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SCR Playwrights Festival to Show 4 Latino Works


South Coast Repertory's second annual Pacific Playwrights Festival June 10-20 will offer four plays by Latino authors among the eight new ones being presented.

The festival is designed to develop new works and expose them to representatives from theaters around the country in hopes of getting them staged.

For theatergoers, it offers a chance to view works in their developmental stages, either in script-in-hand readings or in more polished workshop productions with costumes, sets and lighting.

SCR has invited guest directors and dramaturges. Representatives from companies in Seattle and New York City, among others, will also attend, in keeping with the festival's aim of building communal ties among theater companies and fostering playwrights' chances of having new work staged elsewhere.

SCR's Hispanic Playwrights Project, a long-running program intended to develop Latino voices, was folded into the Pacific Playwrights Festival last year, when two works by Latino playwrights were presented. With four Latino plays chosen this year, SCR will present a "mini-festival" of Latino works grouped together on the larger festival's first weekend, June 10-13.

SCR spokesman Cristofer Gross said the "mini-festival" is not conceived as a permanent, annual fixture but made sense this year because half the plays selected were by Latino authors. "It just happened; it's a nice arrangement," he said.

Two of the Latino works will receive evening workshop productions with five performances each: "Illuminating Veronica," by Rogelio Martinez explores the impact of the Castro-led Cuban revolution, and "References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot," by Jose Rivera, uses surrealism to delve into the marriage of a couple in Barstow.

Staged readings held during the morning or afternoon will showcase: "Cuchifrito," by Eduardo Andino, "Lupe, Now!" by Jonathan Ceniceroz, "The Beginning of August," by Tom Donaghy, "Everett Beekin," by Richard Greenberg, "God of Vengeance," by Donald Margulies, and "The Mystery of Attraction," by Marlane Meyer.

Also included in the festival is John Glore's "On the Jump," which opens May 28 on SCR's Mainstage. The play, about a newlywed who is robbed and abandoned by her husband, was first presented as a staged reading at last year's Playwrights Festival.

* Pacific Playwrights Festival at South Coast Repertory, June 10-20. $8 for readings, $18 for workshop productions. (714) 708-5555.

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