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Authors Speak to present its first playwright

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By Kelly LeVan

Is it better to write about what you know or to remain uninhibited by personal experience? Why write a play instead of a different form?

Robert Benjamin will discuss these and other questions as the first playwright to present in Mesa Public Library’s Author Speak Series. The free event will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday in the upstairs rotunda.

“If the audience wants to talk about process,” Benjamin said, “I can go there. Why don’t I write a novel? I can go there. I need some direction from the audience.”

The presentation will also feature a performance of his short play “Fresh Out,” starring Pat Beck and Jody Shepard.

Before his “retirement,” Benjamin worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory for 31 years in experimental physics. These days, he spends most of his time either writing or workshopping plays.

His portfolio includes a variety of short pieces and two full-length dramas, one of which, his late-in-life romance “Time Enough,” was produced earlier this year at the Los Alamos Little Theatre. The Arizona Jewish Theatre Company, in Phoenix, will stage his current work-in-progress, a commissioned piece titled “Parted Waters,” next March.


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