Winners announced for “60 is the new 40” Play Festival

Plays running the gamut from science fiction to a superhero saga to people revealing long-held secrets are among the nine winning scripts selected for the 2nd Act Players’ 60 is the New 40 Short-Play Festival. All feature main characters who are redefining themselves in their senior years.

Characters range from a gay concert pianist to superhero sisters to a man in the near future on a very special quest.

Three of the winning playwrights — Mark Contorno, Elizabeth DeSchryver and Craig Gustafson, live in the Chicago area.

Winning playwright Ian Patrick Williams, an alumnus of Chicago Organic Theater Company, also is one of the authors of the Chicago theater classic play Bleacher Bums. He also won a Chicago Emmy for acting in the PBS version of Bleacher Bums. Williams now resides in California.

DeSchryver is a past 2nd Act Players’ new script winner. Her play Fair, which focused on a young woman beginning to suspect some unsettling truths about her father, was part of the #MeToo Play Festival the 2nd Act Players staged in 2018.

The Winning Scripts and Playwrights:

Normal Shnormal
Ian Patrick Williams
Studio City, Calif.

The Sensational Sisters
John Mabey
Atlanta, Ga.

Symphony
Elizabeth DeSchryver
Evanston, IL.

Spot the Camel
Craig Gustafson
Lombard, IL.

The Elusive Pursuit of Maximum Bliss
Ken Preuss
Florida

Last Ride of the Iron Angels
Stephen R Stewart
Sugarland, Texas

In Her Golden Years
Steven Korbar
San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

About Time
Robin Baron
Bethesda, Md.

Egil Foss and His Left Hand
Mark Contorno
Chicago, IL.

“We have an amazing array of plays, plots and characters this year — more than we’ve ever attempted to do in one festival,” says 2nd Act Players’ Cofounder and Artistic Director John N. Frank. “Spotlighting emerging talent for the stage is the core of our mission, so we love showcasing a wide range of playwrights at our spring new script festivals.”

Frank will direct the plays, all of which will be performed each night of the festival on May 2, 3, 9, 10 and 23, 24. Actors will each play multiple characters in various plays, spotlighting their acting versatility, Frank notes. Shows will take play at the Northminster Presbyterian Church Logan Hall Theater, 2515 Central Park Ave., Evanston, Il. Tickets will go on sale in March.

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