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What could be more tempting in the dead of winter than the prospect of a week in sunny Italy? La MaMa E.T.C. is offering a retreat for playwrights in that idyllic setting. There's also a summer Shakespeare intensive at the Public Theater. But for right now, a panel on alternative spaces.

TRU Panel Jumps Outside the Box

Theater Resources Unlimited and Back Stage will sponsor a panel titled "Thinking Outside the Box: The Pitfalls and Perks of Producing in Alternative Spaces" on Tue., Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the Players Theatre (115 MacDougal St., NYC). Bob Ost, president of TRU, and Sherry Eaker, Back Stage's editor-at-large, will moderate. The scheduled panelists include Martha Bowers of Dance Theatre Etcetera, Erica Gould and Audrey Rosenberg of the Fire Dept., Alexa Kelly of Pulse Ensemble Theatre, Ralph Lewis of Peculiar Works Project, Jeff Lewonczyk of the Brick Theater and Piper Mackenzie Productions, and Dave Marantz of the Drilling Company.

Admission is free for TRU members and $10 for nonmembers. Reservations are required; call (212) 714-7628 or email by Feb. 19.

Public's Shakespeare Lab

The Public Theater is accepting applications for the 2007 Shakespeare Lab, an intensive 13-week acting workshop to be held May 29–Aug. 25. The deadline for applications is April 2. The Lab allows students to immerse themselves in Shakespeare's plays and language. Previous guest artists have included Brian Bedford, Oskar Eustis, Dana Ivey, Liev Schreiber, Jordan Thaler, and Roger Rees. For more information and application instructions, go to artists/shakespeare.php or call (212) 539-8525.

La MaMa in Italy

Ellen Stewart and La MaMa Umbria International will offer the first La MaMa Playwright Retreat, Aug. 6–13, at La MaMa Umbria in Spoleto, Italy. Playwright Lisa Kron (2.5 Minute Ride, Well) will facilitate the work sessions. Applications, which are due by April 15, are available at or by calling (212) 254-6468. The cost is $1,500, which covers accommodations, meals, workshops, performances, and local excursions.

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