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2 San Diego Theaters Win AT&T Grants for New Plays : Stage: The La Jolla Playhouse and the Old Globe Theatre triumph in nationwide contest.


SAN DIEGO — In a nationwide competition in which 35 theaters proposed entries for the funding of new plays, two San Diego theaters have been awarded two of the three grants for new plays provided by a major corporate sponsor, AT&T officials announced Monday at press conferences in New York and San Diego.

The La Jolla Playhouse gets $40,000 and the Old Globe Theatre $50,000 and both theaters will be provided a national publicity campaign, paid for by AT&T, as part of the year-old "AT&T New Plays for the Nineties Project."

The Mark Taper Forum and the Los Angeles Theatre Center were among those invited to compete, but neither received grants.

The La Jolla Playhouse's winning project was "The Heliotrope Bouquet by Scott Joplin and Louis Chauvin," a new Eric Overmyer play about ragtime artists Joplin and Chauvin. The Center Stage in Baltimore also received $40,000 to produce the play. Stan Wojewodski Jr., artistic director of the Center Stage in Baltimore, will stage the show in Baltimore in February and at the Playhouse in August. It is planned in La Jolla for the new 400-seat Mandell Weiss Forum currently under construction.

Lillian Garrett's "The White Rose," based on the true story of German students protesting the policies of Adolf Hitler during the Nazi era, will have its world premiere at the Old Globe on Jan. 17. Craig Noel, executive director of the theater, will direct the show in its 581-seat mainstage.

The third play, "Back to the Blanket," by Gary Leon Hill, examines the effect of the 1890 massacre of American Indians at Wounded Knee, S.D., on four people. It will be presented at the Denver Center Theatre Company beginning May 17.

Three new adaptations of classical plays will also be supported under AT&T's 5-year-old OnStage Classics series:

* Henrik Ibsen's "When We Dead Awaken," adapted by Robert Brustein and designed and directed by Robert Wilson, at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Mass. (February), and at Houston's Alley Theatre (May).

* A modern music-theater version of Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale," adapted by the Cornerstone Theatre Company, that will tour 12 states and the District of Columbia in the summer and fall.

* And the program's first internationally sponsored event, John Dryden's "All for Love," starring Diana Rigg, at the Almeida Theatre in London in April.

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