Atlantic Crossing” and “The Last Touchy-Feely Drama on the American Stage” will run June 15, 17 and 23.

“Area Code 212,” “Sacrifices Must Be Made” and “Breathing In Isis” will run June 16, 22 and 24.

Curtain time for all shows is 8 p.m.

Tickets are $4, available by calling 325-2507. All performances are at the Civic’s Studio Theatre, 1020 N. Howard.

The plays will be adjudicated by Ki Gottberg, an actor, director and teacher of playwriting at Seattle University. The winning play will be announced at the last performance.

Gottberg also will present two workshops on June 17 at the Studio Theatre.

A workshop on playwriting and creative writing will go from 1 to 3 p.m., and a workshop in the business of theater will run from 3 to 4 p.m.

The cost is $4 for each workshop; no preregistration is required.

“Turn Your Radio On”

Those irrepressible singers from Northwoods Performing Arts in Priest River, Idaho, and vicinity return this week and next with a sentimental journey through the golden age of radio with “Turn Your Radio On.”

This 50-voice choir, directed by Mark Caldwell, will sing the great songs of the radio era as well as recreate the comedy of Fibber McGee, Jack Benny and Burns and Allen.

The group will do six performances at various sites.

The first two performances will be at the Jewel Lake Barn, between Priest River and Sandpoint, tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. These will both be dinner shows, with dinner being served at 6 p.m.

Then the show will venture into Spokane on Sunday for a performance at Swackhammer’s restaurant, 21 E. Lincoln Road. The show begins at 2 p.m.; the brunch begins at 12:30 p.m.

On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., the show will be performed at Priest River Junior High.

The final two shows will be at the Grandview Resort on Priest Lake, June 16 at 8 p.m. and June 17 at 7:30 p.m. Both of those shows are dinner shows, with dinner being served an hour and a half before show time.

Tickets are $19 for the Grandview shows, $16 for the Jewel Lake and Swackhammer’s shows, and are available at the Priest River Mercantile, Pulford’s Newport Floral, the Grandview Resort and Swackhammer’s.

Tickets for the Priest River Junior High show will be available at the door for $6, $4 for children and students.

Call (208) 448-2430 for information.

, DataTimes