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Exclusive preview of Sci-Fest: chilling performance of an Ursula LeGuin classic

Philippe Mora, director of the stage version of Ursula LeGuin's
Philippe Mora, director of the stage version of Ursula LeGuin's "The Wife's Story" at Sci-Fest, and actor L. Scott Caldwell, who tells the story onstage.
John Rabe

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Sci-Fest is the short name for the 1st Annual Los Angeles Science Fiction One-Act Play Festival, which opens May 6 and features two rotating evenings of 9 short plays performed by actors from science fiction movies and TV shows.

As the organizer, David Dean Bottrell, puts it, "Sci-Fest is a unique festival.  Unlike the fan conventions, Sci-Fest is committed to creating new sci-fi content. It is our hope to grow the festival and establish it as an annual destination event for Sci-Fi fans from around the world."

Check the full Sci-Fest schedule

I was joined in the studio by Philippe Mora, director of “Communion,” “The Beast Within,” and two installments of “The Howling"  franchise; and actor L. Scott Caldwell, who won a Tony for August Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” and who also plays “Rose” on TV's “Lost.”

Mora directs Caldwell in “The Wife’s Story,” which, Caldwell says, Ursula LeGuin agreed to allow into the festival if they changed not one word of it. Caldwell reads an excerpt for us.

The festival's centerpiece is a revival of Ray Bradbury’s “Kaleidoscope,” - "seven astronauts’ mission turns deadly when their craft is destroyed, leaving them adrift in space" - and there are also three late-night sci-fi comedy shows. 

Other actors include Nelson Ascencio (“The Hunger Games”), David Blue ("Stargate: Universe"), David Dean Bottrell ("True Blood"), Dean Haglund ("The X-Files"), James Kyson (“Heroes”), David H. Lawrence, XVII (“Heroes”), Madison McLaughlin (“Supernatural”), Julie McNiven (“Stargate: Universe” & “Supernatural”), Jasika Nicole (“Fringe”), Philip Anthony-Rodriguez (“Grimm”), Tim Russ (“Star Trek: Voyager), Armin Shimerman (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” & “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and Patricia Tallman (“Babylon 5”).  

Logistics: Sci-Fest runs May 6 – June 1 at The ACME Theater, 135 N. La Brea Avenue (South of Beverly Blvd), Los Angeles, CA 90036.