More than 100 one-act plays by hopeful writers were submitted to the WordWave One-Act Play Competition earlier this year. A dedicated team of readers weaned the pile down to the three winners, who will be invited to Lake Tahoe to spend three days working with actors and directors to bring the vision of their writing to reality at WordWave on Oct. 21 in South Lake Tahoe.
Oct. 21 | 7:30 p.m. | $15-$20
Valhalla Tahoe Boathouse
The audience will be a part of the process, as well. After each play, members of the audience will have a chance to ask the writers and directors questions and, in the process, help them to refine and improve the play. Who knows? Perhaps, someday a one-act play seen at Valhalla will be presented on Broadway.
The experience will prove to be exciting and educational for the playwrights, according to past winners, who have nothing but praise for the opportunity to see his or her work brought to life.
“Being part of WordWave lit up the fall for me. The care taken to stage a reading of my play thrilled me to the core,” said Peter McDonough, who presented his play “Joint Chiefs” at the 2106 WordWave competition
“Execution of the script by the cast and director transcended my expectations and the Valhalla Boathouse Theatre provided an amazing venue. My thanks to all involved with the festival who went above and beyond to make the playwrights feel welcome and at home,” he added.
This year’s winners are: Gabriella Giocomo for “Locked In,” Peter Orvetti for “Gallery Talk” and Richard Lyons Conlon for “Descanso.”
Giocomo was born in Chicago to a family of theater professionals. After she discovered she enjoyed writing dialog, she began working on plays. Several of her works have been seen in small-scale productions and developmental readings in Chicago and her current home Las Vegas.
“My play is a one-act comedy, sitcom like,” says Giocomo. “It’s first iteration I wrote when I was 15 years old and I took another look at it a little bit ago. I’m super excited to go up to Tahoe.”
In addition to writing plays, Giocomo has been working on other writing projects and performing regularly in Las Vegas as a singer and actor.
Orvetti is a writer, actor and occasional improvisational performer from Washington, D.C. He is also a journalist and news analyst and has published a memoir about his experiences as a divinity school dropout in 2009. He is currently working on a novel. Orvetti’s twin sons are continuing the family artistic bent: one is an actor and the other is a ballet dancer.
Conlon has written more than 30 plays and screenplays, including “7 Minutes to Live,” a semi-finalist in MultiStages 2017 New Works Contest in New York City; “Big Game: A Mother Daughter Hunting Story,” to be produced this October in Chicago; “Intellectual Property,” a finalist in the 2017 HRC Showcase Theatre Playwriting Contest and “One-Time,” which had a record-setting world premiere at Next Act Theatre in Milwaukee, Wis.
Valhalla Tahoe is located along the shore of Lake Tahoe near Camp Richardson. It includes the former Heller Residence, now known as the Grand Hall, and the Boathouse, which houses the theater.
The Boathouse was built in the late 1800s by William Tevis. It was later home to “The Sheik,” the biggest and fastest boat on Lake Tahoe owned by George Pope Sr., who acquired the property from Tevis. The boathouse fell into disrepair for a number of years until the late 1980s when the Tahoe Tallac Association began an effort to restore it.
With a great deal of support from author Dr. Leo Buscaglia, who donated a portion of the proceeds from one of his best-selling books, it was brought back to life as a theater for its first summer session in 1996.
Inside, the theater has exposed beams and wonderful natural acoustics, while outside the classic Tahoe design has ground-to-roof cedar-plank siding. Spending an evening in the building feels as if you are back in time when “The Sheik” was still plying Tahoe’s waters. You just might think that Pope and Tevis are lounging in the back row enjoying the show.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit tahoewordwave.com.