On the Radar: staged readings of On the Way to O'Neill's: JFK in Ireland at Jobsite and Blue Willow at American Stage

American Stage’s Blue Willow, by playwright Kim Hanna. It follows a formerly wealthy, now homeless woman who clings to the last vestige of her old life: a piece of blue willow china. Only when she finds herself living in a tent city on the banks of a river can she begin to puzzle out the things that are really important. The show is followed by a talkback with the author, when the audience is invited to flex their theatrical muscles and offer a constructive evaluation of the play. On the Way to O’Neill’s, March 21-23, 7 p.m. Sun.-Tues., Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa, $7, free for season ticket holders, jobsitetheater.org; Blue Willow, 7 p.m. Mon., March 22, American Stage, 163 Third St. N., St. Petersburg, free, americanstage.org. —FW

Welcome to On the Radar, where we preview up-and-coming arts events to mark your calendar for. Just when you think you’ve seen everything the Tampa Bay stage scene has to offer, Jobsite and American Stage serve up a fresh, hot, heaping portion of theatrical goodness. This week you can see staged readings of two plays that even the most cultured theater buffs have yet to attend — because these local playwrights are offering them up for public consumption for the first time ever.

First, see David Beckett and Ann G. Bauer’s On the Way to O’Neill’s: JFK in Ireland at Jobsite. This piece of revisionist history imagines what might’ve happened if JFK had survived Dallas. It’s set in 1999, when the former president, now an octogenarian, visits Wexford to mourn the death of his son. Get some insight on the story at the post-show talkback with the playwrights and director James Rayfield.

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