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Selection for O’Neill confab’s a Blessing

Lineup includes 'Perilous Night,' 'Rearviewmirror,' 'Antebellum'

Lee Blessing and Rebecca Gilman are among the eight scribes selected from nearly 500 submissions to have their plays developed at the 2005 O’Neill Playwrights Conference in Waterford, Conn., this summer.

The lineup is as follows:

  • “Perilous Night” by Lee Blessing, directed by Lucie Tiberghien, about two patients and a nurse trying to get through the night in an upscale mental-health facility.

  • “Cradle of Man” by Melanie Marnich, directed by Michael John Garces, about two American couples who meet near the famous archaeological site Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania.

  • “Rearviewmirror” by Eric Winick, directed by Carl Forsman, a modern-day “Bacchae” set at a rock festival.

  • “Norman Rockwell Killed My Father” by Samuel D. Hunter, with a director to be announced, about a young artist obsessed with Norman Rockwell.

  • “Antebellum” by Robert O’Hara, directed by Carey Perloff, about a romance that unfolds on the evening of the world premiere of “Gone With the Wind.”

  • “Durango” by Julia Cho, directed by Chay Yew, about a single father taking a road trip through the Southwest with his two sons.

  • “Snake Tank” by Rebecca Gilman, directed by O’Neill artistic director Wendy C. Goldberg, about a social worker in Iowa who becomes deeply involved in a family’s problems.

  • “The Importance of Being Orson” by Jessica Cooke , directed by Joe Grifasi, about a teenage Orson Welles’ desire to play “Hamlet” at Dublin’s Gate Theater. “Orson” comes to the conference in an exchange program with the Abbey Theater in Ireland.