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O’Neill sorting through submissions

Playwrights Conference prepping showcase

The National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center is sorting through nearly 750 submissions for its 45th annual summer showcase of new plays.

Tally continues the rise logged for the 2008 session, when the conference — one of the few high-profile legit development initiatives to accept submissions from scribes without agents — received more than 700 entries. The prior year the O’Neill got about 600.

Artistic director Wendy Goldberg also touted the fact that the conference has been in the black now for two years, following a period of financial turmoil.

The Waterford, Conn., conference, best known for nurturing the work of August Wilson, also has showcased scripts by Wendy Wasserstein, David Lindsay-Abaire and John Guare. This year’s Tony winner for best tuner, “In the Heights,” is an alum of the O’Neill’s National Music Theater Conference.

Deadline for play submissions for the 2009 conference was Oct. 17. A final lineup of about eight plays will be announced in April.

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