Ballroom Marfa Art Fund
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The Reading — Devils at Play

18 May 2013


Marfa, Texas


The Reading: Devils at Play by James DiLapo

Featuring James DiLapo, Julia Dyer, Drew Wall, Chuck Huber, Carolyn Pfeiffer, and Nancy Sanders

The Reading was an annual program at Ballroom Marfa between 2011 and 2013 which offered a staged reading of a winning script from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ annual Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. The program aimed to bring the screenwriter together with an actual audience at an early point in the creative process and included performances at Marfa’s Crowley Theater, panel discussions with the screenwriter and others involved with the project. Presented as part of Ballroom Marfa’s year-round Film Program, the screenwriter of the winning script was selected from among five Nicholl Fellows by a committee of filmmakers.

Ballroom Marfa’s distinguished Filmmakers’ Selection Committee chose Academy Nicholl Fellow James DiLapo’s script Devils at Play for the 2013 production of The Reading

Set in the Soviet Union circa 1937, Devils at Play centers on an officer of the secret police who finds a list of traitors that he believes could be his ticket out of the repressed existence he struggles with day to day. In addition to being selected for The Reading and awarded a coveted Academy Nicholl Fellowship, Devils at Play also made the 2012 Black List of the year’s top 10 unproduced screenplays.

Julia Dyer — director of 2012’s highly acclaimed The Playroom and festival darling Late Bloomers — helmed the staged performance of Devils at Play for The Reading. Chuck Huber played the lead role of Stepan. Award-winning Dallas actor Drew Wall returned to The Reading stage opposite Huber, in the role of Ilich. Veteran film producer Carolyn Pfeiffer and Ballroom Marfa board member Nancy Sanders returned as producers. Devils at Play was performed by actors with scripts in hand, full stage direction, and state-of-the-art lighting and sound.

2013’s esteemed Filmmakers’ Selection Committee was comprised of: 2012 Sundance winner for best director Ava DuVernay; Oscar® & Tony® Award-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden; Hitchcock director Sacha Gervasi; and returning committee chairman, pioneering producer Robert Shapiro.