Press Release #5-PlayFest announces week of exciting additional activities

Durango PlayFest


Contact:  Felicia Lansbury Meyer

Phone:  970-335-8264




Durango PlayFest is excited to announce rehearsals culminating in staged readings, and additional interesting and interactive events during the week.

Durango PlayFest announced today a number of exciting events that will take place in conjunction with the new play Festival.  The inaugural Durango PlayFest will take place the week of August 6th with  two reading-style performances of each of the Festival’s three main-stage plays on the 10th and 11th.  Performances will take place at the Durango Arts Center and the Henry Strater Theater.  During the week-long Festival, audiences will have a window into the creative process of writers, directors and actors.

On Tuesday, August 7, there will be a Playwrights Panel from 4:00 to 5:30 pm at the R Space at the Rochester Hotel.  The Panel is free to the public and will feature Pulitzer nominated playwright Lee Blessing, veteran Los Angeles writer/producer Stephen Nathan and New York based playwright Emily Dendinger.  This expert panel will discuss the structure of different play types, the mechanics of constructing a play and the creative process of developing a play and bringing it to life.  The Panel will be an interactive process moderated by Ian Belknap, Artistic Director of The Acting Company, in New York, with question and answer opportunities for the audience.

A free to the public Meet the Artists session with Dan Lauria will be held on Wednesday, August 8 from 4:00 to 5:30 in the R Space at the Rochester Hotel.  Dan is well-known in Durango for his previous appearances in The Guys and Love Letters.  He is also known for his portrayal of the father in the The Wonder Years and for his role in the television series Pitch.  Dan will present “Appreciation of Acting,” a presentation about the art and craft of acting, illustrated with sample clips from films and engaging stories, including his breakfast with Cary Grant!

Dan and his friend and sometimes acting partner, Wendy Malick, were in part the inspiration behind the creation of Durango PlayFest.

On Thursday, August 9 there will be a Festival Party from 5:00 to 7:30 in the Secret Garden of the Rochester Hotel.  The Party is an opportunity for audience members to mingle with the Writers, directors and actors. Live music will be provided by the Jeff Solon Jazz Duo with appetizers and a cash bar.  Admission is $35 per person, or free with the purchase of 3 $25 tickets to the readings, and reservations can be made by visiting the PlayFest website at DurangoPlayFest.Org.

A Body of Water by Lee Blessing will star Wendie Malick (Hot in Cleveland, Just Shoot Me) and Dan Lauria (The Wonder Years, Pitch) and will feature Durango actress Elizabeth Gray.  It will be performed on Friday, August 10 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, August 11 at 3:-00 pm.  Both readings will be staged at the Henry Strater Theater.

The Dizziness of Freedom by Stephen Nathan will star Mike Farrell of M*A*S*H fame and Laura Spencer of BonesDizziness will be performed on Friday, August 10 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, August 11 at 3:00 pm.  Both readings will take place at the Durango Art Center.

#God Hates You by Emily Dendinger will showcase a seasoned New York Cast, including numerous award winning Broadway actors and actresses.  It will be performed on Saturday, August 11 at 1:00 pm and 7:30 pm at the Durango Arts Center.

There will be an additional bonus reading of Standby to Standby, a play written by Fort Lewis College graduate Jake Yost.  The reading will feature both Fort Lewis and local actors and will be directed by Daniel Sullivan of Silverton’s Theater Mine.  The performance will take place at 10:00 am at the Henry Strater Theater on Saturday, August 11 – proceeds will go to the La Plata County Veterans.

Tickets to all three mainstage readings are $25.  Tickets to Standby to Standby are $5 and proceeds will be donated to the La Plata County Veterans Services.  Tickets can be purchased on the Durango PlayFest website or at the ticket office prior to performances.

Inaugural Durango PlayFest T-shirts and hats will also be available for purchase at the performances.  There is a small inventory of the first-year collectible shirts and hats and they are expected to sell quickly.

The PlayFest Advisory Committee is comprised of Terry Bacon, Richard Ballantine, Christina Erteszek, Jim Foster, Bud Franks, Fran Franks, Fritz Geisler, Margie Dean Gray, David Hill, Hunter Johnson, and Felicia Lansbury Meyer.