Script-in-hand theater on the way

The 36 North collective kicks off a series of staged readings at Actors’ Theater Center Stage in May, featuring new plays by Santa Cruz playwrights.

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Looking out on the horizon in the world of local theater, here comes an intriguing new series of theater works called “36 North.” It’s not exactly a series of plays, but, as it is described, “script-in-hand” staged readings of new plays by Santa Cruz playwrights. These are well short of full-on off-book productions, instead readings adding a bit of theatricality to the process.

The series is set to begin May 22 at Actors’ Theater Center Stage, with “The Gertrude Variations” by the dean of local playwrights, Wilma Marcus Chandler. A year ago, Chandler stepped away from her longtime role running the “8 Tens @ 8” short-plays festival, and has turned back to her first love, writing plays.

The series continues throughout the summer with new plays from local writers and members of the 36 North collective Steve Capasso (June 26), Susan Forrest (July 17), Spike Wong (Aug. 14), Gail Borkowski, Deborah Bryant and Kathy Chetkovich (all Sept. 18).

The performances will all be followed by a Q&A session. And they are all free.


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