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The Aspen-based Theater Masters will present its second annual National MFA Playwrights’ Festival here beginning Jan. 18. The festival will feature 10 playwrights, three directors and 17 actors gathering to present 10 new short works. Julia Hansen, part-time Aspenite and founder of Theater Masters, is artistic director of the festival.

The plays, finalists of a national competition among students in masters programs for theater, will be performed Jan. 27-29 at Aspen High School’s Black Box Theatre. Each play will be followed by a discussion of the work, with audiences invited to listen. The festival will also include master classes in acting, presentations in local middle and high schools, and participation in the Aspen Institute’s Current Trends in American Playwrighting symposium.

Writers attending the Playwrights’ Festival come from programs at UCLA, Brown University, Columbia University, NYU, the University of Texas at Austin, and more. Also attending is Glenwood Springs high school senior Lance Tsosie, who participated in Theater Masters’ Aspiring Playwright’s Competition.

Local actors appearing in festival productions include Peggy Mundinger, Kathy Pelowski, Wendy Perkins, Jimmy Coates, Ed Foran and Gerald DeLisser. Directors for the festival are Wes Savick from Boston, Heath Cullens from New York City, and Pesha Rudnick, from Boulder and Venice, Calif., who also serves as the artistic associate for the festival.

For tickets, call 948-9484, or email

Shows by Lyle Lovett and the Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars have been added to the Wheeler Opera House schedule.

Lovett will perform in an acoustic trio on Jan. 22. The Texas singer-songwriter, a frequent Aspen visitor, released his 13th album, “It’s Not Big It’s Large,” in August.

The Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars, which formed in a Guinean refugee camp, will perform a benefit concert on Feb. 8. The concert will raise funds for Schools for Salone, an organization that rebuilds schools destroyed in Sierra Leone’s civil war. The band will also make an appearance earlier that day at Aspen High School.

For tickets and further information on the Lovett and Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars shows, and all presentations at the Wheeler Opera House, go to

CMC Theatre is holding auditions for its production of “The Most Massive Woman Wins.” Auditions are set for Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 15-16, at 7 p.m. at the Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley campus, in the Callaway Building.

“The Most Massive Woman Wins,” Madeleine George’s exploration of female body issues, will be presented Feb. 28-March 1, and March 6-8 at the Spring Valley campus. Directing is Wendy Moore, whose credits include directing “Pippin,” in 2005, and “The Wizard of Oz,” in 2000, for Aspen Community Theatre.

There are roles for four to eight women, from teens to 40s, and two men, in their 20s. The audition will include reading from the play and working on selected scenes. Rehearsals will be primarily in the evenings.

For further information, call 947-9685.

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