SCR playwrights fest sets lineup

OC locale to feature up-and-coming scribes and legits

The ninth annual Pacific Playwrights Festival at South Coast Rep offers five writers new to the Costa Mesa venue. Running May 5-7, the PPF showcases new plays in staged readings and workshops.

“We’re especially thrilled that this year’s festival includes three SCR-commissioned plays,” said John Glore, associate artistic director at SCR. “One of SCR’s greatest strengths is its ability to identify the most exciting new and emerging talents in American playwriting, and then provide immediate support and encouragement to those young writers when they need it most.”

Glore and SCR literary manager Megan Monaghan are the directors of PPF.

Returning to SCR is playwright Keith Reddin, whose “Human Error” will have a reading; it’s a love story set amidst the wreckage of a plane crash. SCR has produced the world premieres of four of Reddin’s plays: “But Not For Me,” “Highest Standard of Living,” “Life and Limb” and “Rum and Coke.”

Also receiving a reading this year is Sarah Treem’s “Empty Sky,” which reimagines the story of Abraham and Isaac for today’s world. Treem holds the first Eugene & Carlotta O’Neill Post-Graduate Playwriting Fellowship at the Yale School of Drama.

Irvine native David Wiener’s “System Wonderland,” about trying to recapture faded Hollywood glory, also will have a reading. He’s a graduate of Duke U., where he won the Reynolds Price Award for Drama, and of Columbia U.’s MFA playwriting program.

Julia Cho, whose “99 Histories” was read at PPF in 2002, returns with “The Piano Teacher,” a reminiscence ripped apart by a horror story. Cho is an alumna of NYU’s graduate dramatic writing program and the Juilliard School.

The weekend also will include a workshop production of Victoria Stewart’s “Leitmotif,” about a woman who, having lost her famous mother to suicide, visits her great-aunt in search of not only her mother’s letters but answers. A graduate of the U. of Iowa playwriting program, Stewart received the Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, the Jerome Fellowship and the Ucross/Sundance residency.

The PPF also features two fully staged world-preem productions. This year they are Christopher d’Amboise’s “The Studio” and Tanya Barfield’s “Blue Door.”

Last year’s PPF featured David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Rabbit Hole,” currently playing Off Broadway at Manhattan Theater Club, starring Cynthia Nixon and Tyne Daly, and Beth Henley’s “Ridiculous Fraud,” slated to debut at New Jersey’s McCarter Theater Center in May.

For more information, performance schedule and tickets, visit http://www.scr.org