The Bloomington Playwrights Project in Bloomington, Indiana is a leading artistic force in the production and encouragement of new plays. By providing opportunities for development, education and production to both promising and established writers, the Bloomington Playwrights Project enriches the culture of theatre across all of Indiana. Through May 29 the Bloomington Playwrights Project hosts one such event. Catch the BloomingPlays Festival at their headquarters in Bloomington, a chance to see fully produced original work from Hoosier playwrights. Only a short day trip from Indianapolis, this exciting Indianapolis theatre event features the work of artists from Indianapolis and across Indiana.
You may remember the Bloomington Playwrights Project from last year’s indyFringe Theatre Festival with their darkly humorous offering SEX/Death. They continue to add to the fabric of Indianapolis performing arts with the BloomingPlays Festival. This Indianapolis festival features full productions of four plays, which have been part of the BloomingPlays Development Series since August 2009. These plays have been through the ringer of rigorous readings, revisions and workshops in a nurturing and supportive environment created by the Bloomington Playwrights Project. Eight plays experienced a series of staged readings, in which audiences were able to participate in a feedback session in order to provide the playwright with some new insight into their own work.
After hearing their shows read aloud and armed with audience comments and critiques, playwrights had the opportunity to continue developing their script into a stage ready book ready for production. Involved playwright and Depauw University faculty member Chris White explains the experience, “The development series has been great. It’s been just what it’s supposed to be – truly developmental, truly nurturing. I’ve seen plays in the festival move huge distances and become really effective pieces for the stage. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.”
Eight plays became four as the BloomingPlays Festival approached. The best scripts were chosen for full production over the course of the entire month of May. Three one-act plays, Russ Miles, Thespian and Virginia’s Last Drive, are featured on the main stage Thursdays through Saturdays, while a forth one act play, How to Kill, is featured in a BloomingPlays After Dark series. With staged readings of the four un-produced plays peppering the month, the BloomingPlays Festival offers unprecedented access for Hoosiers to the playwriting process. Make the trip to Bloomington, Indiana to be part of the first audiences to engage with these new Indiana plays.
Russ Miles by April Smallwood
Russ Miles explores the relationship between a man and his arch nemesis. Unfortunately this emotionally void, chemically imbalanced, angry drunk, is himself. As Russ laments the loss of his lover, who just walked out on him, and his missing dog, the final nail in his coffin comes in the form of a visit from his favorite son. “Russ Miles follows in the footsteps of classic American playwrights like Arthur Miller and Sam Shepard in examining the legacy of self-loathing fathers whose destructive behaviors nearly tear their families apart,” says director Daniel Student. “Audience’s should expect a chance to see a well-crafted playwright whose name they should expect to hear a lot more of very soon.”
Thespian by Chris White
This hilarious ten minute play details the exploits of two Brooklyn roofers riding uptown on the F Train. The acting bug has bitten one-half of their roofing business, and he is on his way to his first professional audition. Though he is a little short on experience, his buddy plans to beef up his resume and help him find his footing, no matter the price. Bloomington Playwrights Project Artistic Director Chad Rabinovitz directs the piece saying, “With Thespian, the audience should expect to see one of the funniest short plays they’ve seen in many years. I’ve been part of many play readings in my life and never had an audience react with as much laughter as during our workshops of this play.”
Virginia’s Last Drive by Matt Anderson
Virginia Mills is nearly eighty years old as she stares down the business end of taking her driver’s test, again! When she is assigned to the by-the-book tester, Alex Jacobs, the pair find themselves on a wild ride through one-way streets, blind spots and even an unplanned trip to the car wash. This unlikely duo discover how easily life can steer you off the scheduled route. . . whether you’re the passenger or the driver.
BloomingPlays After Dark featuring How to Kill by Gabe Gloden
Keith discovers the one way he can over come crippling social anxiety: become a killer. His newly invented form of mental murder has only two rules: (1) Don’t ever actually kill anyone, and (2) kill without joy. Director Timothy O’Neal explains, “I love the imaginative spin Gabe has taken with this play. He’s given us a wonderful challenge in having to kill someone and five seconds later hitting the rest button and restarting the scene, much like a skipping record that your reset on the groove when it’s fallen off. Within it, though, is an interesting look into the ways people deal with each other.”
Tickets to the BloomingPlays After Dark Series are only $5.00, and is FREE to main stage ticket holders. Tickets to the main stage event at the BloomingPlays Festival are $18.00 for General Admission and $15.00 for students and seniors.
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Now through May 29
Bloomington Playwrights Project
107 West 9th Street
Bloomington, IN 47404