In the Round 

In the Round

News and notes from the San Antonio theater scene

Write Right

Is this SA's Year of the Writer? (Local stage and screenwriters might tell you they need a Decade of the Writer just to break even.) A new writers' group, based out of the San Pedro Playhouse, held its first meeting April 27, reading Deon Vanrooyen's film script, "Innocence Lost." According to SPP Artistic Director Frank Latson, participants ranged in experience from beginners to folks with productions under their belts.

Latson acknowledges SPP's commitment, first voiced by Executive Director Di Ann Sneed last year, to producing original work. "Theater begins in the grassroots," he says. "The more we can foster new playwrights the more likely we are to have a future." He hopes to produce one new work at the Playhouse each season and, while making no promises at this point, admits that in an ideal world those scripts would be generated by and developed through San Pedro Scriptwriters.

SP Scriptwriters may be unique in that they welcome both film and stage scripts. Annual membership fees ($25) will help produce a "winning" example of each genre yearly (judging process TBA). Del Routsong, SPS coordinator, explains the ethos of the group: "No matter the violence or sexy content, this is where writers can 'hear their vision' as read by local actors and get a constructive, honest response from other writers and actors."

Her emphasis on content may be a reference (assumption mine, she didn't say) to the SAT Playwrights, a writer's group that has been operating for some time out of the Steven Stoli Playhouse. Stoli's is well-known for editing new and even published works for content (and sometimes just for laughs). Note that in the case of a published work, this is almost always a violation of the licensing agreement unless specific permissions have been obtained.

San Pedro Scriptwriters meets on the last Tuesday of every month at San Pedro Playhouse. Call 679-6944 for more information.

SAT Playwrights meets at the Steven Stoli Playhouse on the second Sunday of the month. The contact person is Modrea Mitchell-Reichert at 408-0535 Ext 4.

Both groups welcome new members.

Oh, Grow Up!

Terrence McNally's Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune is being held over at the Cameo Theatre through May 22. So you've got a few more opportunities to see some of your favorite actors naked.

Granted, that's belittling, and I'm making an assumption about who your favorite actors are. But I'm making a point here. The very nicely written two-hander provides meaty roles for local actors Christy Huffman and Lawrence Coop, who deserve "favorite" status. And the show opens with the kind of frank, extended nudity that has one of two effects on unsophisticated SA audiences - it either keeps them home, or it pulls all the focus away from what the actors are really doing - i.e. acting their (visible) butts off.

Director Jerry Pilato has never shied away from, shall we say, revealing scripts. He acknowledges the pitfalls and the payoffs: "Working with nude actors can be very embarrassing for not only the actor, but the director and the audience as well. But, when presented truly and honestly, most folks can relate to the nudity instead of being shocked by it."

He admits to having an interesting time working collaboratively to build the organic, orgasmic soundscape (or, as he puts it, "to get just the right moaning and groaning.") And for connoisseurs of body-art, I understand Huffman's tattoos are beautiful and posed an interesting challenge - with an elegant and respectful solution! So that's some skinny on the skin - now get over it and see the show! Call 738-2872 for reservations and information. •

Compiled by Laurie Dietrich

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