Theater of the First Amendment Announces 2011 First Light Discovery Program

Posted: May 19, 2011 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: May 18, 2011 at 8:11 pm

By Jill Graziano Laiacona

Theater of the First Amendment, Mason’s professional theater company-in-residence, has announced that its 2011 First Light Discovery Program will be held June 5, 10 and 11.

Featuring staged readings from student, community and professional playwrights, the event is free and open to the public.

The readings will be presented at TheaterSpace in the de Laski Performing Arts Building on Mason’s Fairfax Campus.

This unique program provides playwrights with the opportunity to continue to develop new plays while working with professional directors, dramaturgs and actors. The weeklong workshop culminates in a group of publicly staged readings with the chance for audience feedback.

The First Light Discovery Program features work by professional playwrights, as well as the winning plays from the Student Playwright Competition and Mentorship Program for Mason students, and new plays from community members participating in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s (OLLI) theater programs.

The lineup follows.

Sunday, June 5

  • “GENERATIONS,” four plays by OLLI playwrights will be presented at 1 p.m.: “The Turing Machine” by Conrad Geller, “Somewhere in Italy” by Bob Greenspan,” “No Pets Allowed” by Manny Pablo and “The Asteroid Apophis” by Thelma Weiner.
  • April Elizabeth Brassard’s “The Opposite of Cowardice,” a tribute to a fading generation of World War II soldiers who dedicated their lives to fighting for our country, will be presented at 3 p.m.
  • Michael Smith’s “Passaggio,” the tale of an Italian town experiencing troubled times that finds hope in an American movie star, will be presented at 5 p.m.

Friday, June 10

  • Kaiulani Lee’s “Can’t Scare Me, the Story of Mother Jones” will be presented at 8 p.m. Lee, an Obie Award-winning actress, brings to life this witty and outspoken labor and community organizer who was once called “the most dangerous woman in America” for promoting social justice and human rights.

Saturday, June 11

  • Laura Jacqmin’s “Ski Dubai” will be presented at 10 a.m. Jacqmin’s play focuses on a young environmental “friendliness consultant” who moves from New York to Dubai and struggles to uphold her “green” principles in a hotbed of capitalism, and experiences feelings of loneliness in an unfamiliar city.
  • Kimber Lee’s “Different Words for the Same Thing” will be presented at 3 p.m. Lee tells the tale of a complicated web of relationships in a small town in Idaho and the return of a prodigal child who may or may not provide the release the townspeople are seeking.

The First Light Discovery Program events on June 10 and 11 are part of the Playwrights In Mind: A National Conversation conference sponsored by the Dramatists Guild of America.

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