NVTA, formerly the Northern Virginia Theatre Alliance, begins its 24th annual one-act play festival tomorrow.

It's the last chance to see the festival at CenterStage in Reston, the event's home for the last 20 years. Demand for use of CenterStage has grown, as has the length of the festival, so organizers are seeking a new venue.

Performances tomorrow are from the Pied Piper Theatre and Prince William Little Theatre, both of Manassas, and from the Springfield Community Theatre.

The Pied Piper Theatre will present "Lovers," a 60-minute drama about a young couple planning for a future that will never come. The half-hour comedy "I'm Herbert," a dialogue between an aged couple who are a little unclear on their pasts as well as their relationship to each other, will be Prince William Little Theatre's offering. And "Zero Balance," a 40-minute drama that deals with issues of sudden loss and the value of friendship, is on tap from Springfield Community Theatre.

The festival, which runs over the next two weekends and culminates in a 7:30 p.m. award ceremony June 26, was conceived in 1981 as a showcase for Northern Virginia's community theater groups and as a way for them to meet and share resources, NVTA officials said.

In the 24 years since, NVTA has seen its membership expand from 13 groups in Northern Virginia to nearly 40 companies from all over the Washington area. This year's festival features 14 plays from 11 of those groups. Each performance session will include two or three plays of 24 to 60 minutes in length.

Other theater companies participating this year include the Hard Bargain Players of Accokeek, Silver Spring Stage, Rooftop Productions of Manassas, the Castaways Repertory Theatre of Woodbridge, Tapestry Theatre Company of Alexandria, the Reston Community Players, the Foundry Players of Washington and the Rockville Little Theatre.

-- C. WOODROW IRVIN

CenterStage is at the Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Rd. Tickets are $8 for a single session of performances. A $30 pass can be purchased for admission to all of the performance sessions and to the award ceremony. Festival organizers caution that some shows include mature themes. For more information and a complete schedule of performances, call 703-476-4500 or visit www.nvtaweb.org.

Members of the Foundry Players, based in Washington, perform the drama "Trifles," which the company will present at CenterStage on June 25.