For Unto Us
by Massachusetts playwright James McLindon, is the winner of this year's Eileen Heckart Drama for Seniors Competition (full length category). It will be given a staged reading on Thursday, November 29th, at Ohio State University's Drake Performance and Event Center, 1849 Cannon Drive, Columbus, Ohio, at 7:30 p.m. in the New Works Lab.
Veteran Columbus actors Ira "Bill" Simons and Robert Monaghan will read two elderly friends, one a blind retired priest, while Joy Reilly, part of the Howling at the Moon ensemble, founder of Grandparents Living Theatre, and my colleague in Ohio State's Theatre and Aging program, reads the non-priest's daughter, a rigidly conservative Catholic. Tory Matsos, who appeared in our reading last year of Emily Mann's Meshuggah!, will read the pregnant daughter/granddaughter, joined by OSU Theatre undergraduate Kyle Jepson as her lesbian partner in this comedy-drama about changes roiling the Catholic Church as the faithful wrestle with parish closings, priestly indiscretions costing millions of dollars in damages, and parishioners defecting from increasingly conservative rulings on social matters from the new, deeply conservative, pope in Rome clearly at odds with many American Catholics' views.
James McLindon will have six plays in production in the coming year; he recently resigned from a law practice in order to devote full time to playwriting.
The winners and finalists from the 2007 Heckart Competition will all be read during the next few months. Following the reading of McLindon's winner play, the schedule is:
1/12/08 winners Gallery 2002, 38 N State St, Westerville, OH 43081
Billie and Henry, by Harriett Weiss, Palm Springs, CA ten minute winner
Song of the Magpie, by Martha Boesing, Oakland, CA one act winner
2/7/08 First runner up New Works Lab, Drake Performance and Event Center
Theodicy, by Judy Juanita, Oakland, CA, full-length
2/27/08 First runners up New Works Lab, Drake Performance and Event Center
Lunch Boat, by Justin Warner, Jackson Heights, NY ten minute
Pitching the Good Game, by Jay D. Hanagan, Geneva, NY one act
4/19/08 Second runner up: Gallery 2002, 38 N State St, Westerville, OH 43081
Still-Life With Dog, by Bonnie Rozanksi, Lawrenceville, NJ
4/24/08 Second runners up: New Works Lab, Drake Performance and Event Center
Rosa’s Lament, by Sandra Dempsey, Toronto, ON ten minute
Bon Voyage, by Dori Appel, Ashland, OR one act