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SAN DIEGO COUNTY Spotlight: STAGE / NANCY CHURNIN

'Steel Magnolias' Shrinks in Cavernous Bay Theater

June 16, 1989|Nancy Churnin

The O'Neill Playwrights West, which formed on the picket lines of last year's Writer's Guild of America strike, is made up of playwrights who attended the famed Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center in Waterford, Conn. Three readings of new works to be presented on the set of "The Day Room," still playing at the Gaslamp, include "First Draft" by Yale Udoff at 11 a.m., "V.D. in Safe Haven" by Preston Marshall Ransone at 1 p.m. and "The Prince and the Greaser" by Jon Surgal and C. Finestra at 3 p.m.

The O'Neill Playwrights West readings, free and open to the public, will continue June 24 with "The Big Explanation" by Doug Gower, "The Descent" by Paula Cizmar, "Getting Off" by Lee Thomas and "Three for Two" by Michael Robert David.

The Times Arts Tix Center is moving to a new location in Horton Plaza and will be unveiled at noon June 29. The facility, where theatergoers can buy half-price tickets on the day of a performance, will have expanded hours: Mondays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesdays-Saturdays from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. To get the center off the ground, William Purves formed the San Diego Theatre League, of which he is president, and then raised the funds to hire the organization's first full-time staff member, executive director Alan Ziter. By June, 1986, two months after he was hired, Ziter began operating Arts Tix out of a "temporary" space in Spreckels Theatre. It took three more years to raise the money to move to Horton Plaza.

In the last three years, Ziter reports, Arts Tix, which costs $90,000 a year to run, has turned over $1 million to arts organizations by selling their tickets. "Now we want to return twice as much in half the time in our new location," he said.

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