New Perspective Festival – Final Report

Part III of comments on the First Annual New Perspective Festival of short plays. provides information on this year’s festival. Sunday, June 29th is the last day. Enjoy.

Last night’s offering of eight short plays was most interesting. Let’s take a quick look.

Tori Rice’s Bottled In, Baby opened the program. Bob Korbett, ex of Adams Avenue Theatre, cast Roger Gobin and Wayne Stribling as partners. Gobin’s character wants a baby, entering with a pillow stuffed under his shirt, then goes about with a doll. Krissy Tobey, clipboard in hand, visits the couple to determine their qualifications. But all is not as it seems and confrontation, then compassion rule.

For those of us who marvel at the speed of text messengers, Jeanne Becijos’s Ex Texting brings us one use. Michael Clark directs Adam Marcinowski and Maya Baldwin in a bout of texting. Romance is knocked off as end-of-relationship messages fly.

There’s a bit of sci-fi in this day’s productions. Li’l Heroes, from the fertile mind of Stephanie Timm, has Krissy Tobey and Maya Baldwin in a home for mothers. Director Robert Salerno has them in and surrounded by white. Are they in a futuristic home for wayward mothers? Are they in a mental institution? Nah, they are in a baby factory. Jealousies tragically abound.

Who do you trust? Can you ever let your guard down? When can you afford to be compassionate? In Alan Kilpatrick’s Suppression, under Carla Nell’s directorial hand, the answer is never. Robin Felix (Mr. Wacker), awaiting some serious sadomasochistic joys, is being put off by secretary Ms. Gulager, played by Melissa Coleman Reed. His desires and anxieties lead to a pleading for her whip. Too late he learns that what you want and what you get are much different.

As I write this it is Sunday morning and I have a craving for peanut butter on toast laced with chopped nuts and banana slices. Who do I blame? One Michael Thomas Tower’s play, Afterplay: Crunchy and Smooth, ably directed by Jonathan Sturch is the culprit. A table is set with several jars of peanut butter, plastic plates, and various taste delights. A man, Orrick Smith, has invited his lady friend (Kelly Lapczynski) over for snacks and, hopefully, more. As their romance progresses so does the exoticness of the sandwiches. Thus, my call for the works this a.m.!

We all remember That Day. It is seared into our memory. Craig Abernethy’s play brings together a young couple, Toby (Tyler Richards Hewes) and Kirsten (Maya Baldwin). He insists that they see an exhibition of photos from 9/11. Director Sara Angell-Isom effectively creates a realism of their viewing of the photos. Their short interior monologs testify to the mistake of bring this horrible reality into a budding romance. While Toby and Kirsten don’t survive as a couple, we are reminded of a terrible moment in our history that brought this diverse nation together.

Could this be the future? It is a distinct possibility as Dad and Mom (Tony Beville and Amanda Dasteel) steer their son and daughter (Dante Macatantan and Loraine Odierno) towards the final integration of man and ultimate electronics. Already wired for instant communication with anybody anywhere it is just one more step with a new implant to being permanently on the internet, constantly connected with everybody everywhere all of the time. Dasteel’s speech pattern was eerily mechanical. Wow!

Ending the night’s program is Terrence Burke’s Falling from the Stars. Director Jessica Seaman opens with Victoria Mature and Peter Shaner in a passionate kiss and bit more. They have been at a party in a high-rise. Meanwhile two totally incompetent mechanics, Nicolas Peters and Brian Taraz, are frantically trying to repair the elevator. Once running, they pick up the partiers. All are in for a rough ride.

New Perspective Festival is over today. It has been quite an experience. Twenty-four interesting and varied plays by local playwrights, interpreted by some talented directors, and performed by very expressive casts. I’m looking forward to the Second Annual! I hope you’ve had an opportunity to see some or all of the productions.