An FCC Defying “Fuck” Fanatic Filmmaker, a father afraid to walk his daughter down the aisle at a wedding that is hers and hers alone, gay lovers in the midst of an irritable eternal break up, a psychotic stuffed bear with delusional human parents in waiting, a pondered assisted suicide, and fighting as fore-fore-fore play; what do all these things have in common…? They reflect upon varying aspects of communism: its pros and cons.—NAY BUT I JEST!!!–They are all the subjects of the latest selected plays in The New American Theatre’s: The New American Festival of One Acts!
Selected from over 1500 submissions from the good ol’ U.S. of A. and abroad, this year’s six highlighted pieces include, The FQ by Andrew R. Heinze, The Perfect Wedding by Joe Bays, The Loose Ends, by Mark Harvey Levine, Loss, or the Art of Stuffed Animal Husbandry by Tyler Richard Hewes, Exigence by Brendan Brandt, and Fighting Mr. Right by Barbara Lindsay. Though there is a noticeable dearth of women writers, each play, running roughly 10-15 minutes tells a relatively well-paced story giving more or less equal weight to both sexes in the casting.
Noted pieces and performances include: The FQ as a frustrated Television Writer Sami, played by a deliciously emphatic Francesca Ferrara attempts to make the most of her opportunity to get her series on cable TV at the expense of producer Burt’s, portrayed by a wonderfully unctuous Robert Cicchini, obsession with defying all censors and doing what only cable TV seems granted to do, use copious amounts of swear words, the “F”-Bomb to be exact. “It’s the culture of cable,” Burt will declare to Sami’s, “I can only imagine you improving on the Bible, inserting fuck [every other sentence] for a little emphasis!”
The Perfect Wedding explores father Walt’s–played most heartrendingly by playwright Joe Bays–and daughter Tanith’s–brought to us by a most sympathetic and cute Carly Waldman–tense and tenuous relationship before she is about to walk down the aisle, in a somewhat bizarre but touching ceremony. Once the reasons for this are uncovered, a Kleenex-fest will swiftly ensue.
The Loose Ends is another tear-jerker in waiting as two men, Richard the elder and Adam the younger, played respectively and in most heartfelt fashion by Joseph Gilbert and Brendan Gill, break up while divvying up their CDs. One likes Madonna, the other Brittney each justifying their love of respective tastes by arguing “it’s her early stuff”. One enjoys Panicking at the Disco while the other just enjoys Disco and Adam the younger admits that all he ever wanted to do was listen to his music of the contemporary kind without giving a thought to its roots and/or being told why it was good or bad. But this is only the tip of the iceberg regarding their separation as, at the arrival of Adam’s mother played by a stunning and sincere Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin, the entire nature of their parting is unveiled. It is both shocking and even more heart rending that we had originally thought…
Loss, or the Art of Stuffed Animal Husbandry: Does the bear need a therapist or is the bear the therapist? Who knows? But he sure is cute the way his BEARants posture and poke his arms all around in preparation for their next promising pet project! What IS this bear’s beef?!? The most enterprising, sympathetic and silly Vanessa Waters and Patrick Vest are the only ones who truly know…
In Exigence, a young and edgy Insurance Agent Simon played by the play’s author, a most earnest and sympathetic Brendan Brandt, must make a choice to help friend and mentor Edward, played cantankerously and affectionately by Jordan Lund. It is at this play that I cry the hardest and the rain falls on the theatre roof most raucously, as if on cue. Coincidence? I think—so.
Yet, enough…enough already with all this water falling from the sky and the eyes as luckily, our last play Fighting Mr. Right proves to be a comedy starring the plucky Kate Parkin as Marla, a lady with very specific requirements for the next man she will allow any foreplay and the understanding, yet aptly argumentative Joel, played by the aptly comedically timed and exceedingly likeable Jeff Kongs as her guinea pig.
Will Joel and Marla find love? Will Simon help Edward or will Edward do what Simon Says? (Get it? Get it? Simon Says…? Oh never mind… never mind!) Just why did Richard and Adam ever have to break up and is there any other way they can still be together thereafter? Will Walt and Tanith not only have their father/ daughter wedding dance but wedding walk down the red carpeted aisle? What’s with that bear—and his BEARants? And will Sami get her way and show Burt who the f8*k’s boss for fuck’s sake? For answers to this and all other probing questions, The New American Festival of One Act Plays runs until Sunday March 8th so you’d better trot out and hop to; soon!
For more information, please visit: