After a week-long reading festival of five new plays by local playwrights from July 20 to 25 and weeks of deliberation, the Players Theatre and its 2015 New Play Festival have selected a winner to receive a full-scale production next year from August 23 to 28. The dramatic victor is "Why Can't I Be You?" by Llywelyn Jones.
Focusing on the story of a pampered rock star's sudden encounter with one of his stalkers in his bedroom, the play beat out four other works that made it out of the dozens that entered the New Play Festival to the finals including: "Let Me Be Frank" by Connie Schindewolf; "Ludlow" by George Loukides; "The Nearly Final Almost Posthumous Play Of The Not Quite Dead Sutton McAllister" by Kris Bauske; and "Before Steepletop" by Arthur Keyser."
“Each year our area talent pool seems to grow, which makes our decision-making even more difficult” says Jeffery Kin, artistic director of the Players Theatre. “This was a banner year for the New Play Festival, and choosing one winner was quite a challenge. The winning play this year is smart, funny, and dare I say hip? A play dealing with a rock star and his stalker could be a story from today’s tabloids. We are excited to be working with Llwelyn and staging this great new work.”
Jones who was born in London and graduated from Riverview High School and studied at the London Academy of Performing Arts has had his plays produced in Los Angeles, New York City, St. Petersburg and Sarasota, FL. This is the third time Jones has won the Players Theatre's annual New Play Festival. He first won in 2006 for his play titled "Blackout," which presented the story of a college professor who endangers his job and impending marriage by drunkenly flirting with a student via an online chatroom. Jones won then again in 2013 with his play "That Wasn't Me," which depicts the story of a star high school football player whose future is placed in jeopardy when he is accused of killing two people in a drunk driving accident.