June 19, 1987 |
The Padua Hills Playwrights Festival, scheduled to begin Monday at Chapman College in Orange, has been canceled, it was announced Thursday. This year's festival would have been the 10th annual edition of the avant-garde workshop. But it would have been the first time the festival was held at Chapman. The cancellation was attributed by artistic director Murray Mednick to "a misunderstanding" with Chapman authorities over how much housing the college would provide free of charge.
August 4, 1990 |
Rick Dean chuckles as he watches his 20-month-old daughter, Eliza, cavort in his Hollywood living room. "Having a kid," he says, trying to sum up the experience, "it's a lot of fun." Then, he sighs: "It's a lot of work, too." Dean could be talking about his life in the theater right now. On Thursday and Friday, he plays a kiddie-park attendant in John Steppling's "Storyland," at the Padua Hills Playwrights' Festival.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 18, 2005 |
Michael R. Farkash, a playwright and screenwriter who also wrote for local publications, including the Hollywood Reporter, has died. He was 53. Farkash was found dead June 9 in his Granada Hills home. His family attributed the death to natural causes and said he had been under a doctor's care for a series of illnesses. Quiet and unassuming, Farkash was known to his readers for his quirky, often macabre sense of humor.
July 25, 1994 |
The Padua Hills Playwrights Festival leads theatergoers on an elaborate, adult treasure-hunt through the grounds of Woodbury University, where the festival has resurfaced after a two-year absence. Whether its stage is a road, a hill or a pavement behind a building, each of the four eccentric short plays in the A Series feels like found art, and their eccentricities sometimes deepen into mystery when an actor appears from behind a shrub or when the wind participates in an actress's hair.
July 12, 1992 |
It's grant season in nonprofit theater circles, and this year's crop is surprisingly healthy. Despite a shrinking pool of money for the theater program of the National Endowment for the Arts, most of the major Southern California theaters fared well in the recently announced rounds of NEA grants. Which is to say, they got roughly the same amount as last year, rather than taking steep cuts.
July 24, 1995 |
Discovering a new play can be a thrill, even if the buzz wears off before intermission. The Padua Hills Playwrights' Festival heightens that thrill by asking theatergoers to promenade from play to play, setting each work on a different, impromptu, unexpected, usually outdoor stage. You've heard of found art. This is found staging. The festival itself is also itinerant, changing location each summer. It has just landed at the USC campus, where it offers six new plays in two evenings.
July 26, 1995 |
Murray Mednick's play "Freeze" exerts a strange fascination, especially during the scenes staged from behind the windows of a large building on the USC campus. Sitting on chairs outside on the grass, the audience watches harshly lit actors who resemble mannequins in a department store display. They stare out at us, their disembodied voices coming from a speaker outside of their glass encasement.
July 25, 1989 |
Colleague Albert Goldberg once noted that judging an evening of new music can be a process of "separating the chaff from the chaff." It can be the same with new plays, especially experimental ones. Certainly there was some chaff on Series "A" of this year's Padua Hills Playwrights' Festival at Cal State Northridge. Series "B," though, is almost all wheat. The only piece that doesn't make a strong impression is John Steppling's "The Theory of Miracles."
March 26, 1992 |
When the Los Angeles-based Padua Hills Playwrights Festival announced Tuesday that it would suspend operations this summer, citing financial problems, it wasn't just another case of the recessionary blues. A lack of administrative savvy and resources also have burdened Padua Hills since its origin 14 years ago. "It has always been a struggle," said actor-director Darrell Larson, a veteran Padua Hills board member and participant.