Monday, February 12, 2007

News: Mystery Festival Announces Finalists for Writers Competition is reporting that the finalists of the 1st International Mystery Writers' Festival have been selected. All six will have their plays performed on stage this June in Owensboro (KY). RiverPark Center has announced that it will host auditions for the plays February 16-17, 2007. Rehearsals are scheduled for the last week of April, and performances will take place during the festival June 12-17, 2007.

"The committee was overwhelmed by the quality of submissions – both from established writers and new talent," said RiverPark President and CEO Zev Buffman, who produced 40 Broadway shows receiving 27 Tony Award nominations. "This festival will help bring the mystery back to live performances on Broadway and London, much as the Sundance Film Festival has invigorated creativity for new independent films."

There were nearly 1000 submissions to the festival's judging committee, whose founding members include Sue Grafton, Ira Levin, William Link, Stuart Kaminsky, John Jakes, Samual Liff, and James W. Hall.

The finalists include Final Curtain by Ed McBain, a funny and frightening mystery that involves intriguing characters where everyone is a suspect for a dark-and-stormy night murder. This was McBain's only stage mystery and has never been produced, said Buffman. McBain, who also wrote under his real name of Evan Hunter, died in 2005.

The five other plays to be produced are Columbo Takes the Rap by William Link, co-creator of the Murder She Wrote and Columbo television mystery series; Death by Darkness by Elizabeth Orndorff, who wrote her play specifically for this competition; Panic by Joseph Goodrich, a deceitful drama that unravels a scheme of blackmail, betrayal and murder; Widdershins by Don Nigro, in which a family of four has disappeared in Wales in 1902; and If/Then by David Foley, a fast-paced thriller with twists and turns that will keep you guessing through to the very last deceitful moment.

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