Telluride Playwrights Festival Excited To Present "Forgiving John Lennon" And Much More

[click “Play”, William Missouri Downs and Susan talk about “Forgiving John Lennon”]


Nako and Jennie “Forgiving John Lennon” is the featured production at  the 5th annual Telluride Playwrights Festival, July 13 – July 17, at venues around town. “Forgiving John Lennon” takes place at the historic Sheridan Opera House, Thursday, July 14 – Saturday, July 16, 8 p.m.

The Telluride Playwrights Festival opens with a Play Slam Wednesday night, 9 p.m. at the Steaming Bean, where would-be actors and writers get to strut their stuff.

Three staged readings take place over the weekend. Saturday morning, July 16, 10 a.m., the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art presents “Mrs. Prescott and Mrs. Russell” by Judy GeBauerr. Sunday morning, July 17, 10 a.m., Gallery Room,  the historic Sheridan Opera House hosts “Float,” by Gary Leon Hill. (Free pastry and coffee included.) The featured play reading takes place Sunday, July 17, Sheridan Opera House. “American In Hiding” is newest work of returning playwright Tracy Shaffer, whose “(W)hole,” workshopped in Telluride at the Playwrights Festival then went to on a critically acclaimed Denver run.

“Forgiving John Lennon” is a comedy/drama about Joseph and Katie, two progressive professors who teach at a small New England Liberal Arts College. The president of the college has mandated that all the professors do more to promote cultural diversity. It soon becomes a competition between rival departments to see who can invite to campus the most diverse artist or speaker. Joseph (a professor of Tibetan lit) and his wife Katie (a professor of pottery art) are about to stage a coup. Their guest artist is a female African poet from Somalia, a character loosely based on Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

The very controversial “Forgiving John Lennon” was written by William Missouri Downs, whose plays have been seen at theaters across the country and around the world, including at The Kennedy Center, The Durban Performing Arts Center (South Africa), The Stadt Theater Walfischgasse (Vienna) –  and now Telluride’s Opera House. Downs is also the author of several books about theatre, including “The Art Of Theatre” (Wadsworth), an introduction to theatre book used at over 125 universities; “Naked Playwriting” (Silman/James), a popular writing guide, and “Screenplay: Writing the Picture” (Silman/James), used at top film schools in the United States and Poland.

For an overview of the Telluride Playwrights Festival, follow this link for an interview with founder Jennie Franks. (Jennie is also in the cast of “Forgiving John Lennon.)

To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to William Downs talk about “Forgiving John Lennon.”

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