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story.lead_photo.caption GMM: Tales from the Rough Writers. Ian Freeland (left) and Kelsie Slaughter act out a scene from a play called "Hazard Pay" written by Dr. Lainie Vansant, PhD. Shaun Zimmerman / News Tribune photo

The Show-Me State will be on display as part of Scene One Theatre's second installment of "Tales from the Rough Writers."

With 2021 being the state's bicentennial, Scene One founder Mark Wegman wanted the show, which features all original works, to highlight Missouri history and culture. "Tales from the Rough Writers" opens June 9 at Scene One, 623 Ohio St. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. June 9-12 and also 2 p.m. June 12.

The Rough Writers group features about 20 people from Jefferson City who meet a few times per month to go over their writings and solicit feedback. Wegman said the group was formed a few years, and newcomers are always welcome. The first installment of the show was in November 2019.

Unlike Scene One's "Short Attention Span Theatre" — which showcases short, 10-minute plays — Wegman said "Tales from the Rough Writers" is meant to show all forms of writing, from plays and monologues to poetry and music — and across all genres.

"We have a lot of writers submit pieces, which is great. It's one of the reasons I formed Scene One so local playwrights and writers could have their works performed," he said, adding he received more than enough content to showcase in next week's performance, and he hopes to host more installments of "Tales from the Rough Writers," though maybe not every year.

The upcoming show will feature a combination of four short plays and a selection of Missouri- specific monologues and poetry.

"It's a variety of works so it should be a fun evening," Wegman said.

Wegman said one monologue is about Ceres, the statue on top of the state Capitol, and the actress portrays the Roman goddess of agriculture. There are also poems about Jefferson City and the Missouri River as well as a tribute to baseball and St. Louis Cardinal Lou Brock who died away last year.

"We knew we wanted the Missouri stuff," he said. "This was the only chance for us this year to do something about Missouri, and then we wanted everything else coming out of COVID to be light and funny and not too heavy."

Rough Writers involved in the production include: Mary Jo LaCorte, Deborah Tragasz, Kimberly Bolton, Brian Bray, Leah Drummond, Kelsie Slaughter, Chris Kennison and Lainie Vansant. A group of actors and directors from Scene One round out the cast and crew.

While tickets are usually $15 for shows at Scene One, Wegman said because they don't have to pay copyrights on the original works, tickets for Tales from the Rough Writers go for $10. To purchase tickets, email [email protected] or call 573-635-6713.

Shrunken Head will provide bar service during the performances.

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