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SCR to Publish 3 Plays to Inaugurate New Program

Times Staff Writer

South Coast Repertory will embark on a play-publishing program for the first time in its 25-year history, a spokesman for the Costa Mesa theater said Friday.

Taking a cue from the Theatre Communications Group, a New York-based service organization that prints a series called “Plays in Process,” SCR’s Hispanic Playwrights Project will publish three scripts that have been produced in workshop at its summer festivals.

“The idea is to get the work out to other theaters looking for Hispanic material or that are interested in the particular writers,” said Jose Cruz Gonzalez, director of the playwrights project.

Gonzalez said the new publications will be launched by the end of the year and will continue on an annual basis. He did not specify the cost, but said the publications will be financed with part of the $50,000 Ford Foundation grant that helped underwrite last summer’s Hispanic play festival.

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The first three plays being published are Lynnette Serrano-Bonaparte’s “Broken Bough” and Rafael Lima’s “Parting Gestures,” both of which were staged at workshop readings last summer, and Ana Maria Simo’s “Passion,” which had a workshop reading in 1987.

“We chose them because we felt they were the plays most capable of being produced,” Gonzalez said.

To date, two plays that have come out of the festival have been staged as full productions elsewhere.

Jose Rivera’s “Promise,” which received a workshop reading in 1987, was produced last season at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. It also is scheduled to open later this month at New York City’s Ensemble Studio Theatre and in February at San Francisco’s Magic Theatre.

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The other play, Reuben Gonzalez’s “The Boiler Room,” which came out of the 1986 festival, was produced last year at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre and will be done in April at San Jose Repertory.

Meanwhile, SCR has received a $70,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for its general operating fund. Nine NEA grants totaling $523,500 have been made to the theater since 1980 as well as a special grant of $12,500 for a director fellowship.

In 1985, SCR was one of four theaters in the country to receive a $350,000 NEA challenge grant, which launched its current capital campaign. “We’ve just matched the terms of that grant,” SCR development director Bonnie Brittain Hall said. The campaign has raised $5 million so far, Hall said.


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