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Stelle Di Domani Series: The Willow Grove 

When: Thu., June 3, 3 p.m. and Fri., June 4, 3 p.m. 2010
Price: Free
www.piccolospoleto.com

A staged reading of the 2009 Todd McNerney National Playwriting contest runner-up. It is the haunting story of family reunited by the recent death of their father who, oddly enough, is hanging around just long enough to see his funeral handled the right way. Part of the Stelle Di Domani Series at Piccolo Spoleto Festival.

Winner's circle
The Willow Grove was the runner-up in the 2009 Todd McNerney National Playwriting contest. The contest is funded by an anonymous donation to the College of Charleston and the reading is a part of the prize. This was playwright Walter Thinne's first script after spending years as an actor and stage manager.

Fun at the funeral
The Willow Grove offers sharp comedy as, from beyond the grave, a father watches his daughter plan his funeral. Even though the two characters don't interact, the audience begins to understand their relationship and, as the story takes a dark turn, a family secret is revealed in the willow grove.

Focus on the words
The reading means just that: no performance. Just actors (in this case, CofC faculty and alumni) reading directly from the script. It's a crucial part of the development of any script, giving the playwright a chance to hear the words and giving audiences a rare peek at a work in progress.

— Greg Hambrick

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