CATCO, GCAC Announce First Annual Playwrights Fellowship Recipient

Reading of Books & Bridges A Play by Columbus playwright Chris Leyva set for June 8

CATCO, in partnership with the Greater Columbus Arts Council (the "Arts Council"), announced today Columbus playwright Chris Leyva is the recipient of the 2013 Playwrights Fellowship program for his work, Books & Bridges A Play.

Leyva receives a $5,000 fellowship and a reading of his play, which will be presented June 8, 2014, at the Studio Three Theatre, Vern Riffe Center, 77 S. High St.

"I'm very excited to work with CATCO and Columbus theatre artists, and to share my play with the Columbus community in a staged reading and watch it grow from there," Leyva said.

Originally from Albuquerque, NM, Leyva received an MFA from the Playwrights Workshop at The University of Iowa and a B.A. in directing from Coe College. His play, All Grace, which received the Richard Maibaum Award in Playwrighting, workshop production, 2006 Iowa New Play Festival, was performed at the Columbus Arts Festival in 2008. Other plays are Solamente Una Vez; A Thaw, The Brothers Caramillo, Eulogy For A Piece of Sh*t, Bloodletting, Holy Schmidt!, Father Bob, and Dialogues With Lars.

Books & Bridges features a writer, Julia Douglas, whose college writing professor has skipped town and left her his bookstore and a mess to deal with. She wants out and is determined to get out. In addition to Douglas, the play has two other characters, Dane Ryan, Julia's friend, and Betsy Holmes, owner of a nearby bookstore.

"Our reading selection committee was impressed with the number of creative submissions we received, an indication of the thriving theatre community in central Ohio," said Steven C. Anderson, CATCO producing director. "Chris' enterprising work stood out for its crisp dialogue and interesting plot development. We are excited to work with this young emerging playwright."

"The Arts Council's Individual Artist Fellowship program was established in 1986 to recognize outstanding local artists, and since that time we've continued to grow our program by engaging partners to increase the numbers and types of fellowships we offer," said Tom Katzenmeyer, President of the Arts Council. "We are delighted to work with CATCO and Chris Leyva to bring Books & Bridges A Play to the stage."

Selection criteria for the fellowship included originality, likelihood of future productions, clarity of voice and general interest in the subject matter. Interested artists were asked to submit a cover letter and the following:
-Breakdown of characters with brief descriptions
-Up to 10 pages of sample dialogue
-Brief synopsis (one or two paragraphs) of the play to be considered
-Cover page that provided the playwright's name, address and contact information. (Plays were considered without the playwright's information attached to insure impartial selection.)

The CATCO 2013-14 season is sponsored by Limited Brands. In addition, the Ohio Arts Council funds the theatre with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, education excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. CATCO also appreciates the support of The Herbert Peterson, Nina B. Pohlman, and Grace K. and Robert L. Rohe Funds of the Columbus Foundation, assisting donors and others in strengthening our community for the benefit of all of its citizens, and the Greater Columbus Arts Council, supporting the city's artists and arts organizations since 1973.

CATCO is Kids season is presented by American Electric Power and enjoys season partner support from the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

For more information about CATCO and GCAC, visit catcoistheatre.org and gcac.org.

About CATCO
CATCO is central Ohio's professional Equity theatre company, providing quality theatre and educational programs for all ages. The theatre organization has adopted an innovative strategy, building creative alliances that can sustain growth and development. For more information, visit catcoistheatre.org. Together, CATCO and CATCO is Kids provide quality theatre and educational programs for all ages. The theatres have adopted an innovative strategy, building creative alliances that can sustain growth and development.

About the Greater Columbus Arts Council
Through vision and leadership, advocacy and collaboration, the Greater Columbus Arts Council supports art and advances the culture of the region. A catalyst for excellence and innovation, we fund exemplary artists and arts organizations and provide programs, events and services of public value that educate and engage all audiences in our community. The Arts Council thanks the City of Columbus, Franklin County and the Ohio Arts Council for their continued support. www.gcac.org