BLT New-Play Winners 2004
Concluding a year of reviewing and scoring new scripts for full-length and one-act
plays, Brevard Little Theatre's New-Play Committee has selected the winners of the
first annual competition.  The Best New Play (full-length) is
Heartening of the
Artistries
, by Fred King, of Westminster, Maryland.  King has written numerous plays
since creating his first script while serving overseas in the Army.  He was born and
raised in Queens, New York, where his father was a Lutheran pastor.  Summer
vacations brought the family back each year to Carroll County, Maryland, where his
immigrant great-grandfather had settled during the Civil War, and where Fred King
resides today.  As an antsy, bored fifteen-year-old, encouraged by his exasperated
mother to "chill," he was placed in front of a TV screen one rainy afternoon to view
the film version of Kaufman and Hart's
You Can't Take It With You.  He says that
Frank Capra (the film's director) "grabbed me and never let me go."  Military service in
Verona, Italy, introduced him to theater people and to an opportunity to write a first
play which, because of Army scheduling, fell just short of being produced.  His plays,
all unproduced, include
Amicus Zaboki, The Cherry Tree Business and Steeplechase
Whispers.
 While not writing scripts, Mr. King is a computer graphics technician.  His
winning script in the BLT competition will be produced next May, at the Barn Theater.

The Best New One-Act Play in the competition is
Mourning The Marigolds, by
Sheryle Criswell, of Lauderhill, Florida.  As well as being a writer and a free-lance
director, Ms. Criswell is a drama teacher and director of the Coral Springs Institute in
Coral Springs, Florida.  She and her husband, Alan, have just relocated in Florida, after
living in Durham, NC, for 15 years while she taught Drama to children in K-8th grades
in Chapel Hill, NC.  She has been involved with theater for 25 years, as a teacher,
director, playwright and costume designer, both in North Carolina and in Westchester,
New York.  In New York, she founded and directed the Town of Bedford Arts Center
and later the Northern Westchester YM-YWHA Cultural Arts Program.  In North
Carolina, Sheryle was the founding president of Odyssey Stage in Chapel Hill, where
she held office for five years before her move to Florida.  The author of 28 plays, she
has won numerous awards for her playwriting, among them; the Charles M. Getchell
Southeastern Theatre Conference New-Play Award, an award at the Charlotte
Repertory Theatre's Festival of New Plays and, twice, awards at the Dayton Playhouse
FutureFest.  Her plays have been produced across the U.S., in Newfoundland and
Labrador, and in England.  Some of her plays have been published by Southern
Theatre Magazine and in an anthology by Dramatic Publishing, Inc.  Besides writing
for the stage, Ms. Criswell is the author of four middle-grade children's novels and one
young-adult novel.  One of her children's books will be published in 2005 by Writer's
Exchange.  She is also an award-winning artist, with one of her works hanging in the
permanent collection at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.

There were 68 new scripts submitted in this first annual BLT New-Play Competition,
and they came from thirteen different States.  A total of eight members of BLT read
and scored them, in what turned out to be a close competition in both the full-length
and one-act categories.  The names of these first two winners are being inscribed on
permanent plaques to be displayed in the lobby of the Barn Theater, and each of these
playwrights receives a check for $200.  A gala "premiere presentation" event is planned
for the month of May, 2005.         
                                                         
Fred King
Heartening of the Artistries
by Fred King
Barn Theater, May 27 - June 5, 2005