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O’Neill center fills summer with new fare

Slate includes two musicals, 14 plays and puppetry work

SOUTHBURY, Conn. — Two new musicals, 14 new plays and a slate of fresh puppetry works will be developed at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Conn., this summer.

The three-week O’Neill Music Theater Conference, under the artistic direction of Paulette Haupt, will develop “Take Flight,” with lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr., music by David Shire (readings between Aug. 3-12); and “The Road to Hollywood,” with book by Michael Pace and Walter Bobbie, music and lyrics by Rob Preston and Pace (readings between Aug. 4-10).

On July 28, Maltby and Shire will discuss the creation and development of their musical as well as some of their previous tuners, such as “Closer Than Ever” and “Baby.” On Aug. 11, Sheldon Harnick and Joe Masteroff will talk about their collaboration on their classic musical “She Loves Me” and other shows.

Plays are the thing

The 14 plays and playwrights the O’Neill Playwrights Conference’s a.d. James Houghton has selected for this summer are “Smashing,” by Brooke Berman (staged readings to be held July 20, 21); “Black Sheep,” Lee Blessing (July 14, 15); “Lucy and the Conquest,” Cusi Cram (July 10, 11); “Mrs. Plenty Horses,” Judy GeBauer (July 19, 20); “Guinevere,” Gina Gionfriddo (July 17, 18); and Michael Feingold’s translation of Jean Giraudoux’s “Sodom and Gomorrah” (July 28, 29).

Also featured will be “Yes, Please, and Thank You” by Kirsten Greenidge (July 7, 8); “Going Gone,” Karen Hartman (July 5, 6); “Old Woman Flying,” Susan Johnston (June 30, July 1); “The Bread of Winter,” Victor Lodato (July 3, 4); “Eighteen,” Allison Moore (July 21, 22); “Moving Picture,” Dan O’Brien (July 12, 13); “Finer Noble Gases,” Adam Rapp (July 13, 14); and “Frame 312,” Keith Reddin (June 30, July 1).

Writer-performers David Cale, Patricia Smith and Regina Taylor will be in residence during the OPC but will not present work publicly.

An international assembly of puppet artists has been invited to this summer’s O’Neill Puppetry Conference under its a.d. Richard Termine. Included will be guest artists John Farrell, founder of the award-winning Figures of Speech Theater, and Larry Reed, a pioneer of contemporary shadow theater, who will work and create alongside puppeteers from Russia and Taiwan.