Thingamajig Launches Playwrights Festival Sept. 16

Thingamajig Theatre Company has had an incredible 2015 summer season and is now gearing up to kick off its first playwrights festival this September 16-20. Two chosen playwrights will be brought to the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts to workshop their plays with a team of professionals. They will have time to develop their work in the beauty and warmth of Pagosa Springs.

“The ability to help a playwright hone their storytelling is one of the most satisfying things we can do as theatre artists,” says Melissa Firlit, Artistic Director of the Festival. Firlit has worked several times with Thingamajig (Red, A Picasso, Misterman and The Secret Garden) and loves being a part of the Pagosa community. “This area is so welcoming I thought it would be the perfect place to make home to a playwrights festival.”

After talks with Artistic Director Tim Moore in early spring, the wheels were set in motion.

“Firlit began looking for playwrights who would be a nice fit for the theatre, and be excited for the opportunity,” says Moore.

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The festival will offer many opportunities for our community to participate. Since it is a work in progress for the playwrights, all events will be staged readings with scripts in hand. The staged reading format helps to remind the audience the exercise is for the benefit of the playwright and the piece, the work is very much in progress, and we as a community are invited and welcomed to be an important active part in it. The audience will be encouraged to offer feedback regarding their experience with each play event.

The first event will kick off on Wednesday, September 16 at 7pm. The event will be a series of ten minute plays that the area’s finest artists will be participating in. The plays will be provided by playwrights across the country. It will be a fun filled evening with laughter, delicious beverages and your favorite local friends.

On Friday, September 18th at 7pm, we will be presenting the first full length public reading of one of the two resident playwrights. Our other resident playwright will have his or her reading on Saturday, September 19th at 7pm. Community attendance and participation at these events are an integral part to this festival and what will ultimately make this festival a success. Firlit explains: “As a playwright, part of furthering the story is hearing the audience’s reaction to what they have on the page. Is what is on the page translating to the stage?”

In keeping with the spirit of community and outreach, there will also be a Playwright’s Festival for students ages 6-18 on Sunday September 20, at 2pm. Plays were submitted by September 7 and included the script (up to 12 pages in length), a character list and character descriptions. Winners Sophia Raymond and Kat Kautz were announced September 10 and will get a professional staged reading on Sunday with the team assembled for the festival.

Festival passes are only $60 and gain you admittance to all the events. Passes can be purchased online or by calling the box office 970-731-7469.

Tickets for individual events can also be purchased using the following links:

10 Minute Shorts with Local Performers: Wednesday Sept 16th at 7pm
Will Spears, Ron Chacey, Andrew Jones, Jenny Highum and Avalon Haykus will join Thingamajig Company Members in a staged reading (that means we rehearsed the characters, but we will still have scripts in our hands) of several new short plays. It will be a fun night of laughs and a great chance to experience some spectacular shorts!
$20 in advance, $25 at the door. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS TO THIS EVENT.

Staged Reading of Mary/Hunter: Friday Sept 18th at 7pm.
The Thingamajig cast will present a staged reading of Mary/Hunter, a dramatic piece by New York writer Brian Quirk, that spends a little time with the relationship of Mary and her husband Hunter each trying to break free from their past. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS TO THIS EVENT

Staged Reading of In Search of Sasquatch: Saturday Sept 19th at 7pm
Thingamajig cast will present a hilarious piece that follows Stan, an airport checkpoint agent, who is trying to free his name from a cloud of suspicion, unknowingly placed on him by a hapless acquaintance. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS TO THIS EVENT.

Young Playwrights: Sunday Sept 20th at 2pm
The Thingamajig Company will do a staged reading of two selected shorts by Pagosa’s young playwrights, Sophia Raymond and Kat Kautz. $10 at the door.

“We wanted to make sure we had an event for everyone to get involved. To be the first person to breathe life into a part is being a pioneer for the play. It’s an honor, think of all the famous plays we know: A Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman, Angels in America, they all started with that first actor reading it for the playwright. You become a part of the play’s history.” says Firlit.

Moore’s excitement for the festival is undeniable as he extends an invitation to all.

“We are excited to expand to the Pagosa Community and beyond. This is a great step for Thingamajig and all involved. We hope you can make it.”

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