Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Chandler presents final reading of Issues Play contest

Sunday, May 29 at 7 p.m. — RANDOLPH — As announced in February, the winners in Chandler’s 2015 competition for thoughtful new plays on current social issues by Vermont playwrights are Mike Backman of Quechee, Jeanne Beckwith of Roxbury, and Maura Campbell of Burlington. The plays have been presented in staged readings, followed by a talkback for actors and audience to give feedback to the authors, who attend. Complimentary refreshments are available between the readings and the talkbacks.

On Sunday, May 29 at 7 p.m., Chandler presents a staged reading of Maura Campbell’s play “Desert Bloom,” or “The Boy and the Watermelons.” Campbell’s story of four child soldiers alone and awaiting orders is directed by Jeanne Beckwith and Maura Campbell. Beckwith calls it, “A touching and poetic piece of theater that mixes the absurd with the sublime.”

The play is a parable about four children who attempt to establish order and reason in an apocalyptic land. Zenby, Praddah and Blix guard an abandoned ruin, passing the time telling fantastical stories. Their boredom and hunger is relieved when Geeda arrives, bringing food and news. But soon their playmaking takes a darker turn: They hear a girl’s faint, impossible cry deep in the rubble below, like the lone voice of humanity. With their meager resources can they, and should they, save her?​

Campbell, a former resident of Randolph, now divides her time between Burlington and Pompano Beach, Fla. She has an MFA in playwriting from Hollins University and will be studying new play directing this summer with Playwrights’ Horizons founder Bob Moss, also at Hollins University.

Tickets for adults are $10 in advance or $12 day-of-show. Student tickets are $5 at all times. Tickets can be ordered by calling the Chandler Box Office at 802-728-6464 between 3 and 6 p.m. weekdays.

Chandler Center for the Arts is located at 71-73 Main Street, Randolph.

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