FOOTPRINTS OF THE POLAR BEAR Wins 2008 Cincinnati Directors Competition

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Blue Chip Players, Inc. is proud to announce that its production of "Footprints of the Polar Bear" directed by Arnie Shayne won the 2008 Cincinnati Directors Competition presented by New Edgecliff Theatre, March 6-16, at the Columbia Performance Center, Cincinnati, OH.

Blue Chip Players, Inc. and New Edgecliff Theatre have announced that Blue Chip Players' production of "Footprints of the Polar Bear" directed by Arnie Shayne and written by Phil Paradise won the $500 first prize for the 2008 Cincinnati Directors Competition presented by New Edgecliff Theatre, March 6-16, 2008 at the Columbia Performance Center, Cincinnati, OH.

Director Arnie Shayne said, "I'm honored and a little numb. It was exciting directing a new piece and working closely with Phil Paradise the playwright. I have particularly enjoyed this opportunity because Footprints of the Polar Bear is very well written, engaging, and relevant. In addition I was lucky to get actors with superb credits."

A contemporary drama-comedy 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 global warming, 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 produced play. Says Paradise, "What a pleasure it's been working with Arnie Shayne and The Blue Chip Players. Their levels of energy, dedication and enthusiasm have been inspirational."

Shayne, President of Blue Chip Players, Inc. announced that FOOTPRINTS OF THE POLAR BEAR written by Phil Paradise will be produced by The Blue Chip Players http://www.bluechipplayers.net in June 5-8, 2008 as part of a double-bill with Address Unknown at the Monmouth Theatre in Newport, KY. Shayne will direct and produce both plays with the Blue Chip Players.

This was 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 included 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 said, "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 adds, "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."

A member of the Dramatists Guild, Phil Paradise is President of the Cincinnati Playwrights Initiative (CPI). His drama-comedy "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 workshop and 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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