He'll scribble several sketches

Steve Martin has agreed to lend a hand to the fourth annual U.S. Comedy Arts Festival (USCAF) that unfolds from March 4 to 8 in Aspen, Colo., committing to pen three original short pieces designed to launch at the festtival.

The trio of stories–focusing on the “parallel universes of sex, paparazzi and bad playwriting”–carry the titles “A World Without Sex?”, “The Paparazzi of Plato” and “The Arrival of Helen Into Troy.”

Among the performers skedded to render Martin’s material, which was developed at the Playwright’s Kitchen Ensemble, are William H. Macy (“Fargo”), Julie Hagerty, John Ritter, Felicity Huffman, Keene Curtis, Paula Cale and Mathew Poage.

Martin’s first theatrical work, “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” is currently playing in Los Angeles.

In other USCAF news, it was announced Thursday that the festival will this year launch “The Writers Project,” a series of original theatrical vignettes penned by “Hollywood’s most respected writers/executive producers.”

On tap for the inaugural “Writers Project” are pieces centering around an airport theme, featuring characters arriving at and departing from an air terminal. They include “Martini & Stone” (written by Andy Gordon and Eileen Conn), starring Larry Miller and Tom Arnold as an officer and a handcuffed convict; and “Blues Poet” (penned by Warren Hutcherson), starring Hutcherson and David Cross in a piece about a confrontation between a hip-hop rapper and his agent.

“The Sleeping Man” (written by John Riggi) is another vignette, starring Riggi and Janeane Garafolo as a tense married couple. There is also “Gate to Paradise” (from writer Michael Patrick King), featuring Teri Garr, and “I’m Standing Right Here” (written and performed by Bob Odenkirk and Steven Wright).

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