On Theater: A new classic, or five, in the making?

Theatergoers who wonder where the next wave of new plays and playwrights might be coming from could find at least a partial answer Saturday at the Newport Theatre Arts Center.

There, beginning at 2:30 p.m., five new one-act plays will be presented in staged readings, all with the announced central theme of "people finding themselves in unexpected places or finding truths at the core of their lives."

This description is offered by the Orange County Playwrights Alliance, which is presenting the program, billed as "works written by dramatists who have been produced across America."

Leading off the session will be "Waiting for Tomorrow," by Bob Bevacqua. In this playlet, a man who wishes he could fast-forward through today's problems to tomorrow gets his wish and is "rebirthed into the future." But, as he discovers, you must be careful what you wish for: He is transported into a "tomorrow" where there are no todays and only residents like himself. It's directed by Eric Modyman, of the Mysterium Theater.

"Bloodletting and Poe," by Erica Bennett, is next on the program. The teaser line is, "In the pitch black before dawn, can Diana find the key to unlock her bloodied heart?" Dave Barton, of the Monkey Wrench Collective, is directing this somewhat scary-sounding exercise.

Next up is Karen Fix Curry's "The Back Side of the Moon." In this one, an artist finds herself in jail and must face the truth of who she really is. It's directed by Kevin Slay, from Chapman University.

Orange Coast College instructor Phyllis Gitlin — who directed NTAC's last production of "Oklahoma!" — will stage "The Wedding Gown," by John Franceschini. It's described as a tale about a young woman searching for the perfect wedding dress in a consignment shop where every gown has a history.

Finally, there is "Migration Patterns," by John Lane. This one is set aboard a cruise ship at midnight. Two strangers meet and discuss where they are in life and what might lie ahead. Jim Marbury, of Inland Stage, directs.

Admission is free, but a $6 donation is suggested. Newport Theatre Arts Center is located at 2501 Cliff Drive, Newport Beach. Reservations are being taken at (714) 902-5716. More information about the producing group is available at http://www.ocplaywrights.org.

TOM TITUS reviews local theater for the Daily Pilot.

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