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Craig: Jim Henry’s ‘Jellofish,’ ‘Birthday Story’ plus more

Jim Henry is resident playwright literary manager Chicago Street Theatre Valparaiso.

Jim Henry is the resident playwright and literary manager at Chicago Street Theatre in Valparaiso.

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Updated: October 7, 2013 12:15PM



Jim Henry, the resident playwright and literary manager at Valparaiso’s Chicago Street Theatre has received an award from the American Association of Community Theatre for his work “Jellofish.”

The play has been selected as one of the winning productions of the inaugural AACTNewPlayFest playwriting competition.

The script will be produced by Phoenix Stage Company in Naugatuck, Conn. between now and December 2014, and “Jellofish” will be published as part of an anthology by Dramatic Publishing Co.

Many of Henry’s earlier plays got their start on the Chicago Street Theatre stage: “The Angels of Lemnos” in 1989, “The Seventh Monarch” in 2002, “Backwards in High Heels” in 2005 and “Brother of All” in 2012.

His latest short play, “Birthday Story,” will be presented at 2 p.m. Sept. 7 as part of Chicago Dramatist’s third annual Scrapbook presentation at 1105 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago.

“The Seventh Monarch” had a three-month run off-Broadway at the Acorn Theatre on 42nd Street in New York and won three playwriting awards: Plays for the 21st Century, San Francisco Dramarama and the Mildred & Albert Panowski Playwriting Award.

Henry’s first play, “The Angels of Lemnos,” has been produced throughout the United States and in Australia after its run at Chicago Dramatists and winning Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Award for best new work.

The play ran for five months in Los Angeles receiving an L.A. Times Critic’s Choice, rave reviews from Variety and a Robby Award for best new play.

“Brother of All” is scheduled for its world premiere at Detroit Repertory Theatre in March.

Henry’s other plays include “Bury Me,” “Busting the Fence,” “Mairzy Doats,” “Masterminds,” “Greetings from New Guinea” and “A Worthy Choice.”

He has been busy with screenplays as well. Henry’s screenwriting credits include “Jupiter in Vegas,” “Young Again,” “Moon Shadows,” “Seventh Monarch,” “Eternal Patrol” and “The Angels of Lemnos.”

“Moon Shadows” won four screenplay competitions while “The Angels of Lemnos” took third place at the Hollywood Film Festival and was a finalist in the Sundance Feature Film Project.

Henry has optioned two screenplays with producer Ian Bryce (all three “Transformers” films, “Saving Private Ryan,” “Spider-Man,” “Almost Famous”).

AACTNewPlayFest is an effort by the American Association of Community Theatre to address the critical need for new high-quality plays for community theater audiences around the globe.

More than 200 submissions were received for the contest, and six plays were selected to be produced and published.

Auditions at 4th Street

Chesterton’s 4th Street Theater has announced auditions at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 and 10 for its upcoming production of “Becky’s New Car.”

Written by Steven Dietz and directed by Linda Pauli, “Becky’s New Car” takes a look at what happens when a socially inept and grief-stricken millionaire stumbles into a car dealership and offers a woman nothing short of a brand-new life.

The production will run from Nov. 15-24.

All performances and the auditions will be at 4th Street Theater, 125 N. Fourth St., Chesterton.

Information: (219) 926-7875, 4thstreetncca.org.

Bob Craig is a local freelance writer.



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