Yuma, Arizona - The Yuma Art Center is proud to announce its first-ever theater fellowship program, debuting with a production of "The Games Afoot," directed by inaugural recipient Ann Wilkinson.

The fellowship is part of an effort to offer opportunities for community members to get actively involved in the arts. The theatre fellowship provides professional opportunities to work with an artist and director.

Wilkinson's proposal was selected after a competitive application process. "The Games Afoot" is a murder-mystery play originally by Ken Ludwig with comedic "who-done-it" moments and many twists. Auditions for roles in the dinner theatre production will take place in October. 

The play will be produced by the Yuma Art Center and will be supported by the City of Yuma, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and community sponsors.

“Our dinner theatre shows historically have sold out shows each year, so it’s a production we feel very comfortable in producing," said Lindsay Benacka, Arts and Culture Program Manager of the Yuma Art Center.

"We were not sure what kind of submissions, if any, we would receive in launching this new theatre fellowship program," Benacka said. She added that submissions exceeded expectations, and the Art Center staff is now looking into other areas where future fellowships can be offered as an effort to provide artists the opportunity to create professional works with administrative and technical support.

Wilkinson (who is not related to City Administrator Greg Wilkinson) worked in the entertainment industry since 1978, starting out as an actress and then co-owning an independent casting company in Los Angeles. To date, Wilkinson remains active in the film community, serves on the Arizona-Utah Board of the Screen Actors Guild, and is currently working at Arizona Western College.

The dinner theatre production is scheduled for Feb. 14-17, 2018, at the Yuma Art Center, 254 S. Main St. Tickets will be available near the end of October through www.YumaShowTickets.com , by calling (928) 373-5202, or in person at the Yuma Art Center, Yuma Civic Center, or the Parks and Recreation counter at City Hall. Tickets are $30 each and will include a full dinner. Additionally the venue will have a cash bar with wine, beer and cocktails.