Play Festival offers first view of original plays

The craft of playwrighting comes alive on Stagecrafters 2nd Stage as the local community theatre presents the 5th Annual New Works Play Festival on Friday, June 26th from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Saturday, June 27th, from 12 to 5 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to be the first to view the staging of fourteen short, original plays by playwrights from across the country.

This year’s festival is being co-produced by Stagecrafters’ members Bill Dixon (of Madison Heights) and Steve Tadevic (of Hazel Park). “This venue is great for the writers because it allows us to showcase their talents. It’s also a wonderful venue for directors — especially those just getting their feet wet,” says Dixon. Dixon will also be directing a show in the final hour entitled Celebrity. “Directing a short play is different from directing longer plays because you’ve got to ‘deliver the meat and potatoes’ a lot quicker. In a mere 10 minutes you have to deliver the plot and character personalities,” says Dixon.

The Baldwin Theatre’s 2nd Stage provides the perfect setting for the festival. A black-box theatre located in the balcony of the Baldwin, the 2nd Stage typically presents contemporary/off-Broadway productions. With only 100 seats, the audience members are in close proximity to the stage which creates a more intimate atmosphere for smaller productions.

After the final performance on Saturday, a talkback with the directors and actors is scheduled from 5:00 — 6:00 p.m. The talkback will allow audience members to ask questions or make comments about the plays or directorial interpretations.

The plays being produced were gathered by a call for scripts in March 2009. There is a small admission fee. Attendees can choose to see 1 hour or all 5 hours on both days for just $5. Seats are on a first come, first served basis. Parking is available in the public structure across the street from the theatre, as well as on-street parking.

The order of the plays will be repeated on both Friday and Saturday. Three productions per hour are scheduled as follows:

HOUR ONE

“Bless Their Hearts,” by Kay Poiro of Frisco, TX

      Directed by Dianne Sievers (Royal Oak)

Three women convene a meeting of the Holly Springs First Protestant Faith Chapel Women’s Auxiliary, which takes some unexpected turns.

“Superhero,” by Mark Harvey Levine of Pasadena, CA

      Directed by Lorrie Janick (West Bloomfield)

Who do you call to change the light bulb in your apartment? The superhero who lives in your building, of course.

“Strike,” by Aoise Stratford of San Francisco, CA

      Directed by Dave Hoff (Hazel Park)

Two characters in a play, Terry and Terri, debate the destinies assigned them by their writer.

HOUR TWO

“Lunchtime in the Garden of Grace and Edy,” by Amy Wilson of Oak Park, MI

      Directed by Julie Tillotson (Royal Oak)

Two friends attempt to ignite a romance for one of them in the produce section of their local market.

“The Pick Up,” by Audra Lord of Ferndale, MI

      Directed by Mary Ann Redhage (Riley)  

A man and a woman walk into a bar…

“Birthday Banter,” by Susan Price Monnot of Metairie, LA

      Directed by Jeannine Simpson (Ferndale)

Daryl plans a surprise party for his wife Roz.

HOUR THREE

“Drinks with Charles,” by Jim Gordon of East Norwalk, CT

      Directed by Steve Tadevic (Hazel Park)

Sarah, Barbara, and Helen invite Charles over for wine and financial guidance.

“Midnight Angel,” by Jack Bates of Rochester, MI

      Directed by Josh Dawson (Sterling Heights)  

A beautiful woman walks into an all-night diner with a predicament in tow.

“When Will the Fat Lady Sing?” by John Kosik of Southfield, MI

      Directed by Andrea Kaptur (Auburn Hills)

A son visits his mother, dying of cancer, in her hospital room.

HOUR FOUR

“Blue Ribbon Bride,” by Ann Forsaith of Royal Oak, MI

      Directed by Vonnie Miller (St. Clair Shores)

Newlyweds debate the future in their new home, where the walls are riddled with bullet holes.

“Just Stuff,” by Allan Lefcowitz of Washington, D.C.

      Directed by Steve Tadevic (Hazel Park)

A farce that attempts to sort out one couple’s dilemma with rampant consumerism.

HOUR FIVE

“Celebrity,” by Lewis Gardner of Lake Hill, NY

      Directed by Bill Dixon (Madison Heights)

Gloria tries to move beyond her past brush with fame, but Barney won’t let her forget it.

“Struck,” by J. Stephen Brantley of New York City, NY

      Directed by Shar Douglas (Royal Oak)

A smack-down of New York art world egos.

“Write Something for Me,” by Robert Boulrice of Chelsea, MA

      Directed by Kimberly Wallace (Royal Oak)

An aspiring actress beseeches a renowned playwright to “write something for me…”

Stagecrafters is located at the beautiful Baldwin Theatre, 415 S. Lafayette Ave, Royal Oak. For more information, call 248-541-6430, or visit www.stagecrafters.org and go to the Events > New Works Play Festival.

About Stagecrafters

Stagecrafters, a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit community theatre group, is celebrating its 54th season of providing opportunities for members of the community to develop their talents and to volunteer their time to create an enriching, quality theatrical experience through its Main Stage, 2nd Stage and Youth Theatre productions. Stagecrafters also provides American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreted Performances for the Deaf for Main Stage and Youth Theatre performances, an assisted listening system and handicapped accessibility. Stagecrafters has been at the beautiful Baldwin Theatre in downtown Royal Oak since 1922.