Tuesday, June 12, 2007

News: Opening Day for International Mystery Writers Festival

Today is the opening day of the International Mystery Writer's Festival in Owensboro (Kentucky). Organizers say that this is the only new play festival specializing in "Discovering New Mysteries" and staging them live for the general public, media and entertainment industry officials.

Six plays will be performed during the festival, selected by a group of celebrated judges consisting of award winning writers, directors, performers and publishers:

Final Curtain by Ed McBain. This funny and frightening mystery involves intriguing characters where everyone is a suspect for a dark-and-stormy night murder. Twists and turns of plot will leave the audience guessing who to trust and what motive each character might have for not only one, but two mysterious murders.

Death by Darkness by Elizabeth Orndorff. Set in Kentucky's Mammoth Cave, a cast of captivating characters are led on a mysterious journey into the depths of the earth and the depths of existence, where they are confronted with murder, revenge and a world unlike anyone has ever seen. Orndorff wrote the play specifically as an entrant to the festival.

Columbo Takes the Rap by William Link. The original co-creator of the Emmy Award-winning and mystery television series has written a first-time stage version for the comedic detective character. Cigar-toting Columbo brings his wit and wisdom to the scene of a modern crime where he confronts a powerful music producer and uncovers clues to a great murder mystery involving two rap stars.

Panic by Joseph Goodrich. Capturing a decadent lifestyle of Paris in the 1960s, this deceitful drama unravels a scheme of blackmail, betrayal and murder. Goodrich is a writer and actor from Minnesota.

Widdershins by Don Nigro. Set in Wales in 1902, a family or four has disappeared. In comes the odd but usually effective Inspector Ruffing to solve the mystery. There is one clue: the word “Widdershins” is written on a piece of paper in the missing man’s desk. Nigro has won awards including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a playwriting fellowship grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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. Author David Foley pits a sharp-witted diamond diva against a sexy, sinister one-night-stand boyfriend and the sparks that fly are frightening.

Audience members will choose the winning play, which will receive a $10,000 award at the gala on the final night of the festival. The general public also will be able to attend free classes, book signings and meet several authors.

For more information, visit the festival's website here.

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