By Tess Wisher
Special to The PREVIEW
Thingamajig Theatre Company and the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts is bringing back the Thingamajig Playwrights Festival this October, opening and headlined by Dennis Elkins’ one man show, “box.”
Patrons of the festival will get to watch the workshopping of two plays by professional playwrights and a professional play workshop team. Festival passes are now available at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts website.
The Thingamajig Playwrights Festival is a great way for anyone interested in theater to see the process a play goes through to get from an idea in a playwright’s head to words on a page to a fully realized play.
This week-long intensive workshop will include two readings of new plays, open rehearsals, a final staged reading of the two plays being workshopped, two readings of published plays by the same playwrights and numerous performances of “box.,” Dennis Elkins’ one-man show.
In the first public readings, festival pass holders will get to see where the play is before the festival work begins. Throughout the week, festival pass holders will have the opportunity to watch sections of rehearsal to see the revision process and watch the plays transform. Then, festival pass holders can see the final stage reading of the plays and see the product of a week of revisions and rewrites.
“box.,” a fully staged and produced one-man show, is the brainchild of Pagosa Springs favorite Elkins. The show is an autobiographical journey of cleaning house after loved ones die and when those of us who are left must choose what to keep and what to shred. The easy solution is to dump the stuff in a box and deal with it later — but, when “later” comes, we still agonize with the leftovers in a comical way.
One of the plays under construction over the week long festival is “The Adventure Club” by Jennifer Faletto. “The Adventure Club” tells the story of Aubrey, a young woman from rural Illinois who wants to join the Adventure Club. As she sets out to complete the rites of initiation, she finds herself conflicted between gaining the admiration of her peers and following her gut.
The second play featured in the festival is “Almost Always, Fayeville” by Brain Quirk, a transgender fairy tale set in Reagan Era South. “Almost Always, Fayeville” tells the tale of a transgender youth with an absent-minded professor father and, yes, an evil stepmother.
Along with the two working scripts, festival pass holders have the opportunity to see a reading of two fully published plays by Faletto and Quirk, “The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995” by Faletto and “Marrow” by Quirk.
Faletto’s plays have been developed and produced all over the country. Faletto studied at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney, Australia, and holds a BFA in theater performance from Texas Christian University. She is also a graduate of the Second City Conservatory in Chicago.
Quirk is a well-supported and celebrated playwright who has received many awards, grants and residencies for his writing. Quirk is a member of id Theater’s writing group, a Dramatist Guild, and an alum of the Actors Studio/PDU and Project Y Playwrights group.
The Playwrights Festival runs from Oct. 12 to Oct. 22 with various events throughout the week. Festival passes are limited. The full festival pass is $70 without a season ticket and $50 when purchased with a Thingamajig Theatre Company 2018/2019 winter season ticket.
For more information and a calendar of festival events, please visit pagosacenter.org or call at 731- SHOW (7469).
Thingamajig Theatre is a professional nonprofit 501(c)(3) theater in residence within the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts producing musicals, comedies and dramas year-round.