Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on September 10, 1972 · Page 117
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 117

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 10, 1972
Page 117
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Page 117 article text (OCR)

Ytiung authors cut sex, four-letter words By William Glover WATERFORD, CONN. UPI -- Young stage hopefuls are cutting down on shock appeal. That's the word from the eighth annual National Playwrights Conference. Fourteen aspiring Shakespeares took part in the recently completed event. "For the previous five years or so," r e p o r t s George C. White II, the conclave's g u i d i n g spirit, "there was great emphasis in scripts about saying and SHOW STARTS AT DUSK VALLEY DRIVE-IN ST. ALBANS -TONIGHT- Two FILMS FOR ADULTS ONLY (X) "CAIESSIB" AND "TKEAIDUCTORS" IHUI5., HI., SAT. 1. "CATCH 22" 2.' GOODIYE COIUWIUV 3. "II" WALNUT GROVE (DRIVE IN T H E A T R E ) ' * Route 35 . Wmfi*ld ·Where everyone gets what'scorning to them lOVlNGAND iA5TMANCO.O« [FOR ann margret j rossono brazzi criminal affair ' ggp r«l* showing things which were formerly taboo. "Now that the license they sought has been achieved, the writers are not nearly so hung up on such things as sex and four-letter words." Detectable also during the workshop performances that are a major phase of the l.wo-week, hard-nose meeting of tyros with ranking professionals, was an intriguing shift in subject matter. "It wasn't planned that way,'' says White, "but after the performance schedule had been completed, we realized' that "ive plays in the first week related to deaths and funerals. "That seemed to point a symbolic transition. Youthful artistry, all over, has been battering away at the existing order. Now the kids are saying, the object of assault has been knocked down, and it is time to start considering where we go from here. They are less self-indulgent." The scripts tested this summer bring to a round 100 the number tested since 1966, representing the aspirations of 79 embryonic dramatists. The value of the center is attested by what happened subsequently to many of the texts. 11 was here that John Guare's "The House of Blue Leaves," winner of the 1971 New York Critics Circle award, was first tried. Another work that attained neo-classic status, Ron C o w e n 's "Summertree,"' was first heard 1 here. Also works by such other latter familiars as Paul Foster, Frank Gagliano, Israel Horovitz, Leonard Melfi and Nigeria's Wole Soyinka. "The great need for young dramatists," White summarizes the conference purpose, "is to be able to see and discuss works in progress. In performance by professional actors before an audience, they learn what w o r k s and what doesn't." A new followup program. labelled "Second Step," is being launched this fall to extend the learning process, in partnership with three collegiate drama departments. The University of North Carolina, the University of Wisconsin and Iowa's Drake University each are to pick two of the 14 recant exhibits and give them full productions during the academic year. Overlapping of choices is possible, cr each school may make different selections. White hopes the project will spread. "This setup means the writer now has a new intermediate polishing level," he declares, "and perhaps a quicker chance for professional recognition." Guare's play, for example, took five years in transit from tryout to commercial success. Off-off-Broadway experimentation, White feels, is handicapped by shoestring finances, "and scripts may not be quite ready to attract backers of even off-Broadway presentations where costs keep rising so." The playwrights conference is sponsored by the Eugene O'Neill Memorial Theater Center, which has grown from a $1,200 opera- lion in 1965 into a theatrical mini-conglomerate that requires $l.l-raillion annually. Among other enterprises are the National Theater of the Deaf, an international exchange program, and close liaison with a Rockefeller Foundation spinoff, the Office of Advanced Draima Re- search at the Uriversi'y of Minnesota. Ever since t'ie playwrights project was undertaken, A r t i s t i c Director Lloyd Richards and the script-choosing jury have been aware that there's no dearth of cross-country authorship ambition. This year's plays were winnowed from more than 700 manuscripts. And although everyone involved vows it was mere happenstance, women-libbers could take comfort in knowing that five of the 11 new writers are damsels--the largest distaff contingent ever. The O'Neill Foundation maintains a firm policy against requiring any royalty p l e d g e s by writers against future success of showcased manuscripts. The organization is funded by s u n d r y philanthropic agencies, the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State and Connecticut art councils. "I feel strongly that no institution with public support should demand royalty rights," White says. "Of course if a writer becomes enormously successful, a contribution would seem proper. But It is only penalizing him to put him on a formal 5 per cent arrangement. "Our real satisfaction is doing a job that is needed. The theater in a Broadway sense is drying up, but the theater in a broad sense is not. Everything is shifting, new outlets are opening, and young talent has to have the opportunity to learn and be heard." Current movies Downtown CAPITAL- "The Reven- gers," with William Hoiden and Ernest Borgnine. * * * KEARSE-- "Group Marriage." Winam Ingt't Suet* * CfescdMonday nights -- Menu -- C DINNER THEATRE + * * « * * GODFATHER" STARTS PROMPTLY AT 8:15 LYRIC-- "Tom Jones Rides Again" "Lash of Lust." » * * OWENS M I D T O W N -"Georgia, Georgia," with Diana Sands and Dirk Benedick. * * * VIRGINIAN-- "Porlnoy's Complaint," with Richard B e n j a m i n a n d Karen Black. Neighborhood I e | CINEMA SOUTH-- "Fiddler | on the Roof," with Topol. j * * * i CINEMA 21-- "The God- j f a t h e r , " with Marlon Brando. + * * S T A T E-- "Roommates," with Danielle Ouimel and Chantal Renaud. VILLAGE-- "The Man," with James Earl Jones and Martin Balsam. Community ALBAN- "Mash," with Elliott Gould and Donald Sutherland; "P a 11 o n," with George C. Scott. · * * TRAIL, EIKVIEW-- "The Godfather," with Marlon Brando. WALNUT GROVE-- "Criminal Affair," with Ann Margret; "Loving a n d Laughing," with Michelle Mercure. Use Want Ads. Dial 348-4848 NOW SHOWING ADULTS ONLY X RATED There was a young man named Jones, who could --a^--^.omjones sighs ml. moans. R|0S AQAH1 ALSO TARGET FILMS PRESENTS LASH COLOR LUST WAS IT PUNISHMENT I OE PLEASURE? FOR GRACIOUS DINING IN CHARLESTON CLE'MENTS SHOULD BE YOUR CHOICE We offer you tradition of Entree and Atmosphere. "Ask Someone Who Knows" · Lunch · Dinner · Lounge MasterCharge--BonkAmeritord Welcome Our Music Is Lookable, Listenable and Danceable JIM HENDERSON AT PIANO AND ORGAN SUNDAY THRU FRIDAY EVENING -Saturday Nile The GentlemenThree START THlfAU KIGHT-FBI. SAL SUM. OML Y Prime Kb Sperial-S5.45 Cut for $3.50 Edited Potolo-Soor Crecm-Sofod-Colte* or T*o Included. OPEN DAILY 11 A. M. RESERVATIONS ACCEPTED CLE'MENTS RESTAURANT 2005 KANAWHA BLVD. E. Phone 925-7843 SHOW TIME, SEPTEMBER 10, 1972 CHARLESTON, W.VA. 11s

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