The festival, which takes place this year from July 5-18, will play a vital role in the evolution of the plays Dead and Buried by James McLindon and Love Me Some Amnesia by James Still as their creators and casts read, act and dissect the new works during one intense week before showcasing them to the public during free staged readings at 7:30 p.m. on Mon., July 12 (Dead and Buried), and Tues. July 13 (Love Me Some Amnesia), at the Sheridan Opera House.
Prior to the staged readings audiences will also have an opportunity to observe the casts at work during open readings taking place all day on Thurs. July 8 in the Sheridan Opera House Gallery Room. At lunchtime on the same day the public is also invited to a discussion with the actors and playwrights on “Why New Plays Are Important” taking place in the San Miguel County Courthouse Park.
“The main focus and reason do festival is the playwrights get to hear feedback from the Telluride community,” Franks explains.
But even more special this year is the Festival’s first-ever collaboration with the Telluride Repertory Theatre Company, as the latter celebrates its 20th anniversary. The award-winning playwright and director and author William Missouri Downs will direct the Rep cast in a work-in-progress, multi-media production of renowned television writer Philip Gerson’s new play This Isn’t What It Looks Like, being presented in-the-round at the Palm Theater July 15-18.
“It’s more than entertainment,” Franks says of the festival. “It challenges you intellectually because you’re asked to be part if the discussion and to help the playwright.”
The Rep will perform The Merchant of Venice Aug. 18-22 for this year’s Shakespeare in Telluride Town Park.