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The Premiere of Three Winning New One-Act Plays from the Midwest:
2024 Performances of Enhanced Staged Readings:  July 12, 13, and 14, 2024 and Open Forum with our Guest Playwright Forum on Playwriting is July 11

7:30 pm all dates except July 14 at 2:00 pm

Sponsors: Paul and Sandra Harmon


THE SHILL by Gregory Mandryk, Cleveland OH

DIRECTED BY DOUGLAS MALCOLM. In a dystopian future, actors still exist but the stakes have become astronomical. Nail that audition, you live. Tank it and, well, the consequences are understood. Mike has just one shot to ace his audition as The Shill for Varkon Ranch’s Tarron Tubes, or he’s toast. But besides his nerves there is another complication – a resistance leader named Jen.


A SHOP IN THE DARKNESS by Jacquelyn Priskhorn, Troy MI

DIRECTED BY NATASHA WARLOE. For anyone who’s ever said, “I had the weirdest dream last night,” – meet Olivia, who wanders into the shop of Flurk. The shop is a combination of a witch’s cottage and a tourist trap kitsch shop – and that’s only the beginning of the “weird.” By way of Flurk, a wood troll named Ramiform, and eventually a bedbrung named “Brob,” Olivia begins to make some sense of this nether land that she has wandered into, and it turns out, it’s inhabitants are just as curious about Olivia as she is about them.

MAKING SOME NOISE by Claudia Haas, White Bear Lake MN

DIRECTED BY TABITHA MILLER. Three sisters, Jules, Emma and Nell, have been sitting shiva for their late mother annually for many years. It’s a sorrowful weekend that brings them some sense of closeness to their mother and to each other. But the now the youngest, Nell, announces she no longer wants to participate in this grief-wrought tradition. Jules and Emma feel like the rug’s been pulled out from under them.  Can these siblings overcome the fracture that’s erupted?

July 12, 13, 14 – 2024 we present three new winning one-act plays from ten Midwest states. Spenser Davis, an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, librettist and new-works director, is our guest, conducting a workshop with the winning playwrights, delivering a free forum to the community July 11, and attending the opening of the festival. Made possible by the Town of Normal Harmon Arts Grant and Sponsors Paul and Sandra Harmon. 

Besides the Master Class with Spenser Davis and the realization of their plays in staged readings, the winning playwrights receive a $150 honorarium

Run time: about 2 hours, one intermission. Flex Passes do NOT apply. $5 donation for this grant-funded annual project

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