Message in a Battle

They’re the most underappreciated talents in theater, falling somewhere between the ticket taker and the lighting designer in the recognition department. Playwrights seldom get their due, a fact that local author Richard Warren has been trying to rectify for the past decade with Phoenix Theatre's New Works Festival. Warren selects several new pieces -- this year there are four, one written by Warren himself -- and presents staged readings of the works featuring some of our better local stage talent.

Of the four, it’s Alexander Danner’s Parens. that garnered the most pre-festival praise. A winner of PT’s national playwriting competition, Danner’s story of a pair of siblings whose parents live together but communicate only through recorded messages offers opportunities for both comedy and commentary.

Parens. was irected by Daniel L. Schay. The festival winds up with readings of Stefanie Zadravec’s Save Me, directed by Mark DeMichele, on August 3 and 4.

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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela