The Source Theatre Company kicks off its third annual Washington Theatre Festival today with "Feathers in the Wind" at the Main Stage and "Ladies' Side" at the Warehouse Rep.

"Feathers," presented by Washington First Americans Theatre, is a one-act drama by Will Goins, Kebin Nephew and Monte Malnourie, three local playwrights, all of whom are Native Americans. The play is about three young American Indians from very different upbringings: one from a reservation, one adopted by a white family, the third from a middle-class background.

"Ladies' Side," by Texan Alex Finlayson, was the winner of Source's 1983 international playwriting competition. Set in 1959 at the "ladies' side" of a bar in southeastern Texas, the three-act drama shows how the meaning of the word "lady" has changed.

Source also inaugurates its new art gallery tonight with an exhibition of work by seven local artists. The Main Stage lobby, formerly plastered with tattered handbills and posters, has been renovated to create a permanent art gallery to showcase the work of local artists in all media. "For one thing, it will make our lobby look a whole lot better," Source spokeswoman Lorraine Ahearn says of the new gallery. "But it will also guarantee the artists a steady audience at least five nights a week from the theater patrons who will have to pass through."