Showtime plans legit fest in L.A.

Taking their search for good programming material directly to the playwright, Showtime pay service said Tuesday that it would sponsor a festival of one-act plays in Los Angeles this spring.

Showtime veep Steven Hewitt said the pay cabler is conducting a nationwide search to find between eight and 14 one-act plays to stage at the Met Theatre.

Risa Bramon Garcia and Jerry Levine of Act One Prods. are slated to produce. No dates have been set.

Showtime is soliciting plays from scribblers in 118 regional theaters — including San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre, Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and New York’s Ensemble Studio Theatre — and from master of fine arts and bachelor of fine arts programs in 30 states and 165 literary agencies.

Garcia, a longtime helmer and producer with Ensemble Studio Theatre, said Showtime was hoping to develop scripts from new and veteran scribes with an eye toward TV or film production.

“Right now we’re doing the plays,” she said. “Our hope is that some of them will become short films, but there’s no commitment for that yet. The idea is to do great theater first.”

Garcia said the company had already received hundreds of scripts and expected several hundred more before the Jan. 15 deadline. For information on getting an application package, call Act One at (213) 469-0696.

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