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HART's playwright forum returns Oct. 20 to encourage audience participation.

PHOTO COURTESY: APRIL FELDER - Page to Stage participants read past Page to Stage winner Brianna Barrett's play, '36 Perfectly Appropriate Mealtime Conversations.' Ever wanted to give live feedback to a play while sitting in the audience?

Hillsboro Artists' Regional Theatre's annual "Page to Stage" production retuns this weekend, giving audience the opportunity to give feedback on plays in the running to be selected for becoming an actual production.

HART's volunteer coordinator and director of Page to Stage April Felder said the theater company receives between 10 to 40 submissions a year of plays to produce. Many of the manuscripts are written by local playwrights.

Members of HART will decide on six finalists, which will be read during the Oct. 20 performance.

Audiences are encouraged to comment after each play is read out loud. They will also be given comment sheets to write their feelings on each play, and then asked to rank them based on which ones they think should be selected for a future HART production.

"We ask them to be as specific as they can. If they like the play or not, we want to hear that too," Felder said.

The board then meets after the show to review the comments to help determine who the winner is. Felder said the selection committee considers if the play can be created into a two-hour show.

"They get their name in lights and get to say, 'Hey, my play has been on-stage,'" Felder said.

This past summer, "Shelf Life" by William Ferguson premiered after winning Page to Stage last year.

To be considered for Page to Stage, the play or musical has to be original and not been produced anywhere else, but it could have been in a reading or workshop before, Felder said.

Page to Stage began seven years ago, she said.

"They wanted to have a way for local playwrights to showcase their talent," Felder said.

Page to Stage will take place at HART, located at 185 S.E. Washington St. in downtown Hillsboro, at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20.

Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased at

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