Puttin on a Play — writing panel

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Come see my collection of pals talking about how they write
their theatrical masterpieces. I'm producing this panel for IWOSC
because I have spent so many years reviewing theatre and writing
about it. And IWOSC is a great organization. Come see! 
 
"The Playwrights Round Table: Why Write for the Theater in 
Tinseltown?"
IWOSC's MAY GENERAL MEETING
Monday, May 21
7:30 p.m. Sharp!

Veterans 
Memorial 
Building, 
4117 Overland Avenue Culver ity
 

IWOSC is spending the month of May in the Theater, with a 
workshop on "Staging Your Words: How to Produce Your Own 
Play" slated for Saturday, May 19, and a playwrights Round 
Table the following Monday evening.
  

Please join Del Shores, Hoyt Hilsman, Katherine Griffith, 
Diane Lefer, Jonathan Dorf, and Dan Berkowitz as this 
distinguished panel of nationally-produced playwrights 
discuss the art and craft of writing plays, the state of 
live theater in
Los Angeles - and why, in the land of the 
Silver Screen, it is good to not be in Development Hell. 
  

Believe it or not, there are advantages to being in the 
theater in Tinseltown: You may make little money, but you 
have all the power. Your work isn't cut and edited by 
others. You can say what you want. Enjoy the immediate 
gratification of producing it yourself soon after you write 
it -- great when you are responding to current events.
  

But what does it mean to write theatrically? What does 
theater do that other mediums don't?  What is the state of 
live theater today?  How does it fit in with other mediums?
 
Meet the panelists:
  

* DEL SHORES (writer/director/producer) has written, 
directed and produced film, television and stage. He has 
written six plays: "Cheatin'" (1984), "Daddy's 
Dyin'...Who's Got the Will?" (1987), "Daughters of the Lone 
Star State" (1993), "Sordid Lives" (1996), "Southern 
Baptist Sissies" (2000), and "The Trials and Tribulations 
of a Trailer Trash Housewife" (2003). "Daddy's 
Dyin'...Who's Got The Will?," originally ran two years at 
Theatre/Theater in Hollywood, winning many 
Los Angeles 
theatre awards, including LA Weekly's Best Production and 
Best Writing. The play has subsequently been produced in 
over 2,000 theatres worldwide. A 1990 movie version 
of "Daddy's Dyin'" starred Beau Bridges, Tess Harper, Judge 
Reinhold, Keith Carradine and Beverly D'Angelo. Shores 
wrote the screenplay and executive-produced the film.
  

In 1999, Shores wrote and directed the film version 
of "Sordid Lives" starring Beau Bridges, Delta Burke, 
Olivia Newton-John, Bonnie Bedelia, Leslie Jordan, and Beth 
Grant, along with most of the cast from the play. The movie 
has become a cult phenomenon. In 2002 Twentieth Century Fox 
released the DVD/Video, which has now sold over 200,000 
units.
  

Shores has written and produced for the television 
series "Queer As Folk," "Dharma & Greg," "Ned & Stacy," 
and "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," and wrote, directed and executive 
produced the Showtime movie, "The Wilde Girls."  He is 
currently in pre-production for both the film version 
of "Southern Baptist Sissies," which he will write, direct, 
and produce, and a TV series based on "Sordid Lives," which 
he will also write, direct and produce.  
  

* HOYT HILSMAN is an award-winning screenwriter, playwright 
and journalist.  Hilsman has written screenplays for a 
number of studios and television networks, including 
Disney, Sony, New Line, ABC, NBC and CBS. His stage plays 
have been produced in theaters around the country and 
abroad, and have won numerous awards.  His television 
script, "Foggy Bottom," based on his childhood in 
Washington, was honored at the 2005 Slamdance Festival. 
Hilsman has also been a regular theater and television 
critic for Daily Variety.  He has written, produced and 
directed several independent films and television series, 
including "Deadly Embrace," "Snow Without Name," 
and "Beneath the Eyes of God."  
  

In addition, he is a past President of the 
Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, a judge of the PEN West Literary 
Awards and he has recently helped to organize a series 
of "Intentional Conversations" for business, civic and arts 
leaders throughout Southern California.
 
* KATHERINE GRIFFITH is a writer and actor whose work has 
been seen in 15 states, five countries and over 100 venues, 
including comedy clubs, prisons, 
San Francisco's Solo Mio 
Festival, Yale, 
Woodstock's Kleinert Arts Festival, Dance 
Theater Workshop, PS 122, and 

Dallas 
Theater 
Center. Her 
play, "The Ballad of Billy K: The Tall Tale Adventures of 
the Crazy K Kid," won the Stages Texas Playwrights Award 
and was presented at the O'Neill Playwrights Conference. It 
was also a finalist for the Mill Mountain Theater Festival 
and Bay Area Playwrights Festival. She is currently 
expanding the Billy K mythology into a series of children's 
books.
 
In response to 9-11, 
Griffith created "Windows on the 
World," in which she portrayed 40 characters in a 10-minute 
montage of found and edited text. "Windows" was selected 
out of 1,500 entries as a finalist for the Heideman Award 
at the Actors Theatre of 
Louisville. 
Griffith was chair of 
the Committee for Women at the Dramatist Guild for three 
years and on the advisory board for the International Women 
Playwrights Conferences. She is currently creating a Hungry 
Ghost Pageant Play for the Zen Center of Los Angeles's 40th 
Anniversary conference this May. 
  

* DIANE LEFER has written fiction and traditional full-
length plays. Her play "Harvest" was produced in Los 
Angeles under the direction of Jon Lawrence Rivera. She 
wrote the play and music for "American Buggery," an account 
based on the court records of men hanged for bestiality in 
colonial 
New England, which premiered at Trustus Theatre in 
Columbia, South Carolina. Lefer collaborated with Hector 
Aristizabal to create "Nightwind," a performance piece 
about his arrest and torture by U.S.-supported military in 
Colombia. Lefer's latest work of fiction, " 
California 
Transit," was published in April and was awarded the Mary 
McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction.
  

* DAN BERKOWITZ is West Coast member liaison for The 
Dramatists Guild of America, the professional association 
of playwrights, composers, and lyricists, and is Co-Chair 
of The Alliance of 
Los Angeles Playwrights (ALAP).  Among 
many works, he is co-author of "There's No Place Like 
Hollywood!," an Ovation Award nominee for Best Musical; the 
off-Broadway musical "Miami Beach Monsters;" and the 
revue "A… My Name is Still Alice," which premiered at San 
Diego's Old Globe, moved to Second Stage in 
New York, and 
has since been produced in more than 35 states. Dan writes 
a regular column for The Dramatist magazine, and will soon 
skid onto the information superhighway driving 
www.DanBerkowitz.com.
  

* JONATHAN DORF, ALAP's co-chair, has had his plays 
produced in more than 35 states, as well as in 
Canada, 
Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and 
Asia. His plays 
include "Ben," "Bookends," " 

Shining 
Sea," "Milk and 
Cookies," and "Neverland," which have been produced at such 
venues as Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Ensemble 
Studio Theatre - LA, Moving Arts, and the 
Pittsburgh New 
Works Festival.  Dorf is the author of the book "Young 
Playwrights 101," a complete playwriting resource for young 
playwrights and those who teach them. He lives online at 
www.jondorf.com.
  

The Moderator is IWOSC's own GARY YOUNG, Director of 
Professional Development and an accomplished playwright. 
Young's plays have been produced throughout the 
U.S. and 
Europe, at the 
Kennedy 
Center, 

Lincoln 
Center, the White 
House, the Smithsonian, and many schools and 
colleges. "Interruptions," an off-beat portrayal of grief 
and loss, originally produced at the 

Kennedy 
Center, ran at 
the Stella Adler theatre in 
Los Angeles. His one-person 
show, "On Hold: the Myth of Male Maturity," opens soon. 
Young also authored the book, "Loss and Found," co-written 
by his wife, Kathy Young.
  

COST:  IWOSC members: free. Guests are welcome; general 
admission: $15.
   
Reservations required. Deadline: Noon, Monday, May 21. 
Seats will be held until ten minutes before the start of 
the program.  Contact info@iwosc.org or 1-877-799-WRITE 
[799-7483] for reservations, directions, or information.
  

  

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About writerphotodeb

With a name like writerphotodeb it's pretty obvious what I do. I've written more than 2,000 articles for magazines, newspapers, trade journals and websites. But I've developed my artistic interests and am having a great time participating in gallery shows, creating personalized fine art and photographing clients. Please visit www.tellingimages.com or www.debbiswansonpatrick.com and drop me a line.

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