Reuben Jackson will read his poetry at Irina's Cafe in Waverly Tuesday evening


Washington poet Reuben Jackson, author of the award-winning collection "Fingering the Keys," will read his poetry at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Irina's Cafe, at 32nd and Barclay streets in Waverly.

An archivist with the Smithsonian Institution's Duke Ellington Collection, Mr. Jackson writes poetry that is often rooted in jazz and blues.

He won the Columbia Book Award in 1991 for "Fingering the Keys."

The sign-up for an open poetry reading after Mr. Jackson's presentation begins at 8 p.m. that evening. The poetry reading is part of the First Tuesday series held at Irina's Cafe on the first Tuesday of each month. It is free. For details, call (410) 383-6928.

The Baltimore Playwrights Festival will run Friday through Sept. 5 at six Baltimore community theaters. A schedule follows:

Avalon Players: "The Belle of Bourbon Street" by Grant Carrington, directed by Jack Bludis. Friday, Saturday, June 11, June 12, June 18 and June 19 at 8 p.m.; June 13 at 2 p.m.

Vagabond Players: "Quackenbush" by Joe Dennison, directed by Denise Ratajczak. June 18, June 19, June 25, June 26, July 2 and July 3 at 8:30 p.m.; June 20 and June 27

at 2 and 7 p.m.

Axis Theatre: "Home to Center" by Kimberly Lynne, directed by Richard Jackson. July 2, July 3, July 9, July 10, July 16 and July 17 at 8 p.m.; July 11 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; July 18 at 2 p.m.

Spotlighters Theatre: "Give Back the Light" by Patricia Plante, directed by Barry Feinstein. July 9, July 10, July 16, July 17, July 23, July 24, July 30 and July 31 at 8 p.m.

Harbour Theatre: "In the Grasp" by Patricia Lin, directed by Sharon Rosen. July 16, July 17, July 23, July 24, July 30, July 31, Aug. 6 and Aug. 7 at 8 p.m.; Aug. 1 at 2 p.m.

Axis Theatre: "Camera Obscura" by Siobhan Wright, directed by Miriam Bazensky. Aug. 6, Aug. 7, Aug. 13, Aug. 14, Aug. 20 and Aug. 21 at 8 p.m.; Aug. 8, Aug. 15. and Aug. 22 at 2 p.m.

Spotlighters Theatre: "Rich as Croesus" by William B. Biddle, directed by Patsy Black. Aug. 6, Aug. 7, Aug. 13, Aug. 14, Aug. 20, Aug. 21, Aug. 27 and Aug. 28 at 8 p.m.

Fells Point Corner Theatre: "Camisado" by Kathleen Barber, directed by Rob Clingan. Aug. 13, Aug. 14, Aug. 20, Aug. 21, Aug. 27, Aug. 28, Sept. 3, Sept. 4 at 8:30 p.m.; Aug. 15, Aug. 22, Aug. 29 and Sept. 5 at 7


1% For details, call (410) 243-5471.

"Spice It Up," a benefit evening of street dancing to the music of Mama Jama, is scheduled from 7 p.m. to midnight Friday to benefit Baltimore Clayworks in Mount Washington. The party will be held on the grounds of the nonprofit ceramic art studio, 5706 Smith Ave.

The entrance fee of $10 per person will benefit the educational and community outreach programs of Clayworks. It will also admit visitors to a benefit "seconds" sale of slightly flawed pottery. For details, call (410) 578-1919.

Metropol cafe and gallery will open its first exhibition with works by Pacita Abad, D. S. Bakker, Douglas Brown, Ephrem Kouakou and John Smith at 9 p.m. Saturday at the cafe, 1713 N. Charles St.

Exhibitions in the gallery will feature mid-career artists primarily from Washington and Baltimore. For details, call (410) 385-3018.


The Ashling Theatre Center is seeking actors for three participatory improvisational productions in development for the center's fall season. The producer is seeking a range of ages and character types to develop a company roster. For details, call the center at (410) 563-0507.

The nonprofit studio, at 1608 Eastern Ave., is compiling a registry of artists of all disciplines to work collaboratively on new material. Artists should call or write the center for registration information.

The center will also sponsor a series of public presentations of new and developing work. Playwrights, actors, singers, musicians, composers, songwriters, visual artists, dancers, storytellers and poets are invited to apply, audition or demonstrate new material for possible inclusion in this cabaret-style program.

Auditions for the Fells Point Corner Theatre's production of "Once on This Island" are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. June 14 and 15 at the theater, 251 S. Ann St. in Fells Point. The production, which will run weekends from Sept. 24 to Oct. 31, calls for a multiracial cast with 11 men and women aged 18-50 and one African-American girl aged 12-14. The audition requires one ballad and an up-tempo song. Call (410) 366-0396.

Auditions for the original musical "Wondrous," a September production at Spotlighters Theatre, are scheduled for 7 p.m. June 6 and 10 at the

theater, 817 St. Paul St. The musical, by Rita Pearlman, calls for two males and two females aged 20 to 40 in the lead roles and six males and six females over the age of 18 for the chorus. The leads must be able to sing and dance as well as act. B. Thomas Rinaldi will direct the production. Call (410) 254-1806.

The Municipal Opera Company of Baltimore will hold auditions ++ for singers from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. June 11 in Room 119, Building Q at Catonsville Community College, 800 S. Rolling Road. Persons auditioning should bring music for two selections, one in English and the other in English or a foreign language. An accompanist will be provided. To schedule auditions, call (410) 329-6874.

The Maryland Renaissance Festival will hold auditions for its Young Actors Ensemble from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the auditorium of the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St., Annapolis. The program is open to high school students aged 15 to 18 who must prepare a Shakespearean monologue no longer than two minutes. Also bring a picture and resume. The YAE performs for the weekends of Aug. 28 through Sept. 19 of the annual Renaissance Festival in Crownsville. For an audition appointment, call (800) 296-7304.

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