Perspective Play Fest a Great Hit

The First Annual New Perspective Festival has given San Diegans a brand new venue for the short play. In three days they have provided us with 24 plays by 18 playwrights, directed by 21 directors, and employing the talents of 53 actors. Okay just a couple more statistics and we’ll be done with the math. These short plays required anywhere from a single actress to several plays with four actors. provides information on this year’s festival.

The joy of short plays is the opportunity to perform the works of a large group of very talented people. The festival is playing to packed houses every night. I refer to this as the First Annual hoping that the people behind the festival (Kelly Lapczynski, Sally S. Stockton, Kristina Meek, Jennie Olson, Robert DeLillo, Paola Hornbuckle, Alexander Nguyen, Kevin Six, Lloyd Weston, and Dori Salois) will continue this for years to come. The summer usually brings us at least one other short-play festival. In the fall North Park Vaudeville provides a festival designed for new playwrights and actors, one of the few venues giving untried talent an opportunity.

A few of this year’s plays have been performed at other venues in the area. An Honest Arrangement by David Wiener is in its third production. The performance has David Sein directing Hanna Ryan and Todd Butler. Here the pleasure is experiencing three quite different interpretations of the script.

Playwright Cuahtemoc Kish brings us Obits for Dummies, a hilarious lecture by Kelly Lapczynski, under Kevin Six’s direction, on the proper way to write an obituary. From the audience Savvy Scopelletti interrupts with inane questions.

Craig Abernethy’s Choices, Choices, under Sara Angell-Isom’s direction, was too short. We barely got to meet tenant Nicolette Dixon as movers Shawn Jones and Teresa Beckwith messed with her life.

Nicolette Dixon moved to directing Carol Joy Cabrera’s One Night Stand, which opens with Kali Kirk and Sacha Allen in a very short ballet. Here a young virgin is dropped off at a brothel, only to find his prostitute was a former high school classmate. When you put Robin Felix, Lynne Goodman, and Thomas McCaverly on the stage in a Jack Shea script, you’re in for a weird treat. Dori Salois directs The King’s English. This twisted tale has taught me not to stand too close to the tracks of the tube in London.

When Anne Tran and Nick Mata meet in Thelma de Castro’s Bachelor Moon there are sure to be some very interesting revelations. Bryant Hernandez directed. Teresa Beckwith, Tyler Richards Hewes, Kristina Meek, and Alexander Nguyen meet for a Twelve O’Clock Barbecue directed by Sophie Anderson. Jennie Olson’s play deals with the frustrations of delinquent roommates and more.

Sally S. Stockton brought Stephanie Timm’s Rocky Road to life with Celeste Innocenti, Patrick Hubbard, Justine Hince, and Calandra Rothrock with Diane Shea in the wings. This is a serious play that gives all of us a bit to think about. Kevin Six’s No Problem, directed by D J Sullivan is a joy as Sherri Allen and Marc Biagi toy with the English language. The playwright must have read the collected works of Rich Lederer to have had so much fun. Oh, I almost forgot, Jeni Maples appears for approximately one second.

The eight plays mentioned outside of the introduction, alas, have been performed in the last two weeks. The shows all had their points of excellence. The opening and closing plays were my personal favorites, but almost all of the others were very close behind. The quality of performance by all of the gifted actors was excellent.

Part II of comments on the First Annual New Perspective Festival of the short plays. Three days . . . 24 plays . . . 18 playwrights . . . 21 directors . . . 53 actors. provides information on this year’s festival. Sunday, June 29th you can see the following plays. Enjoy.

Opening this day’s offering is Jamie Lloyd in Christina Wortman’s Polarity: The Rules and Pitfalls of Attraction, Dale Morris directing. With only a cell phone and an audience, the actress commanded us with her range of emotions in a script that offered her a wonderful platform.

Is it possible to have A Terrorist Comedy? This is a question both asked and answered by playwright Steve Koppman. Under the inspired direction of Celeste Innocenti, actors Wayne Stribling Jr., Anthony Hamm, Roger Govin, and Andrew Hernandez tread the fine line carefully. Two hardened terrorists are having troubles with their young acolytes who seem to have overstayed their years in the university. They’ve also adapted too well to the American way of life. Bad terrorists!

Was it Every Girl’s Dream or every girl’s nightmare in Stephanie Timm’s latest penning. Director Jay Mower pitted Kim Spenser and Peter Frankland in this tale of a lost key, a parking lot, and fear. Be careful about what you fear and what you don’t, you may be wrong?

Jennie Olson, Kristina Meek, Paola Hornbuckle, and Alexander Nguyen bring us the dramatization of Jack Shea’s The Thing under Dori Salois’ direction. When is a prop not a prop? Is the reality we are seeing really the reality we are seeing? Does this play ask these questions? Will the play answer these questions? This talented cast will test your thoughts on reality. Don’t ever get too complacent.

Is there really The Perfect Red? Playwright Paola Hornbuckle, who has a penchant for insight, thinks she knows. Antonio “TJ” Johnson bravely took on the challenge of this play casting Kathleen Masse, Mikel Taxer, and Michael Dean Grulli to tell the story. A gallery owner is opening a show of his girlfriend’s works when they are visited by his very old friend. You will be intrigued.

D. J. Sullivan returns to direct Jack Dyville’s The Memory Book starring old pros Johnathan Dunn-Rankin and Timothy Carr in a study of two actors reminiscing. Alas, there is much more and that more has to be seen. See it.

Taxco Mixto is Terrence Burkes offering directed by DJ Sullivan with Diego Parada and Michael Dean Grulli. I have seen con jobs in my life, but this one is a really good. You are about to learn more about aluminum than there really is to learn. Life is tough on the streets, just ask these two.

Closing this program is An Honest Arrangement by David Wiener, in its third local production. The performance has David Sein directing Hanna Ryan and Todd Butler. Here the pleasure is experiencing three quite different interpretations of the script. This version gives us a female mail-order bride-to-be with a rather angry attitude.

Hope to see you at tonight’s performances. You are sure to enjoy yourself and get a chance to meet some of the directors and actors in this evening of varied plays.

Here are Saturday, June 28th’s productions and casts:

Tori Rice’s Bottled In, Baby directed by Bob Korbett with Roger Gobin, Wayne Stribling J., and Krissy Tobey.

Jeanne Becijos’ Ex Texting directed by Michael Clark with Adam Marcinowski and Samantha Ginn.

Stephanie Timm’s Li’l Heroes directed by Robert Salerno with Krissy Tobey and Maya Baldwin.

Alan Kilpatrick’s Suppression directed by Carla Nell with Melissa Coleman Reed and Robin Felix.

Michael Thomas Tower’s Afterplay: Crunchy and Smooth directed by Johnathan Sturch with Orrick Smith and Kelly Lapczynski.

Craig Abernethy’s That Day directed by Sara Angell-Isom with Tyler Richard Hewes and Maya Baldwin.

Steve Koppman’s Homage to Catatonia directed by Tom Fitzpatrick with Tony Beville, Amanda Dasteel, Dante Macatantan, and Loraine Odierno.

Terence Burke’s Falling from the Stars directed by Jessica Seaman with Victoria Mature, Pete Shaner, Nicholas Peters, and Brian Taraz.

When: Tonight @ 8 pm and Sunday @ 7 pm, June 28 & 29, 2008

Where: Swedenborg Hall, 1531 Tyler Avenue, University Heights