HART theater, founded in 1994 as Downtown Hillsboro’s Repertory Theater, has grown to produce 6 – 10 shows per season. Since 2012, one of those shows happens to be the fruition of the Page to Stage play write competition, annually showcased in the fall.
Artistic Director Paul Roder reflects on the first time a play writing event was proposed for the theater. “I first came to HART with the intention of bringing new works to life. It was a big goal for the theater to provide a place where amateur and experienced play writes can receive feedback on their piece.” he shares. “Literally, they are bringing their work from the page to the stage — these are completed plays not yet produced, as well as stand-alone scenes that can give the audience an idea of a play’s plot progression.”
The sixth annual Page to Stage event has now grown to receive over 40 submissions annually, where typically 50 community members attend an evening to hear actors perform the proposed finalist pieces. The idea is to bring the audience and actors a moderated discussion and feedback experience, where the engagement allows a community to be involved in growing a successful piece into a finished production. This year’s winner will see their play on stage in Summer, 2018.
“Last year, we had a very interesting winner, which I was really excited about,” Paul reflects. “It was titled ’36 Perfectly Appropriate Mealtime Conversations’. It basically won by popular vote. The plot addressed gender politics, modern dating trends, social media — it was very contemporary. The author wrote the play with an ensemble of six gender non-specific characters; their dialogues were all written without gender in mind at all. This allowed the production to change a little bit with each evening’s performance; the characters changed, therefore the relationships changed. It was so popular in concept, we offered a half price ticket to those who wanted to see it again and catch the variations in script.”
This year, HART presents the eight finalists for Page to Stage VI, which will commence their evening showcase on Saturday, October 28. Tickets to attend are $10, and can be purchased online at HART’s website.
Check out the titles for this year’s Page to Stage evening:
Shelf Life, by William Ferguson
Vanessa, by Sander Gusinow
Nona’s Christmas Rose, by Annemarie St. Michael
Babyland, by Rich Rubin
Unsafe at Home, by Nancy Moss
The Bubble Reputation, by Timothy Hill
Outlasting Life, by Jacqueline Armstrong
Out of the Blue, by Miriam Feder
Page to Stage VI
185 SE Washington St, Hillsboro
Saturday, October 28
7:30 – 9:30 pm
$10 per person