19th Annual Washington Festival of New Plays

Through Aug. 7

Source Theatre

Tickets: 800/494-8497

Although David Mamet's grim and twisted drama "Edmond," originally scheduled for April, had to be postponed until September, it left a lasting mark on this summer's Source Theatre festival of new plays.

"I was quite taken with the rehearsals that I saw for `Edmond,' " says Source Literary Manager Keith Parker, who for the past 15 years has led the team in reading and selecting the plays for the annual theater festival. "The idea of the nice person in the unlikeliest place, in a world of sleaze and terror. I had this theme in mind and found some plays that fit that image."

Thus we have a bad-girls night at the festival, with a trio of one-acts by local playwrights, all centering on upstanding women taking a walk on the wrong side of the tracks. (The three plays will be performed as Showcase No. 6, Sunday through Wednesday.) Courtney M. Froemming's "Last Call" features an advertising executive who visits a dive bar to hire a hit man. "Dancer," by Marc Lapadula, explores an estranged wife's fascination with stripping. And in Roy C. Berkowitz's "Girls Night Out in Boca," two middle-age sisters reminisce in an adult movie house. (Pictured above from left are Lisa Walsh from "Dancer" with Marilyn Hausfeld and Rena Cherry Brown from "Girls Night Out in Boca.")

"This particular evening will not travel as far to the dark side as David Mamet did," says Parker. "It's a little closer to the wacky than to the terrifying. There's a high quotient of urban sleaze, though."