Newsletter: August 2016



26.2 August 2016


FORUM 2. Forum 2 members must register with the application form on this page to continue or re-activate for the next 4-month session. The fee is now $130. Do try to include full or half payment as indicated. Bi-weekly meetings are at 6:30 p.m., Wednesdays, at St. Mary’s Armenian Church, D.C. FORUM 1. The Fall Session is to remain at two groups and the one-to-one e-mail option. To insure your place in the upcoming Forum 1 session, please fill out and mail the application form on this page. Current members please notify us by September 12 . Do try to include full or half payment as indicated. If you have any problem with that pre-payment, don’t hesitate to call Ernie at 301-816-0569. The fee is $130. Forum 1 will include two groups of 8-10 members, in 6 bi-weekly meetings. Our faculty includes, for the Fall, Ernie Joselovitz and Allison Pruitt.

Wednesdays. St. Mary’s Armenian Church. 7:00-9:30 p.m. September 22 to December 1 . Pruitt.

Thursdays, Cleveland Park Library, DC. 6:30-9 p.m. September 28 to December 1 . Joselovitz

One-on-One E-Mail Option. Joselovitz.

How to Register: we will confirm your place in one of our groups. For any enquiries, please call Ernie at 301-816-0569 or Allison at 703-448-0209, or e-mail . 1. Current members who wish to continue are given priority. Please register by September 12 . 2. Members who discontinued at the last session will be offered the first chance to fill vacancies. 3. Associate members and then all others will be welcomed into the Forum’s remaining openings.

If possible, e-mail “intend to register” by September 5 :

___________________________________________________ THE FORUM – FALL 2016 REGISTRATION

Please register _______________________________________for the upcoming session of ___ Forum 1 ___ Forum 2

___ I was last a member of Summer 2016 Session.____ I am an Associate Member My preference is for the group at ___________________ on _______-day.

I prefer the one-on-one email option _____.

I’ve enclosed a pre-payment of _____$130 _____ $65

Tel Number ______________________e-mail_______________________________

Street Address (if new member) _______________________________________

Send check and hard-copy of form to: PF, P O Box 5322, Rockville, MD 20848


Sixth Edition

The Learning Environment. Your guide to getting the most from the full range of Playwrights Forum activities.

The Craft. The PF methodology, along with expert advice and handy tips from “How do I start?” to third-draft woes.

The Market. The “how-to” from letters of inquiry to surfing the up-to-the-minute guides to today’s playmarketing.

_______YES! I want my copy of PLAYWRIGHTS FORUM HANDBOOK 6.

I’ve enclosed _____ $7.50 for the e-mailed copy Send it to:

Name _________________________________________________

E-mail Address ______________________________________________________________________ *Make check to Playwrights Forum. Mail to: Playwrights Forum, PO Box 5322, Rockville, MD 20848



August 22: The Expedition by Robin Cuddy. Directed by Andy Wassenich. 7 p.m. Monday. St. John’s Episcopal Church.

August 29: Saturday The Child Was Lost by Thomas Mason, Jr. Directed by Mary Suib. 7 p.m. Monday. St. Mary’s Armenian Church.

September 12; Love in Ruin by Paul Handy. Directed by Clare Shaffer. 7 p.m. Monday. Lawton Community Recreation Center/Arts Room.

September 19: True Will by Bill Triplett. Directed by Nick Olcott. 7 p.m. Monday. Iona Senior Services Center.

September 26: Main Chance by Barry Weinberg. Directed by Scott Sedar. 7 p.m. Monday. St. John’s Episcopal Church.

October 17: Because She’s Your Mother by Paula Stone. Directed by Mary Suib. 7 p.m. Monday. St. John’s Episcopal Church.

October 24: Christmas in August by Joe Palka. Directed by Scott Sedar. 7 p.m. Monday. Iona Senior Services Center.


August 23 Running Through the Devil’s Nose by Mark Kristula. Directed by Brian MacIan. 7 p.m. Tuesday. St. Mary’s Armenian Church.

Frequent addresses for meetings and readings…

St. Mary’s Armenian Apostolic Church, 4125 Fessenden St NW, Washington, DC 20016.

St. John’s Episcopal Church, 6701 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD 20815.

Iona Senior Services Center, 4125 Albemarle Street NW, Washington, DC 20016.

Round House Theatre’s Education Center. 925 Wayne Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

Twinbrook Recreation Center. 12920 Twinbrook Parkway, Rockville, MD 20851. MetroStage. 1201 North Royal Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.

Centro Nia. 1420 Columbia Rd., NW, Washington DC 20009

Lawton Community Recreation Center. 4301 Willow Lane, Chevy Chase, MD 20815. DC Arts Center. 2438 18 Street NW, Washington, DC 20009


Barry Weinberg (Forum 2) will have his play, It’s Your Funeral (A Loving Parody), produced by Potomac Players as part of an evening of one-act plays: September 9, 10 at 8 p.m., September 11 at 2 p.m. At the Women’s Club. 31 S. Prospect Street, Hagerstown, Maryland. .

His full-length play, Main Chance, is planned for a public reading by the Forum at Iona Senior Services Center in Tenleytown. Monday, September 26, 2016, 7:00 p.m. “ It’s Africa. It’s now. It’s two civil war combatants fighting to become the country’s first elected president against a landscape of intrigue, suspicion and a battle for U.S. money. Seven people are caught up in a deadly competition that will determine the direction of the country for years to come. For all of them, this is their main chance.”



Keith Parker Weygandt, 64, of Fairmont, WV, and formerly of Washington, D,C. died Friday (May 6, 2016) at his residence. He was born Nov. 23, 1951, in Cleveland, Ohio. Keith was a retired employee with 28 years of service from AT & T, where he worked as a communications government agreements worker. He graduated from Fairmont Senior High School and West Virginia University. He enjoyed music and the theater. Keith loved his time as a playwright and script reader for the Source Theater in Washington, D.C. He was, also, on the Board of Directors for the Playwrights Forum from its beginnings over 30 years ago.


Source Summer Festival, as well as its evenings of 10-Minute Plays, in its heyday which is when Keith Parker ran it, was – in all its impecunious chaos, a generously open doorway to local talent, including playwrights. I was one of them – with plays like CALIFORNIA COWBOY and NICKY AND THE THEATRE FOR A NEW WORLD, long-since published and still performed

in odd spots around the country. Keith’s response to a script of mine, as with so many others’, was unlike just about any other theatre’s: “Why not?” Countless local playwrights had their immensely encouraging first production before an audience reflecting Keith’s enthusiastic open-mindedness – as part of the Ten-Minute Festival.

So it can’t be surprising that Keith was, from its very beginnings, some 35 years ago, an important part of the Playwrights Forum. Besides his open invitation to the Source Festival, the theatre’s upstairs – with its clanging overhead pipes and its epically slow coffee-maker and its alleyway drunks – was a free site for our readings. And his quieter later role on our Board of Directors. And as a personal friend who scoured with me the used book stores no longer peppering the backstreets of Silver Spring and devouring grilled cheese sandwiches with a Bloody Mary (or two) at its long-gone Tastee Diner….


Keith, the ancient Greeks called those born after the quest of the Golden Fleece the “Epigonoi,” the late born, those who lived after all the great deeds had been done. Ironically the Trojan War was yet to come. While the DC theatre has had many heroes, the irony is that some of them will never know the adventures and sagas that came before they hit the scene. Your place in the memories, and hearts, of us longtimers, is and will always be legendary.


Dearest Keith. What a great outpouring of love and memories–all of it for you and all the exciting work you made and allowed to happen. Honored to be your pal and collaborator as outside agitators. Love surrounds you and your family and all who love you.


Keith! You always looked like the cat who swallowed the canary. SUCH a big, generous, face-engulfing smile you have! Initially I thought this meant you had indiscriminate taste – that you just liked everyone and everything and were just so glad to see what was going on.

Eventually I learned you DID love seeing everything and everyone, and had a keen sense of what worked and didn’t…but you embraced the zeal and effort as much as the product. And THAT is the best way to wend one’s way through the world. I’ve only belatedly adopted that attitude myself, but have always and will always credit YOU for the lesson.


Keith is the REASON I was produced for the first time. He suggested we do a 10-minute version of DANCING WITH OURSELVES. The very first time any of my dialogue was on any stage!


I think that everyone Keith helped to get their chops in the festival and everyone he allowed to expand their horizons–actors writing and directing / playwrights acting and directing–all of us should join together for an I-Am-the-World type chorus to sing To Sir with Love. Yeah, this is what I think. What I know is that we wouldn’t get through it.


Place: Back Stage Books on P Street. Time: Long, long ago. Event: The first book signing for my first published play, which was workshopped by Source at The Washington Theatre Festival and Keith was there supporting this playwright as he often did.


I will be forever grateful to Keith … he was the first to produce a play of mine. I enjoyed three plays in the Source Theatre Festival thanks to Keith … and one year he and Pat gave me the Lewis award! My first major check for playwriting. Thank you and God Bless you Keith!

Recently I sent him a card to tell him how appreciative I was. I hope he got it in time. He was so quiet … yet he made a major impact on the DC theatre scene that was never fully acknowledged publicly. I am not sure I would have gone on to write the many comedies I wrote if I hadn’t been given an encouraging start by Keith Parker and all the others who supported him to pull off that annual playfest.


Keith was always very kind to me. He helped me enter the Source Theatre Festival and even win one year. A very special man. He will live on in the hearts and minds of the people he touched.He will be missed. He and Pat introduced me to Karen Berman who later became my co-artistic director at Washington Women in Theatre.


Thank you Keith for opening possibilities I never thought were there. That 10 minute play festival was the highlight of many Summer’s for so many of us. And there u were : welcoming, supporting… And always encouraging in your own special way.


I have fond memories of participating in your wonderful festival at Source, both as a playwright (WHEN YOU CARE ENOUGH with composer Roy Barber) and as an actress (CHILDREN WITH STONES). Thank you for helping so many DC artists stretch the envelope. You are truly one of the founding fathers of our vibrant Washington theater community.

Nine Nights in Omaha:

A Visit to the 2016 Great Plains Theatre Conference by Tom Stephens

The letter of congratulations was warm and welcoming: “We are pleased to inform you that Countdown to the Happy Day has been chosen out of 680 scripts as part of our PlayLab series for the 2016 Great Plains Theatre Conference (GPTC).”

May 28-June 4: nine nights bookended eight fully-packed days as the eleventh annual Great Plains Theatre Festival unfolded in Omaha under high, blue Nebraska skies. Twenty-six new plays were featured at the Conference, with playwrights from across the United States being brought together to rehearse and share their work, attend each others’ readings, participate in workshops, experience “PlayFest” productions across the city, and engage with the special theatre artists who contributed their skills and talents to the festivities. Lunchtime panels and Design Wing projects added even more dimension to the activities

Hosted by Metropolitan Community College, the Conference was meticulously organized and graciously overseen by a twelve-member team headed by Producing Artistic Director Kevin Lawler. The ever-smiling Lawler says that this year’s large number of play submissions “allowed us to find an utterly unique and powerful selection of scripts, and when that happens the playwrights who come along with those scripts create the dynamic for what the week will be.”

And dynamic is exactly what the 2016 Conference was.

Five of the GPTC plays were given individual Mainstage readings, and the twenty-one “PlayLab” pieces, over the course of several days in three separate performance spaces, shared seven time slots for simultaneous readings. Each play/playwright was assigned a director and a dramaturg. Actors primarily were local.

The reading of my play, Countdown to the Happy Day, was directed by

TammyRá of Omaha, who was also a featured actor in a PlayFest presentation at the

Conference. Martine Kei Green-Rogers, Assistant Professor of Theatre at the University

of Utah and originally from northern Virginia, served as Countdown’s dramaturg. Early along in our association, Martine and I discovered that we both have master’s degrees in drama (many years apart) from Catholic University. It’s a small world of theatre, we agreed.

Each reading, both Mainstage and PlayLab, was followed by a talkback session. After audience comments—consistently helpful and always lively—a panel of expert respondents, professionals and academics from far and wide, offered insightful, detailed feedback.

My first thought, upon learning of my play’s selection for the GPTC, was that this is a veerrry extended gathering. And while the time admittedly was long, the Conference seemed to speed by. As Producing Artistic Director Lawler recounts, “There was such a wide array of people and work that each day brought an amazing exchange of art and life.” The eight days offered a leisurely opportunity to meet and visit and become acquainted with other playwrights and artists, to network, and often to exchange Facebook and email information.

The Conference’s culmination was its Closing Celebration, featuring dinner and drinks, an awards presentation, and a tribute to Kentucky-born dramatist Naomi Wallace. Her play One Flea Spare was incorporated into the permanent repertoire of the Comédie-Française in 2009; the only other American playwright to have earned such an honor was Tennessee Williams.

The Great Plains Theatre Conference encourages and nurtures playwrights and honors their work. GPTC treasures plays and their creators. Lawler says of the 2016 gathering, “It was a truly great week of sharing stories out on the plains.” He’s spot on.


Pronounced exactly as it’s spelled. Yiddish: to gush, to swell. Here is where you will find tidbits about Forum members and Associate members. Good things that have happened to our colleagues inside and outside the Playwrights Forum neighborhood. Send all kvelling directing to the Playwrights Forum at .

The Detroit Repertory Theatre will be including Countdown to the Happy Day by Forum 2’s Tom Stephens in its 2016-17 4-play season.

Paul Gonsalves on the Road by Forum 2’s Art Luby was presented as part of this year’s Washington Fringe, as was Paul Handy’s Love in Ruin.

Thomas Mason Jr’s screenplay, The Russian Witch has been accepted to the Spotlight on Screenwriters catalogue.

Barry Weinberg’s one-act play, It’s Your Funeral (A Loving Parody), will be produced by the Potomac Playmakers at the Women’s Club in Hagerstown, Maryland, September 9-11.

Former Forum 2 member Rich Amada’s play, The Judicial Murder of Mrs. Surratt, is going to be produced by Aldersgate Church Community Theater in the autumn of 2017. It will be the play’s premiere full production run.

Two of former member Laura Zam’s plays appeared in the One-Minute Play Festival at Round House Theater in July. She will travel to Denmark in September for an artist residency with Teater Katapult of Aarhus.

Associate member John Morogiello play Blame It On Becket was produced at the Olympia Little Theatre, Washington.

Alexis Clements has been published in the new Sinister Wisdom journal.

Former and current members of the Forum played a significant role in the recent 1-Minute Play

Festival at Round House Theatre. Those whose plays were produced included Catherine

O’Connor, D. W. Gregory, Kristy Simmons, Joan Bellsey, Jennie Berman Eng, Patricia Connelly, Laura Zam, Graziella Jackson, Brigid Haragan, Marty de Silva, Marilyn Millstone, Allyson Currin and long-time Forum friend Caleen Sinette Jennings.

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