Phillips’ Mill 3rd Annual Emerging Playwright Competition Online reading scheduled for June 12
What happens when a drunk sports journalist wakes up alone, and a little beaten up, in a dive bar in the 1970s? He recounts some of the most messy details of his life, engaging in a hectic but charming, witty and dizzy dialogue with himself. This is the premise of a short piece by JB Heaps called “Go Gently Into the Night,” one of six to be presented online by the Phillips’ Mill Community Association on June 12 at 7 p.m. ET.
For the third year, Phillips’ Mill will honor the work of regional playwrights by presenting six short pieces selected as part of its Emerging Playwright Competition with jury. “After much deliberation on the lingering pandemic restrictions on live performances, the decision was made to present this year’s winning works as a virtual reading and discussion with the playwrights and a moderator,” says Valerie Eastburn, President of the theater committee at Phillips’ Mill. . “We look forward to being back at Le Moulin this summer when our summer youth drama program continues in the form of a workshop and in-person performance. “
For more than 100 years, plays have been performed at the Phillips’ Mill, an 18th-century former flourmill located on a winding section of River Road just north of New Hope, Pennsylvania. It is a perfect setting for community theater, both intimate and welcoming. .
“Community theater not only enriches the lives and potentially stimulates the careers of those who participate in it, but it makes the arts accessible to people who otherwise might never have seen a live performance or musical.” , notes Eastburn.
Phillips’ Mill Drama presents a variety of quality entertainment including cabarets, short plays and poetry readings, but also supports the aspirations of writers, actors, musicians and other emerging artists.
JB Heaps may be “emerging” as a playwright, but he has had an impressive career that has notably won five Emmy Awards as executive producer of Showtime Sports. His “debut” in entertainment came early on, as an actor in a small role in the 1963 film adaptation of the novel “The Lord of the Flies”.
“I quickly realized that playing wasn’t for me,” he jokes. He has always been more interested in developing characters through writing than in bringing them to life on stage or on the screen. “Once a play is on stage, the job is up to the actor. I pretend I’m not nervous (when I see my work performed), but of course I’m totally invested. I can’t wait to see all plays performed on June 12. “
Each of the winning playwrights lives within a 100 mile radius of Phillips’ Mill. This year’s winners include Nick DeSimone, New York, NY, for “Close Your Eyes”; Adam Richter, of West Reading, Pa., For “Eye Contact”; Jeff Stolzer, New York, NY, for “The New Abnormal”; JB Heaps, New York, NY, for “Go Gently Into the Night”; Jim Moss, Branchburg, NJ, for “Far From Providence”; and Kimberly Kalaja, New York, NY, for “Acts Without Words”.