Two winners of the Eileeen Heckart Drama for Seniors Competition will receive readings at Ohio State’s Drake Performance and Event Center on Wednesday, February 27th, at 7:30 p.m. The plays are Billie and Henry, winner of the ten-minute play category by Harriet Weiss of Palm Springs, California, and Oregon writer Dori Appel’s Bon Voyage, runner-up one-act play. Well-known Columbus performers Linda Dorff, Sarah Worthington, Robin Post, Ann Mirels, and Ira Simons will read the roles in the Drake New Works Lab, 1849 Cannon Drive on the Ohio State University campus, between the twin towers.
In Billie and Henry, two aged motion picture veterans -- a onetime starlet and an extra -- face old age, and plot to jump ahead on the waiting list for the industry retirement home. Harriett Weiss was a staff writer and story editor for All in the Family and Archie Bunker's Place, among other credits. She received the Scott Newman and Gabriel awards, and was a finalist three times for the Humanitas Prize.
Dori Appel’s Bon Voyage examines three sisters, about to embark on a cruise, who find out new things about each other even after long, close lives. Dori Appel’s plays and musicals have been widely produced across the United States. She has performed her work at the Senior Theatre USA meeting in Las Vegas, and at the Senior Theatre Festival in Columbus.
Over five hundred plays were submitted to the 2007 Eileen Heckart Drama for Seniors Competition. The competition honors Columbus native (and Ohio State alumna) Eileen Heckart (1919-2001), the distinguished American actress whose long career culminated in her stunning performance in Kenneth Lonergan's The Waverly Gallery (2000), for which she received the Drama Desk Award, Obie Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award. That same year she was awarded the Tony for lifetime achievement. She also was the recipient of an Academy Award (Butterflies Are Free), Golden Globe (The Bad Seed) and an Emmy (Save Me A Place at Forest Lawn). She was recognized with a Margo Jones Medal in 2000 for her long championing of new plays, having appeared in almost thirty world premiere productions.
The Heckart Competition is administered by the Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute of The Ohio State University.