The naked word is celebrated by some of the Fort’s top actors and directors at this weekend’s Texas Playwriting Competition Festival May 28-30. For the third consecutive year, Stage West will produce and host staged readings of new works by Texas playwrights who won the competition. Thomas Ward’s Binge, Walter Wykes’s Certificate of Death, and the late Steve Lovett’s Hopelessly Puccini will all receive interpretations by artists including Dana Schultes, Justin Flowers, Jerry Russell, John Davies, Linus Craig, Renee Kelly, and many others.

The weekend’s big draw might be actors Russell and Joe Berryman reuniting for the May 29 reading of Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story, the incendiary “two guys meet on a park bench…” piece of modern theater that has miraculously survived five decades of dissection by undergraduate students. The Zoo Story was Stage West’s very first production back in 1979, and it featured Russell and Berryman.