from past years are returning to Omaha this weekend and all next week to help celebrate the 10th annual Great Plains Theatre Conference. The event gets under way Saturday and runs through May 30.

The conference, centered on new-play development, has been headquartered at Metropolitan Community College's Fort Omaha campus, 30th and Fort Streets, since its founding by Jo Ann McDowell, then-president of the college.

Playwrights Constance Congdon ("Tales of the Lost Formicans"), Kia Corthron ("Force Continuum"), Pulitzer and Tony nominee Lee Blessing ("A Walk in the Woods," "Fortinbras") and Pulitzer and Tony winner Doug Wright ("I AmMy Own Wife," "The Little Mermaid") will appear, leading master classes and luncheon panels, critiquing new works and reading from their own.

This year, 29 plays were chosen from among 578 submissions to be performed in staged readings. Playwrights get feedback from scholars, directors, master playwrights and the public.

Workshops in movement, writing and acting will also be offered, free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.

Theater designers Justin Townsend and Kip Marsh will lead five emerging design artists from across the nation in exploring the creative process.

Mainstage play readings May 29 through 31, featuring the topranked new play submissions, are "The Wolves," by Sarah DeLappe, about a girls' indoor soccer team; "Akuma-Shin," by Kenley Smith, about a monster attack on Tokyo and its aftermath; "This Flat Earth," by Lindsey Ferrentino, about a 12-yearold's reaction to a school shooting; "Washington Place," by David Hopes, about a real-life factory fire in 1911 in New York City; and "Sundogs," by Howard Emanuel, about an Army vet amid deer hunting season the day before deployment to the Middle East.

For a complete conference schedule, go online to mccneb.edu/ gptc. Information: 402-457-2618.

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