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Spotlight San Diego Arts

Theater

February 17, 1988|NANCY CHURNIN

Bartlett Sher, who has worked as an assistant director under Robert Woodruff ("Lie of the Mind," "Figaro Gets a Divorce," "A Man's A Man") and Peter Sellars ("Ajax") has just formed his own production company, Plus Fire Performance Group. His first project, scheduled for May, will be the San Diego premiere of a short play by Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka, who won the Nobel Prize for literature last year. Sher is planning to transform Wolinka's tale of two African tribes at war into clashes between the United States and Mexican/Central American cultures. Rob Murphy, who designed the wild, explosive mind for "Six Women With Brain Death, or Expiring Minds Want to Know" at the San Diego Repertory Theatre, will design the set. Sher is holding open auditions today for a cross-cultural set of actors from ages 18-90 at the Installation Gallery, 930 E St.

The North Coast Repertory Theatre is not waiting to move to its new quarters (which it plans to do Feb. 26 with the opening of "Salt Water Moon") to try something new. Tonight at 7:30 it will stage a reading of "The Inn-Between," a musical in progress about the time between the death and afterlife of two men as seen through their eyes. Written by two local writer-composers, the reading, if successful, will result in a full production in late summer.

Olive Blackistone, artistic director of the North Coast Rep, said the reading does not seem as new to her as it may to her audience. "I have been meeting and talking with these two fellows for the past couple of years," Blackistone said. "We've been thinking of doing this for a while, but we haven't had the personnel . . . . This is the first--we hope--of a number of such new play readings."

Now, with a staff of four and a group of volunteers, Blackistone is preparing the reading with seven performers, including Rep veterans Vinnie Ferrelli from its recent hit "First Night"; Susan Herder from "Blood Relations" and its current production of "Joe Egg," and Gary Holt from "Billy Bishop Goes to War" who, in his spare time, just happens to be the business manager for the La Jolla Playhouse.

Holt is not the only one involved in the show to lead a double life. "The Inn-Between" will mark the first theatrical collaboration on the part of writers Hedges Capers, a La Jolla psychologist who has recorded with Capitol, Polydor and Chess/Janus records and played the Hollywood Bowl and Carnegie Hall; and Michael Barry, the winner of several international song competitions, who works in his family's jewelry store in San Diego.

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