As I more-or-less said I was going to do, I celebrated Father’s Day by going to the local community theater and watching amateur actors talk about dicks. You wouldn’t necessarily expect that from a community theater, but after watching a piece last year about a sperm donor bank which included plastic jars of suspiciously-viscous substances and a receptionist saying, “Good job!”, I was ready for anything.
The “Quickies” is a series of eight very-short plays that the Colonial Playhouse puts on every summer. I went to support my playwright-buddy Alex Dremann and director-buddy Sam Barrett, although after I got there, I noticed that I knew another playwright, David Robson, who I particularly admire for a play called Assassin that was produced by Theatre Exile and Act II Playhouse a few years ago.
The standout of the afternoon, for me, was a piece called She’s on a Roll by Rob Carroll. Specifically, the performance by actress Erin Marie Friel was stellar, and I was told, unsurprisingly, that she had received some acting training at some point. That might be considered cheating in some community theater circles, like bringing in a ringer. I’m not sure on the rules. I don’t care, though, because I thoroughly enjoyed it (See what I did there? I made it about me, again.). Also, she said “penis” a lot, which made all the little old ladies in the row in front of me giggle.
Afterward, we all went back to Sam’s house for pork and wine, and there was some discussion over how good that play was. Specifically, had Carroll written a particularly good script, or had Friel’s performance outshine a weak script? I think the answer lies in between; this was the perfect part for this particular actor. I’ve credited actors in the past with spackling over the weak parts of my plays, and terrific actors have a sizey toolbox, stuffed with multiple kinds of spackle in various colors and consistencies, but sometimes you just have that perfect synergy of actor and character, and it’s tough to beat.
Anyway, there are two more performances of the Quickies, tomorrow night and Saturday night, so you still have time to partake in the cock-talking madness.
I should mention a couple things. First, I would have promoted the E3T reading on Tuesday, except that the good people at E3T are taking a summer sabbatical. I’m not sure if that will extend into July and August, but I’ll let you know.
Second, the Drake reading series concludes this weekend with the Interact Core Playwrights Weekend, featuring Emily Acker, MJ Kaufman, James Ijames, and Sam Henderson. Four readings in three days at the Drake Theater, full of mischief, suspense, and no less than one marsupial. Support local playwrights!