Theatre Palisades will hold its 8th annual Playwrights Festival on three Tuesdays in April at Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Rd.
The festival gives authors the chance to hear their works read aloud after the show has been cast and rehearsed. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. and there’s a $5 admission charge. Parking and refreshments are free. Visit theatrepalisades.org or call (310) 454-1970 for more information.
A Guest of Honor by David Field will start the festival on April 11. The play centers on an opera composed by America’s king of ragtime, Scott Joplin. Performed once in 1903, the work was then inexplicably lost. This play imagines its reappearance today.
The work is a study of betrayal, probing the effect on two of Joplin’s great-great-grandsons, one white, one black, and on the woman who’s caught in the middle.
On April 18, Diane Grant’s Sunday Dinner, a romantic comedy about love, marriage and mother, will be presented. The final play, on April 25, will be Viola: Seven Days in Selma by Jim McGinn. The story revolves around the tempestuous life story of Viola Liuzzo, the only white woman to die for the cause of civil rights. This play was written after extensive research with Viola’s five children, her friends, the FBI and one of the Klansmen who killed her.
This year’s festival will be dedicated to longtime Palisadian Diane Grant. In making the determination, the Theatre Palisades committee announced “We celebrate our own playwright with the presentation of her work, Sunday Dinner.”
Grant won first place in PlayFest Santa Barbara this year. In prior years she has won the Cannes Festival Jury Prize, Canada Council Grant, Long Beach Best Works Award, Dramalogue Best Actress and the Jack Okie Awards.
Her plays include What Glorious Times They Had, Sex and Violence, Has Anybody Here Seen Roy?, Rondo a la Condo, A Dog’s Life, The Last of the Daytons and a musical adaption of The Wind in the Willows.
Grant chairs the Palisades Playwrights Festival, reading scripts and directing. She was the co-founder of Redlight Theatre, the first professional women’s theater in Canada, and was the literary manager of the Los Angeles Write Act Repertory Company. She is a a member of Los Angeles Wordsmiths.
Grant is also a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Playwrights Guild of Canada and the International Center for Women Playwrights and is vice-chair of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights.
She is married to filmmaker Kerry Feltham, who is a member of the Palisades High School staff.