Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Humble Pie: Appalachian New Play Festival

Collaboration between Appalachian Regional Theater Company, Studio for Young Actors and ARTS/West
Thursday 9.28, 8:00 pm Valu-Mart by Sean O’Leary directed by Christina "Chica" Salerno

Friday 9.29, 8:00 pm Blue Rock by Charlie Kearns directed by Carolina Conte

Saturday 9.30, 1:00 pm reception
2:00 pm Adventures in Curse Breaking by Laura Werger directed by Sarah Guthrie
8:00 pm That Sheep May Safely Graze by W.R.Smiddie (workshop production)
directed by Gary Molina

Sunday 10.1, 2:00 pm Adventures in Curse Breaking by Laura Werger directed by Sarah Guthrie
4:00 pm Waiting for the Moon by Christopher Dwyer directed by Carolina Conte

Each reading is a suggested donation of $8.00 or $35.00 for a weekend pass. Please call ARTS/West for tickets and information at (740) 592-4315.

This project is sponsored by: The Hocking Valley Bank
additional support from Jagers Funeral Home, Carol Ault, ARTCO and the Studio for Young Actors
Christopher Dwyer is a professional actor that hails from Johnson City, Tennessee. He has a degree from Less McRae College in Banner Elk, NC in Theatre Arts. Some of Chris' favorite roles that he has played are George from "Our Town," Romeo in the NC Shakespeare Festival's educational outreach program "GlobeWorks," and Antipholus of Syracuse in "Comedy of Errors." He wants to thank his family and friends for their support and hopes to see the Humble Pie festival grow in the coming years.

Charlie Kearns has spent some years working with various theatres across America. His reflections have appeared in The LA Times, The Village Voice, The Hollywood Reporter and Zanesville Times Recorder. A portion of his writing/research is archived at The Motion Pictures Academy of Arts and Science’s Margaret Herrick’s Library. Recently, the Ohio Arts Council awarded him a writer’s grant and The Ohio Arts League is presenting his humorous DVD, Berlin Car Chase in their Fall Juried Exhibition at James A. Rhodes State Office Tower through October 6. Blue Rock started in writing workshops sponsored by the Los Angeles Cultural Arts Center and First Stage in Hollywood.

Sean O'Leary is the author of three award-winning plays. BENEATH SHELTON LAUREL,commissioned by The Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, premiered inAugust 2005 and was chosen for an "Access to Artistic Excellence Grant" bythe National Endowment for the Arts for a touring production this fall. Twoearlier plays, POUND and RAIN IN THE HOLLOWS, were winners of nationalplaywriting competitions and have been produced more than a dozen times. In2003 Sean was awarded the West Virginia Commission on The Arts Fellowshipfor Drama and he was recently added to The Literary Map of West Virginia.Sean is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America and the PlaywrightsForum of Washington, DC. For more about Sean and his plays, visit his website,

William Robert Smiddie Born 1931 during the Great Depression in a Harlan County Kentucky where his mom would drag him out of school when the shooting wars started. She wanted her kids around her in any storm. From Kentucky they moved to middle Tennessee where his father, a union man, would not take work because there were no unions. This sort of thing has influenced him greatly. After five years of high school at McMinnville, Tennessee he graduated only because of basketball. He played guard and never cared who won as long as the game was aggressive and close. (This is important later.) From his first job at a DuPont plant he was drafted during the Korean War, while all his buddies could avoid the draft as their rich fathers sent them off to college. A fact of the draft he has never forgotten. Why him? Why Korean? And why not them?

Two important facts from the war.
(One.) The Chinese were no different from him. Not one bit.While guarding Chinese prisoners for a month (a little rest from thefront lines) he was court martialed and lost his stripes for playingbasketball with the enemy. But they thought he was pretty good. He was sent to guard a small group of Chinese officers in a smaller compound with no basketball court. Where (two) a red officer who had been educated at the University of Chicago explained to him the exact nature of the town where he was born, Benham Kentucky, which was owned by the International Harvester Company. Cyrus McCormick's coal. His dad`s sweat. Back in the states, a veteran on the G.I. bill he went to college atmiddle Tennessee State University in an effort to better understand the Red Officers account of American History. Graduate school at Iowa State where he is still one course short of the much sought after M.F.A. While working in the welfare department in Nashville he had theprivilege of participating in the Civil Rights struggle by preparing used cars with Tennessee tags for dumb white kids from the North to use to enter the deep South. And while there had a play produced in NYC, which allowed him to meet Tom Hayden in New Jersey. It now seemed to him that he could control his own life, which had finally begun. After which, turning down a organizing job with the Highlander Folk School he moved with wife and kids to Cleveland, Ohio to work with S.D.S. in the inner city. Welfare Rights, Free Clinics, and helping to organize the 1968 police riot in Chicago.From there to the street demonstrations against the only war America has ever lost. Older, quieter, he now lives in Southern Ohio where he makes pottery,writeunfinished plays, sleeps a lot and dreams of Alaska.

Laura Werger is a student at Athens High School. We are so pleased to have her represent the youth division of the Humble Pie in our effort to encourage playwrights and the theater arts in our community.