Arnie Shayne and The Blue Chip Players to Produce World Premiere of FOOTPRINTS OF THE POLAR BEAR by Phil Paradise at Cincinnati Director's Competition 2

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Arnie Shayne, President of Blue Chip Players, Inc. has announced that "Footprints of the Polar Bear" by Phil Paradise will be produced by The Blue Chip Players as part of the 2008 Cincinnati Directors Competition sponsored by New Edgecliff Theatre on Thursday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Columbia Performance Center, 3900 Eastern Ave., Cincinnati, OH.

Arnie Shayne, President of Blue Chip Players, Inc. has announced that FOOTPRINTS OF THE POLAR BEAR by Phil Paradise will be produced by The Blue Chip Players http://www.bluechipplayers.net as part of the 2008 Cincinnati Directors Competition sponsored by New Edgecliff Theatre on Thursday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the Columbia Performance Center, 3900 Eastern Ave., Cincinnati, OH. Tickets for the performance are $10 and available online at http://www.newedgecliff.com or by calling 888-588-0137.

Producer/director Arnie Shayne says, "It is always exciting to direct a new piece, especially when there is an opportunity to work with the Playwright. I have particularly enjoyed this opportunity because Footprints of the Polar Bear is very well written, is interesting, has some powerful messages and a surprise ending. Moreover I have been lucky to get actors with superb credits."

A contemporary drama in one act, Footprints of the Polar Bear is the story of Jack, a disturbed homeless Vietnam veteran, wounded by life and retreating into alcoholism. Jack, seemingly obsessed with polar bears, identifies with the plight of the polar bear and retreats from society to a lofty perch on a steel girder high atop a New York City bridge spanning a river.

Footprints of the Polar Bear is playwright Phil Paradise's second play to be produced. Says Paradise, "It's great working with Arnie Shayne and The Blue Chip Players. Their collective experience, expertise, and talent are impressive. I'm looking forward to their production."

This is Arnie Shayne's first time participating in the Cincinnati Director's Competition. Born in the Bronx, NY, to the Schwartz family, who started Yiddish Theatre in the U.S., Arnie Shayne is President of Blue Chip Players, Inc.. For 40 years, Shayne has professionally directed, produced, and acted in NY, Houston, and more recently in Cincinnati. He has done stand up in the Catskills, appeared in movies (Red Alert) and on TV.

The cast of Footprints of the Polar Bear includes Burt McCollom as Jack, Jeffrey K. Miller as Fred, the EMT; Christen Mathern as the Hooker and Radio Dispatcher, and Stephen Cox as The Policeman.

Actor Burt McCollom adds, "I've always wanted to work on new plays, and now at last I have my chance. It's fun and stimulating developing the character of Jack. Footprints of the Polar Bear is an exciting new play presenting contemporary issues and with an intriguing and eccentric main character, whose obsession with polar bears earns him the nickname 'Polar Bear.'"

Actor Jeffrey K. Miller says, "I am excited to work on this brand new script by Phil Paradise under the direction of Arnie Shayne. Footprints of the Polar Bear forces us to examine our psyches, our tactics and our purpose on this planet. My character, a firefighter, faces those same challenges. Only he faces them at the top of a bridge within his conflict with the main character. It's an interesting twist for me as an actor and I think it will be for the audience as well."

A member of the Dramatists Guild, Phil Paradise is President of the Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative (CPI). His comedy/drama A Bag of Groceries was produced at the 2005 Cincinnati Fringe Festival. His first full length play Red Badge, Black Riders (based on the life of author Stephen Crane) received a stage reading with Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati's Theatre of the Mind and CPI's New Voices Series in 2006.

Media contact:
Arnie Shayne (513) 509-6262

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