The Baltimore Playwrights Festival continues its Thirty-Second Season with a play-reading marathon today, February 23, 2013, at The Vagabond Players, 806 S. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21231 (www.vagabondplayers.com). Starting at 11:30 a.m., plays to be read are The Good News, by Matthew Buckley Smith, directed by Kwame Bey, followed at 2:00 p.m. by The Prognosis, by Patrick J. McGeever, directed by Steve Goldklang, and at 3:00 by Peep Show, by Ivan Taub, directed by Rodney Bonds. After each reading there will be a discussion of the script with the playwright, director and actors. The event is free, and the general public is encouraged to attend.
The Good News, by Matthew Buckley Smith, tells the story of a young, inter-racial Baltimore couple who clash with their neighbors after moving from a luxurious high-rise to a row house in a low-income neighborhood. Their shaky friendship with a small-time drug dealer only aggravates matters. The play contains explicit and provocative language as well as suggested violence and frank discussion of race, faith, and class.
Matthew Buckley Smith was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He earned a BA in Drama from the University of Georgia and an MFA in Poetry from the Johns Hopkins University. He is currently an MFA candidate in Playwriting at Catholic University. His short plays My Parasite and Turing Test recently appeared in the Baltimore One-Minute Play Festival. Other plays of his have received staged readings or productions at the Single Carrot Theatre, the Run of the Mill Theatre, the Annex Theatre, and the Un Saddest Factory, as well as at the King's Head Theatre in London. His play Spooky Action at a Distance is currently in rehearsal and will be produced in March 2013 at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. His poems have appeared in national publications, including Best American Poetry 2011, and his first book, Dirge for an Imaginary World, was the winner of the 2011 Able Muse Book Award.
In The Prognosis, by Patrick J. McGeever, a patient goes to a doctor for a checkup, confident that he'll get a glowing report. Boy, is he in for a surprise! A ten-minute surprise . . .
Patrick McGeever has had twenty-some of his plays produced at theaters around the country. In Baltimore, David Austin was produced at Fells Point Corner Theater, Confiteor will be opening there soon, and Colleen and Kudso received a reading at the Baltimore Playwrights Festival. Elsewhere, his comedies have included Nasal Hygiene: A Disgusting Little Farce, Prinderella and the Since, Sister Sex (winner of the 2011 "Make the House Roar" national contest, and, opening later this month in Philadelphia, If the Slipper Fits, a musical.
Peep Show, by Ivan Taub, introduces us to Lonnie and Ray, two street-wise, manipulative but charming young actors, rehearsing a play that grapples with issues of gender and identity. In this process of self-discovery, the actors soon find themselves being pulled in and out of their lives and the lives of the characters they are portraying until the distinction between art and life, fantasy and reality, faith and reason become increasingly and dangerously blurred. Will there be a happy ending for Lonnie and Ray, or one in which the ambiguity of human relationships strikes a darker, bitter-sweet note?
Ivan Taub holds a BA in religion and an MFA in Theatre from Temple University, where he was the recipient of a Sam S. Shubert Fellowship in Playwriting, and a PhD in the humanities from Florida State University. Taub has taught in theatre and humanities programs at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and, since 1998, has been a full-time faculty member of Temple University, serving in the Intellectual Heritage Program. In 2005, he was nominated by the National Society of Collegiate Scholars as Faculty of the Year. His produced full-length plays include Hearts and Down from the Mountain, and one-acts, A Scattering of Shards and The Bargain. His play, State of Grace, was selected as a finalist in the full length category for the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Competition (2007). In addition to his credits as a playwright, Taub is a published author, poet, song writer, recording artist, and band leader.
The Baltimore Playwrights Festival has presented over 282 productions by 173 playwrights at 27 different theaters. Our mission is to provide an environment that nurtures the talents of Maryland and DC playwrights through public readings, discussions, critiques and workshopping of new plays. Our summer season is devoted to the presentation of these newly developed works to area audiences in cooperation with local area theaters. We are a volunteer-operated 501(c)3 organization, and welcome any and all participation. Get Involved! Become a Member! Further information can be found at www.baltplayfest.org.