Posted Online: April 17, 2013, 12:57 pm

New Ground hosts new playwrights festival

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By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com

Photo:
Don Faust and Molly Wilkison appear in the new play "The Backfired Message," by Jason Platt, that is part of New Ground Theatre's Playwrights Festival.
Eight new plays by seven area writers will be featured over the next two weekends in New Ground Theatre's New Playwright Festival. Last year's collections of one-acts showcased four plays.

"We had to turn people away; this is the most number in one year," New Ground artistic director Chris Jansen said this week of the festival. The plays range in length from 19 minutes to over an hour, and in dramatic style -- from serious to funny, to sweet and touching, she said.

Each day of performances will feature four of the plays. The schedule -- at Village Theatre, 2113 E. 11th St., Village of East Davenport is 7:30 p.m.Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday this weekend and next. The shows are:

Group One: Friday, April 19, Sunday, April 21 and Saturday, April 27 --

-- "Ferguson Payne's Sole Problem" by William Allen Pepper; directed by David Turley.
A play set inside a weary author's head when his characters start questioning their fate.

-- "Leap Day" by Dana Moss Peterson; directed by Patrick Gimm.
A chance encounter leads one person to their dreams and another to let go of the past.

-- "The Return" by Dee Canfield; directed by Don Hazen.
Past and present generations connect when a young woman delves into family secrets.

-- "The Backfired Message" by Jason Platt; directed by Patrick Gimm.
A look at what happens when a fortune cookie fortune goes wrong.

Group Two: Saturday, April 20, Friday, April 26 and Sunday, April 28 --

-- "The Red Oven" by Devin Hansen; directed by Don Hazen.
A young man in the projection booth of an old theater meets three iconic screen legends with their own selfish agendas.

-- "Potsdam" by Shea Doyle; directed by Chris Jansen.
Under the shadow of World War II, four young German Americans find their world evaporating and have to come to terms with love, loyalty and the new "patriotism" of wartime.

-- "1706 Farnum" by Mary Kay Gale; directed by Chris Jansen.
A woman returns to her home after her estranged mother dies. Is it to help the survivors, or unburden her conscience?

-- "Saying Goodbye" by Dana Moss Peterson; directed by Don Hazen.
Love endures. Love is triumphant.

Tickets are $18 general admission; $15 for students and seniors (55+), and one ticket isgood for all eight plays. For reservations, call 563-326-7529.