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Tampa Bay Theatre Festival Coming This Weekend

The second annual Tampa Bay Theatre Festival will be held this weekend. The festival is scheduled to run from Friday, September 4 to Sunday, September 6. The Tampa Bay Theatre Festival features educational workshops, feature length plays, short plays and parties. The event will be held at multiple locations throughout the city, including the Jaeb Theater, the Stageworks Theatre, and Hillsborough Community College’s Main Stage Theatre.

More women playwrights are being showcased at the Tampa Bay Theatre Festival this year. All five of the feature length plays that will be shown during the festival were written by women. Currently, only about 22 percent of plays produced by theaters in the U.S. are written by women.

There are some measures that have been put into place to make sure the selection process is as objective as possible. For example, when the 35-member selection committee reviews the submitted play scripts, the writers’ names are blacked out. Every playwright selected for inclusion in the festival is selected based on talent.

This is a proud moment for Kris Bauske, a board member of the International Centre for Women Playwrights who has advocated for more women in the industry for years. Her play is among the five in competition. Two of the five plays selected for last year’s Tampa Bay Theatre Festival were written by women. The same selection criteria was used both years.

“Dinner for Six” by Lil Barcaski is one of the selections that will be playing at the festival this year. The story is a comedy that follows a group of men attempting to reproduce a play seen together 20 years earlier that changed their lives. The play is scheduled for 7 p.m. on September 5 at the Stageworks Theatre.

Another selection that will be playing during the Tampa Bay Theatre Festival is “Six Triple Eight” by Mary McCallum. This story is about the first African-American female battalion to arrive in Europe in World War II. The play is scheduled for 7 p.m. on September 5 at the Jaeb Theater.

“American Heartbeat,” by Martha Velez, is also playing during the festival. The story follows a Vietnam vet and an illegal immigrant competing for the same job. This musical about men down on their luck is scheduled for 4 p.m. on September 5 at the Jaeb Theater.

The full schedule and ticket information is now available at www.tampabaytheatrefestival.com.

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