Stage Right

There aren’t many outlets for local playwrights in Denver, but Rick Yaconis, artistic director of Edge Theater Company, is determined to change that. This is the second year for the company’s On the Edge: A Festival of New Plays. “We wanted to diversify our programming and make a commitment to new work,” says Yaconis. “There are a lot of national competitions, and we decided it’s best to serve the community here.”

Last year’s festival culminated in a production of Gifted by Carrie Printz that “was well received and really opened up a lot of enthusiasm among local writers,” says Yaconis. As a result, the theater received more than forty submissions this year. These were workshopped and evaluated, and six were selected for further consideration. “They had the most relevance to what we do; they were a bit more edgy,” explains Yaconis. The six were winnowed to three: Exit Strategies, by Jeffrey Neuman, about a playwright returning home for his father’s funeral who is drawn to his family’s explosive dynamics; Italy, a “sanguine romantic comedy” by Michele Berdinis; and Frank Oteri’s Tales From the Peacetime Army, which explores a soldier’s experience in a mental hospital. These will be viewed at the festival, and one will receive a full production in December 2015.

The Festival of New Plays runs today through August 3 at the Edge, 1560 Teller Street in Lakewood. Tickets are $10 per play or $25 for a festival pass. Call 303-232-0363 or go to theedgetheater.com for tickets, a schedule and more information.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 6 p.m. Starts: July 18. Continues through Aug. 3, 2014

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Juliet Wittman is an investigative reporter and critic with a passion for theater, literature, social justice and food. She has reviewed theater for Westword for over a decade; for many years, she also reviewed memoirs for the Washington Post. She has won several journalism awards and published essays and short stories in literary magazines. Her novel, Stocker's Kitchen, can be obtained at select local bookstores and on Amazon.
Contact: Juliet Wittman