Valhalla Tahoe’s WordWave returns for third year |

Valhalla Tahoe’s WordWave returns for third year

Autumn Whitney

Valhalla Tahoe wraps up its show season this weekend with the third annual WordWave One-Act Play Competition.

The contest, which opened its application back in spring, welcomed playwrights to enter a never-before-seen work for the chance to have it performed in South Shore’s Boathouse Theatre — the top three finishers’ scripts (selected by a local committee) are set to take the stage this Saturday, Oct. 21.

“Our idea was we’d feature new work that had never been seen before… Finally three years ago we put a committee together and got [information] out to see what would happen. The first year we got over 200 submissions — we were shocked. Our goal was 50,” said Valhalla board member Ginger Nicolay-Davis, referring to WordWave’s origins.

Three years down the road the Valhalla team has shortened the application window in an effort to limit the amount of entries, as the selection panel must read through all scripts in order to choose the winners — and applicants can be based anywhere in the world.

Support Local Journalism

The three one-act plays will be performed at Valhalla Tahoe’s Boathouse Theatre at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s been super fun and a labor of love — it’s all volunteers helping us, and we spend hundreds of hours reading. We have to get through the scripts and narrow them down,” Nicolay-Davis noted.

“A small group reads every script, and they narrow it down to the top 30. Then we have other committees go through and read those. We’ve done it that way all three years. We end up with a really good lineup of shows and I’m super excited this year.”

The three one-act plays that will be showcased at the 2017 WordWave are Peter Ovetti’s “Gallery Talk,” Richard Lyons Conlon’s “Descanso” and Gabriella Giocomo’s “Locked In.”

“The first piece — ‘Gallery Talk’ — it’s super fun, and set in a museum where the art comes to life when people aren’t walking by. It’s quirky, funny and a very creative, thoughtful piece.

“The second piece — ‘Descanso’ — it’s a dramatic piece; an interesting concept about a woman whose daughter was involved in a hit and run in front of someone’s home, and she goes there everyday as a memorial. It’s a dramatic piece about the loss of a child.

“The third piece — ‘Locked In’ — it’s very funny and takes place in a nursing home. A guy goes to visit his grandfather and gets a call from his wife who is headed to the hospital in labor, but he can’t get out [of the nursing home],” explained Nicolay-Davis.

She noted that the performances are not staged like typical plays.

“Ours is a little more like produced stage readings; the actors don’t have the scripts completely memorized. It’s a really fun process.”

While the directors and actors are all based in the region, the winning playwrights are all from different locations. Only 21-year-old Las Vegas native Giocomo will attend the event, and host a Q&A session after the performances.

The three one-act plays will be performed at Valhalla Tahoe’s Boathouse Theatre at 7:30 p.m. The event lasts approximately two hours, and is open to all ages. Tickets range from $15-$20 and are available online via, where additional information is found.

Valhalla Tahoe is located at 1 Valhalla Road.

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.


See more