williamallenpepper

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PLAY FESTIVAL: RECAP SO FAR

So, this is still going on:

NEWGROUND playwrights fest

Last Friday night, my play FERGUSON PAYNE’S SOLE PROBLEM, a comedy about the writing life, fate versus free will, and footwear, went up as part of group one, along with three other fabulous shows:

SAYING GOODBYE by Dana Moss-Peterson, a sweet little play about an elderly couple on an epic journey.

THE BACKFIRED MESSAGE by Jason Platt, a comedy about love and loss set against the backdrop of a fortune cookie fortune-writing company. Sure, sure, we’ve all seen that setting before :), but this is a funny show.

THE RETURN by Dee Canfield, an epic about family and the secrets that define us.

(All these descriptions, by the way, are my own creation after seeing the shows as part of a packed audience. The other playwrights may describe them differently.)

So, night one got done and I thought, “Wow, my play, as much as I like it and despite the warm reception, was the weakest of the bunch.” That’s not a bad position to be in. The point is this was an un-toppable night of entertainment.

Or so I thought.

Then Night Two came. Maybe, I was just more relaxed since my play wasn’t one of them being performed, but I may have liked these plays even more than Night One, though it’s a tough call:

LEAP DAY by Dana Moss-Peterson about a chance meeting between a man and the love he lost one year and one day earlier.

POTSDAM by Shea Doyle about the plight of Germans in America during World War II.

1706 FARNAM by Mary Katherine Gale is a little story about a woman returning to her childhood home to confront secrets about her family and herself.

THE RED OVEN by Devin Hansen is a quirky comedy about a man working for his aunt at a rundown movie house in the 1980s who is visited one night by the ghosts of James Cagney, Mae West and John Wayne.

I loved all these plays. If I had to pick, though, I’d say The Red Oven is my favorite only because, as an offbeat little comedy, it’s more in keeping with my own play.

With each of these works, as both author and audience, I found much to love. Also, caving to my inner competitiveness, I saw many things of which I was envious. (“Oh! That’s an awesome character! I wish I thought of him!” Or “Damn, that’s a great line! Wonder if I could steal that.”)

As I write this, Sunday afternoon, Group 1 is going up. My play is probably onstage RIGHT NOW. I have geographically-resilliant goose bumps. April 26 will see Group 2 again, Group 1 on April 27, and Group 2 for  a final time on April 28.

If you’re in the area, go see the show. If not, go find a local theatre near you and check out the plays they’re putting on with actors and crew and maybe even writers from right there in your own community. These theatres put out fantastic entertainment – usually with very limited budgets. Hell, maybe you’ll even get the bug and get up on stage yourself or a write a play of your own.

Let me know if you do. Giving people the gift of entertainment in whatever way you can is a great thing.

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