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The 22nd Playwright Festival

Notes from Land's End: Nov. 8

November 7th, 2011

Since Eugene O’Neill’s 1916 debut of “Bound East for Cardiffe”, Provincetown has been a home for playwrights. It seems quite fitting to honor the birthplace of modern theater with a bi-annual festival devoted to new works. This drama-loving reporter was delighted to see the plays by Dawn McDermott, Doug Asher-Best, Jerry Thompson, Bragan Thomas, Carl Rossi and Candace Perry this past weekend.

Please take time this coming weekend and go to the Provincetown Theater, 238 Bradford Street, for the Fall Playwright Festival, where volunteer actors, directors and techs bring their words to life.

Six short plays, in a wide range of themes, brings the audience on a journey from the absurd to the macabre.

FRUIT OF THE FOREST PIE, by Dawn McDermott, gives a nod to “Like Water for Chocolate” with its magical powers of cooking. Maggie has a secret recipe that makes her irresistible to her husband. When she bakes it for a church dinner, he’s not the only one. Actors Tamora Engle, Ben Curtis, Bryan Rose and Connor Sheridan are well-directed by Sarah Moon in this lively tale with ironic twists.

Sasha Curran and Suzanne Harding take on complex roles in TONY, penned and directed by local Doug Asher-Best. A teenage boy, with breasts like a girl, is bullied in high school. One high school girl is a passive witness to tragedy and recalls it later in life. With flashbacks and deft monologues, this ode to a Patty Griffin song is compelling.

What happens when you re-unite the cast of “Women Behind Bars”? Hysteria! Gwen Kazlouskas-Noyes, Melissa Nussbaum Freeman and Tony Johnson are a riot in THE STRING BEAN TEMPEST. Created by Jerry Thompson, the tightly-woven plot begins on the tenth wedding anniversary of an unhappy couple that lives with the wife’s aunt. Beautifully directed by Deborah Peabody, this is a very funny short.

The macabre comes to life in HP LOVECRAFT’S THE PICTURE IN THE HOUSE, created by playwright/actor/director Bragan Thomas. A table piled with books on a stormy night set the stage for a traveling scholar, who happens upon a New England Farmhouse. Well casted with Thomas as a young man and RF “Griff” Griffith as a sinister hermit, they lead us into this 1919 classic on the edge of our seats.

Casay Ann Hayward sensitively plays Agnes Reedy, in THE BOY FROM MONTANA. A powerful monologue about a nurse’s experience in Vietnam, this piece by Carl A. Rossi is still timely in its recollection of the horrors of war. Community theater buff Charles Alan directs.

When two Southern Belles visit their ancestral plantation, the audience can count on lots of mischief. Candace Perry, playwright and workshop director [WRITING THE SHORT PLAY], presents THE TOUR, with long-time Provincetown actors Kevin Shenk and Sasha Curran coyly playing sisters stuck in a cotton field. With its references to “Gone with the Wind", this final short, with its tongue-in-cheek direction by Charles Thibodeau, is a fun way to wrap up the Fall Playwrights festival.

Tickets are $15.00 for adults and $12.00 for seniors and students. Performances: Friday/Saturday (11/11-12) at 7:30p.m. with a matinee on Sunday (11/13) at 2:00p.m.

If acting is on your list of things to try, attend Judith Partelow’s workshop, THE ACTOR IN YOU on Saturday, November 12th from 1:00p.m. to 4:00p.m. Partelow, a professional actress, bring 40 years of passion and experience to the course. $30.00

Please take time this coming weekend and go to the Provincetown Theater, 238 Bradford Street, for the Fall Playwright Festival, where volunteer actors, directors and techs bring a their words to life.

“Notes from Lands End”, by artistic bon vivant Laura Shabott, is a weekly account of the people, places and events that make our town so special.

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