Humble Play: New Play Festival Of Appalachian Ohio

By
Bryan Gibson

Dateline
Updated Thu, Oct 6, 2011 2:16 am
Performers from the 2010 Humble Play Festival

The 6th annual Humble Play: New Play Festival of Appalachian Ohio is returning to ARTS/West Thursday, Oct. 6 through Sunday, Oct. 9.

The mission of Humble Play is to promote the art of playwriting while introducing the process of play development to an audience.

Playwrights were invited to submit their plays to a committee of judges, who chose which plays were to be produced as staged readings by theater companies.

"The festival gives our audience and local theater groups a chance to do something different -- a play that has never been seen before -- and a chance to offer feedback to the playwright," said Emily Prince, the program specialist at ARTS/West, Athens' community performing arts facility.

"For the playwrights, a new reading series is an opportunity for them to have their works adjudicated and performed for public audiences by community, professional and Ohio University-affiliated actors and directors," she said.

This year's theme is "Before the Ink is Dry" and the festival is being dedicated to local playwright, potter and activist W.R. Smiddie, who passed away earlier this year.

"Smiddie was a very dear friend of mine and was instrumental in getting the festival started in 2006," said Prince. "He really believed in getting new work in front of an audience. It's his drive that I still think of when I'm trying to get something up off the ground."

In addition to staged readings of five plays, the festival will feature guest playwright Raymond Hardie, who will moderate the audience "talk back" sessions after each reading. Hardie is currently developing Stoker, originally a play, into a hybrid musical with composer/lyricist Joe Jackson. It was most recently presented in workshop at The Director's Company in New York City in May 2010.

The festival has grown each year and Prince has high hopes for the future.

"Athens could become a destination for playwrights looking to have their work developed and produced. We're pushing a 'locovore theater movement,'" she said.

The 2011 Humble Play Festival is sponsored and supported by the ABC Players, Decorative Injections, the Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Corporation for the Performing Arts, Athens Holiday Inn Express and several anonymous donors. Visit http://www.artswest.blogspot.com for more information.

The schedule:

Oct. 6, 7 p.m. The Charity Fish Fry Tinikling Show by K. Biadaszkiewicz    
Oct. 7, 7 p.m. What Ever Happened to Baby Abby by Merri Biechler
Oct. 7, 11 p.m. the Ohio University School of Theater presents Midnight Madness
Oct. 8, 7 p.m. An Unlikely Hero by Lawrence DuKore
Oct. 9, 2 p.m. Death Squad by W.R. Smiddie    

 

2010 Humble Play Festival (Emily Prince standing)
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