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Festival Offers Intimate Look at Theatre

Spring 2011 | Archives

Great Plains Theatre Conference For five years, playwrights, performers and theatre-goers alike have flocked to Omaha to pick the brains of America's playwrights in an intimate, informal setting. This year, MCC's Great Plains Theatre Conference (GPTC) is set to again bring acclaimed playwrights and emerging artists to the heart of the country to share their work, describe their creative process and offer inspiration.

The 2011 Sixth Annual Great Plains Theatre Conference, May 28-June 4, features Lee Blessing as the conference's honored playwright, with Caridad Svich and Constance Congdon as featured artists. A festival-like atmosphere will bring Blessing's and other artists' award-winning works to the stage at public evening performances. Meanwhile, performers, writers and creatives will have the opportunity to hobnob with selected playwrights in workshops and readings that offer close interaction with the experts and a chance to see the creative process at work.

A prolific playwright, Blessing's work has been performed regionally and internationally for more than 30 years. He made his Broadway debut with A Walk in the Woods; the play was nominated for a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize. His works include Fortinbras, When We Go Upon the Sea, A Body of Water, Going to St. Ives, Thief River, Cobb, Chesapeake, Eleemosynary and Down the Road, among many others.

The theatre conference also serves as a laboratory for new and emerging work. More than 400 plays were submitted for consideration for reading at the conference—the largest number ever submitted, with submissions from 41 states and five countries. From that number, judges selected 35 of the most promising works for reading at the conference; in PlayLabs, the works will be read and critiqued by panelists—a process that is free and open to the public.

The conference is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Nebraska Arts Council and Nebraska Humanities Council. For more information on the 2011 GPTC, visit www.mccneb.edu/theatreconference or call (402) 457-2618.

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