Designed as a showcase for playwrights, directors and actors of the “over forty” set, The Silver Theater Project continues its Spring Salon Play Reading Series at The Glitter Box Theater with THE SHORT ORDER PLAY FEST on June 9th and 10th. The program featured seven short plays, each around fifteen minutes in length.
Seven plays by six authors using four directors yields a mixed bag of results. Some were funny, some sad and some thought provoking. The short plays in order of presentation are:
Troll (Writer F.J. Hartland, Director Barb Sawatis) features Thomas Smith in a one man show / stand-up comic routine about a gay man from the outskirts of Altoona, PA, who moves to the “Magic Kingdom of Pittsburgh” in search of happiness and love.
Savage Lands (Writer Timothy Ruppert, Director Barb Sawatis) Jenine Pierce and Charlotte Sonne play two English sisters, the older who lives in London, the younger in Schenectady, NY. They rekindle their mutual affection through the exchange of letters in the 1740s.
Random Muffin (Writer Tammy Ryan, Director Barbra Burgess-Lefebvre) features Ryan’s husband Jack Lefebvre and on Saturday night, the director herself, as a last-minute stand-in. On the way to visit her daughter at the hospital, an anxious woman rushes into the hospital looking for paper towels to clean brown smears from presumptively chocolate muffins off her car. She seeks solace in the cafeteria where she encounters an exhausted radiologist.
A Blanket of Stars (Writer F.J. Hartland, Director Patricia Fuchel) Charlotte Sonne and Rebecca Herron play women in their late 70s who walk into the park to view the lunar eclipse and discuss life’s lessons learned now that they are older, wiser and wider.
This Damned Life (Writer Eileen Quigley, Director Michael McGovern) Randy Burner plays Dracula, Thomas Fuchel is Renfield and Jane Scuteri-Tinker is the backstage “Jill-of-all-trades” in this comedy. The master of the night and his able assistant take up residence in a dark and dank community theatre where Dracula winds up with the lead in the production of Doll’s House and Renfield becomes the Stage Manager. Theatre jokes abound in this spoof of backstage life.
Hugger Muggers (Writer & Director Michael McGovern) read by Darlene Fedele Thompson, Thomas Fuchel and the uncredited Suzanne Levinson. Under the supervision of a blue bird, a couple tries to decide what they want in life as they up their game.
Entrances and Exits (Writer Samantha A. Camp, Director Michael McGovern) Harry Gerhardt, William S. White, Mary Chess Randolph, Lucia Metrailler and Marylee Casey play five ghosts of the Pittsburgh Playhouse who face the destruction of their world while they debate the benefits of sugar v.s. the pink stuff.
As these are readings with scripts still in hand our focus becomes more on words and less on acting, direction and staging. With that in mind our favorites are the poignant Trolls, the heartwarming turn-about between the two sisters in Savage Lands, the oddly quirky Random Muffin and the inside jokes in This Damned Life. Kudos also to Randy Berner and Thomas Fuchel as a very funny Dracula and Renfield and the two sisters from Savage Lands, Jenine Pierce and Charlotte Sonne.
Silver Theater Project founder Michael McGovern is on to something here. It’s early in the projects evolution, resources are tight and relatively inexpensive performance spaces are hard to come by. (Although one with a working air conditioner would be an improvement for the actors and audience.) I can see Silver Theater Salon Readings happening in a big mansion on Fifth Avenue. Dream on….
The Short Order Play Festival concludes its run on Sunday, June 10th. Check out Silver Theater’s next offerings Filter, No Filter by Kim El coming in October and Vivienne by Timothy Ruppert in December.