For the first time in its 66-year history, the Farmington Players will present a One Act Play Festival, producing six fast-paced, diverse shows in just under two hours.
On stage June 21-23, the plays run the gamut from comedy to drama, each a bit quirky or non-traditional in its own way.
Artistic Director Heather Hudson of West Bloomfield Township describes the festival as “an opportunity for local writers to take risks in their writing (and see their works produced), for hobbyist directors and actors with limited availability to scratch their artistic itches, and for the Farmington Players community to experience a slightly unconventional brand of theatre.”
Hudson, who was instrumental in founding the Rosedale Community Players (Southfield) one-act festival in 2011, is excited to bring this new theater genre to the Barn.
“These one-acts represent unique yet relatable worldviews, from right here in the Midwest, right now in 2019. That ‘right here, right now’ frame of reference gives us an experience on a completely different level than just ‘sticking to the classics’.”
After the Barn Scribes playwriting committee narrowed the 84 submissions to a top dozen or so, Hudson had final say in selecting the slate. All six shows are unique. Here’s a brief synopsis of each, in alphabetical order:
All the Time in the World
Two strangers meet in a train station. Director Maureen Mansfield describes the play as “a lovely story about two lonely people who through a chance meeting manage to bring a bit of comfort and happiness into each other’s lives.” What will they discover about their hopes and dreams for the future as they await the arrival of their train?
In a nutshell, a Russian assassin who seeks revenge against cheating spouses is herself stalked by a disgruntled wife. Director Sue Rogers notes, “You can’t turn on your TV or open your computer to your favorite news source these days without seeing a story about ‘Russian interference.’ Thankfully, Cold Rage brings delightfully dark humor to that now oft-used phrase. And for a short one-act, there are an amazing number of plot twists!”
While drinking coffee and reading the morning paper, a couple discusses their lack of enthusiasm about the exigencies of day-to-day existence. The same things that used to matter so deeply are now barely worth mentioning. But, as they soon discover, there is a certain freedom in not caring about anything anymore.
Good Morning, Miriam
Miriam addresses aging and dementia, including how we identify with our own sense of self over time. Old and young Miriam meet one another in this touching family drama. Director David Reinke says that the play “reveals the struggles that Alzheimer’s brings to patients and their relatives, and believably illustrates how different people cope with tragedy in general.”
The Reckless Romantic
Michelle Noble directs this black comedy, which opens with A housemaid waking to find an umbrella fused to her hand by a lightning strike. The faithful butler, tries to dissuade the master from embarking on another lunatic scheme to marry before his 30th birthday. So many of his wedding proposals have ended in tragedy. Are his fiancées the victim of bad luck or foul play?
In this comedy of errors, an ex-con overhears a confession in which his parole office professes her love for him … or does she? Longtime director Laurie Smalis guides a diverse cast that includes Italian actress Eleonora Mancini.