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Playwright premiers new show in Mae West Fest

By Jessica Davis
Transcript Reporter

For Jewish playwright Sharyn Shipley, this yearís Mae
West Fest is an opportunity to produce the
premiere of a play written especially for her mother.
Her one-act joins a collection of 26 other new works
by female writers, dancers, poets, performance
artists and musicians, in the sixth annual Mae
West Fest, in Fremont from July 18Ė21. The Mae
West Fest was created in 1997 in order to give
Northwest women a chance to have their works
produced locally.

Performances this year not only cater toward Jewish
audiences, but also to gay, straight, young and
old, says Heidi Heimarck, artistic director of the
Mae West Fest.

Shipley returns to the festival for a second time. Her
play in this yearís festival, "Memorial Day,"
is the third in a series of shorts written for and
about her mother. The first two plays of the
series are titled "Moving Day," about choosing a
roommate, and "Veteranís Day," about a woman who
plans to meet a man who she has been writing to on the

"Memorial Day" is about a elderly Jewish woman who
accompanies a dying man to the hospital and is
mistaken for his wife. The man is a former Nazi
working off his penance in a Jewish senior center
and she is the centerís most popular resident. It
is a black 30-minute comedy about respecting the
death of a not-so-loved one, said Shipley.

Shipley keeps herself involved in the local community
as member of the Issaquah Arts Commission and

Temple Bínai Torah. A playwright for more than
20 years, she tends to write about trust and
honor. In addition to writing plays, Shipley has
written TV scripts.

Tickets for the Mae West Festival range from $5 for
individual shows to $40 for an all-festival pass.