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Ojai Playwrights Conference to feature new Terrence McNally play

MusicEntertainmentGang ActivityTony AwardsCharlayne WoodardMaster Class (play)Adam Duritz

The latest edition of the annual Ojai Playwrights Conference, set for  August, will feature a new play by Terrence McNally, as well as return appearances by Stephen Adly Guirgis and Father Gregory Boyle.

The conference, one of the country's top centers for new play development, is scheduled to take place Aug. 8 to 12.

McNally's play "And Away We Go," which will be the closing workshop production of the conference, travels through time to visit various theatrical rehearsals in ancient Rome, Shakespeare's Globe and other historic venues.

McNally is a multiple Tony Award winner whose best-known plays include"Master Class," "Love! Valour! Compassion!" and "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune."

Guirgis is returning to the conference as a writer-in-residence. He will join Father Boyle on stage for a special event (Aug. 8) featuring ex-gang members who work at Boyle's Homeboy Industries in downtown L.A. The event, titled "Urban Theatre in America," will feature a series of monologues about life on the streets.

Boyle appeared last year at the festival with a different group of ex-gang members in a presentation titled "Tattoos on the Heart," based on his book.

Playwright Nikkole Salter will also serve as a writer-in-residence during the conference. She will participate in a 15th anniversary celebration of the conference (Aug. 9) that will feature Charlayne Woodard, Amy Lippman and others.

This year's conference will feature workshop productions of new plays by Luis Alfaro, Robert Askins, Jennifer Haley, Matt Hoverman and Liza Powel O'Brien.

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