January 16, 2003
Southampton Players to Stage 11 Eclectic One-Acts in Avram Theater
"InterAct: Chiaroscuro" Features Short, Locally Written Comedies and Dramas
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A woman comes out of the closet, three brothers take on their manipulative mother over Thanksgiving dinner, and insanity ensues at a DMV drunk-driving class. These and several other themes are tackled by The Southampton Players in their seventh annual production of "InterAct," a series of locally-written one-act plays.
The Players will stage their popular "InterAct" series - subtitled "Chiaroscuro" because of the plays' contrasting effects of light and dark - Fridays and Saturdays, January 31 and February 1, 7-8 at 8 p.m. Michael Disher directs the 11 eclectic one-acts. Tickets are $8. For reservations, call The Southampton Players box office at (631) 287-8899.
"This year, the plays each stick to a tight, 10-minute-or less, black-box format," Disher said. "These are short, to-the-point segments of life that sometimes appear absurd, but all contain pieces of believability and/or truth. Most contain varied degrees of humor."
This is the fourth-straight year that the plays in "InterAct" are all home-brewed, most of them coming out of Southampton College's esteemed MFA in Writing and undergraduate writing workshops with famed cartoonist and humor writer Jules Feiffer, award-winning playwright Robert Reeves and Time magazine essayist Roger Rosenblatt. "Very few colleges connect their student writers with their actors. Our arrangement is unique," Disher noted. "The writers get to see their works become three-dimensional, and our actors also enjoy this challenge. There's a whole different dynamic working directly with the writer of a piece. It gives the plays more energy and pushes our actors to do what they do best: take risks."
This year set a record for number of submissions, as 42 plays were received. "These were also some of the best submissions we have ever received," Disher said. "In its seventh year, 'InterAct' has become a popular standard for the post-holiday season."
This year's one-acts include "Going Out," written by MFA in Writing student Perri Nation, which features a 46-year-old woman (played by Laura De Pinto) who reveals her lesbianism to her elderly mother (Carol Sherman).
"Lost in the Supermarket" is an absurd comedy written my MFA student John Capone. "Better Godsends," written by MFA student Kathleen Donahue, deals with surrogate motherhood. "Driving Nuts," written by Players regular Priscilla Sprague with Carol Dougherty, finds comedy in a DMV drunk-driving class.
"Bartender's Revenge," written by undergraduate student Lucas Hunt, is a tavern farce involving a logician (Shelly Pitkin), drunkard (Ted Lapides), poet (Matthew Ward), witch (Brenda Reid) and trumpeter (Andrew Piliero).
"The Bang Time Dusk," written by MFA student Mitch McMahon, follows three brothers (Players favorites Paul Marino, Ken McGuire and Jeff Schaeffer) at a racetrack experiencing different levels of luck. "Touched," written by Players regular Rich Gardini with Ralph Terry, takes a look at subway insanity. Undergrad Peter Eilenberg's piece, "Duck Sauce," has the recipe for a successful Little League team.
"Gladys and the Boys," by graduate student Joanne Pateman, drops in on a mother (Sherman) and her three quarrelsome sons (Marino, Schaeffer and Eric Fuerderer) at Thanksgiving. "When the Fat Girl Sings" is a poignant look at how an obese child (Allison DeTemple) deals with her feelings of inadequacy. It was written by recent MFA graduate Noreen McAllister-Bifulco.
MFA student Janine Sones' "9:30 Interview" provides an interesting twist on the corporate power-interview scenario with actors Lisa McCluskey and Sarah Weis.