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Slam It! Will Pit Playwright Against Playwright

September 4, 2003 - Carrboro, NC:

This Saturday evening, the North Carolina Playwrights Alliance presents Slam It!, the collective's (and the state's) first-ever play slam. The event will take place at The ArtsCenter of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Orange County (located at 300-G E. Main St. in Carrboro) and will be emceed by Greg Hohn of the Transactors Improv Co.

(Full disclosure: I am a member of NCPA, and will have a piece performed during the slam.)

Each participating playwright will read (or have read for them by actors) a 1-3 minute piece. Scorecards filled out by audience members will be tallied and top contenders sent to a second round. Playwrights entering Round 2 will then be given the opportunity to read a second piece.

According to Lynden Harris, artistic director of Theatre Orange, the event is open to "audience members primed to eat, drink, and be vocal; playwrights willing to read a 1-3 minute piece; actors ready for a fast workout; and directors curious to see talent, pick up headshots, and schmooze. There will be a table in the lobby where actors can leave headshots, resumes, and cards."

Hours for the play slam are from "7 p.m. until the scores are tallied, the booty awarded, and the fun exhausted," says Harris. She emphasizes this reminder to participating playwrights: "All paying audience members receive scorecards, so pack the house!"

Harris adds, "I think, once we work out the kinks, this kind of event might be fun to do a couple times a year. I'd love to see more and more writers, even non-playwrights, try their hand at short dramatic pieces. I also imagine that the convivial setting of a slam could grow into a forum where directors and actors might make new connections.

"Anyway," she says, "Chapel Hill and Carrboro are great places to pull off something like this. It's bound to be fun with Greg as emcee and several of the Transactors participating, as well as some other well-respected actors."

Scheduled playwriting entrants include: Sheryle Criswell, Jerry Oster, John Kreilkamp, Willis Briley, Ann Marie Oliva, David Roth, Amanda Mcelray, John Middlesworth, Amy Genovasi, Lynn Veach Sadler, Richard Piazza, Annie Taft, Sam Post, Scott Ross, and Adrienne Pender.

The participating actors are: Alan Criswell, Steve Scott, Ann Marie Thomas, Larry Evans, David Hudson, Nicole Taylor, Ian Dawson, Leila Keen, Chris Salazar, Grace Smiley, Nick Winstead, Candy Churilla, Sheila Outhwaite, Farrell Reynolds, Ronnie Cruz, Andrea Block, William Stutts, Krishna Song Parkey, Jill Greeson, Iris Hall, and Chrystal Bartlett.

The North Carolina Playwrights Alliance presents Slam It! Saturday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m. at The ArtsCenter, 300-G E. Main St., Carrboro, North Carolina. $5 ($4 ArtsCenter Friends). 919/929-2787. http://www.artscenterlive.org/write/events.html. (Note 1: The house and bar will open at 7 p.m. Performances will begin at 7:30. Note 2: Actors who want to volunteer to read for playwrights may telephone Lynden Harris at 919/732-9299 or e-mail her at lynden@theatreorange.org. Note 3: For Slam It! rules, see http://www.ncplaywrightsalliance.org/.)