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FTC presents latest voices of the West

Foothill Theatre Company’s fourth annual New Voices of the Wild West staged readings and new play development program opens at 7 tonight with “Gone” by William Kovacsik.

The reading is repeated at 8 p.m. Saturday.

In “Gone,” world champion rock climber Carrie Bering disappears, leaving her friends, family and police mystified. As the investigation advances, each person involved in the search theorizes about what might have happened. Each scenario seems equally plausible and, in the end, there are more questions than answers.



The other plays are “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” by Peter Handy at 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday; “Asylum” by Mark Rigney at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 and 8 p.m. Nov. 9; and “Hammers” by Elvet Conrad at 8 p.m. Nov. 8 and 2 p.m. Nov. 10.

“East of the Sun and West of the Moon” is an epistolary play about the friendship between British nurse Constance Billings and Michael Ziegler, a Lakota Indian serving with the U.S.




Expeditionary Force in World War I. Billings cares for Michael and reads to him while he recovers from a head wound. They continue to correspond after the war, and she makes plans (over her fiance’s objections) to visit him on the reservation in South Dakota.

In “Asylum,” a young woman stakes out a tiny island in the Rio Grande and starts her own country. Several steps must occur, including immigration, creating a constitution, making laws, and appointing officials. Foreign policy headaches are also created, as neither Mexico nor the United States wants a new neighbor.

“Hammers” focuses on Chuck Ratowitz, who takes over as construction foreman for the Weatherlee mansion. At the beck and call of obsessive heiress Sophia Weatherlee, Ratowitz’s marriage and sanity are strained by her constant demands on his time and attention. This highly theatrical play is based on the construction of the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose.

All readings are at City Centre Playhouse, 127-A Bank St., Grass Valley.

After each staged reading, the audience, performers, director and playwright talk informally.

Admission is $7 per play, or four plays for $21. Call the Foothill Theatre Company box office at 265-8587 for reservations.

– Carol Feineman


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