Playwright Richard Espey at Fells Point Corner Theatre. Photo by Steve Ruark.
Playwright Richard Espey at Fells Point Corner Theatre. Photo by Steve Ruark.

Courtesy Bmore Media – If playwrights come alive when their works are performed on stage, that’s especially true when their dramas and comedies are produced for the first time.

Taking a new script from the page to the stage is what the Baltimore Playwrights Festival has been doing in its 32-year history. The festival has produced plays for more than 165 playwrights and has produced more than 275 shows.

About half the submitted scripts in recent years have received a public reading, giving the playwright his first chance to hear his words spoken by real live actors. This summer’s edition features four new plays produced at theaters in Baltimore City, tackling the themes of gay pride, Vietnam veterans, an unlikely couple and a woman’s memories of her grandfather. The plays run in July and August at the Fells Point Corner Theatre, at theater partnering with Sojourner-Douglass College and Notre Dame of Maryland University.

“The feedback you get from the Baltimore Playwrights Festival is peerless. I’ve always been grateful for it,” says Rich Espey, 47, of Towson.

Corresponding to the colors of the six horizontal stripes in the gay pride flag, his play, “The Rainbow Flag,” consists of six brief one-act plays, and a new seventh, one-act play to tie them together. Each of the first six plays corresponds with a symbolic theme reflected in the flag colors. For instance, the green represents nature and yellow represents sunshine.

Read more at Bmore Media.