WILLIAMSVILLE — Rock River Players present “Another Evening of One Act Plays” on Friday and Saturday, June 2 and 3, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 4, at 2:30 p.m., at Williamsville Hall.
The lineup includes works by Newfane playwright/film director Pamela Corkey (premiere), as well as works by area playwrights Jennifer Jasper and Robert Cullinane, a one-act by New York playwright Scott Sickles, and structured improvisation.
Beautiful Noises by Scott Sickles, directed by Randy Lichtenwalner is about a recently-deceased man who encounters his long-lost sister in the afterlife. Instead of offering guidance, she needs his help reaching out to the mother she left behind. Animosity between their mother and the man's lover, however, may prevent any communication between the living and the dead in this short but complex exploration of family dynamics, love and loss, remembering, and cherishing.
Punked by Robert Cullinane is directed by Cris Parker-Jennings. The story by Cullinane, who was recently featured in Gallery Players' New Plays Festival in Brooklyn, is that, out of boredom, two young teens want to punk - or play a practical joke on - someone. They decide to make a call to a number they found on a Medicare pamphlet. However, this would not be the first time these two Medicare representatives have had a prank caller. In the end, who gets punked?
The Caltrop, written by Pamela Corkey and directed by Amy Donahue, is a short character comedy about three felons and a prison chaplain engaged in an illicit act of carefully-crafted escapism. In the process, they are forced to reconcile the fantasy of who they wish to be with the reality of who they really are.
Eggs by Jennifer Jasper is directed by Pamela Corkey. Perfection is the brutal enemy of the good in the fraught gauntlet of modern day parenthood.
Also on the program are two experimental pieces, a finale of sorts conceived by the evening's producer and RRP Founder Annie Landenberger; the other I Have to Get This, a structured improvisation conceived and directed by Players' co-artistic director, Bahman Mahdavi, with Stewart McDermet and Susan O'Hara. “Art imitates life imitating art imitating life,” is how Mahdavi explains this piece. “A house of mirrors where the boundaries of reality and fiction blur.”
Donahue, who will become one of RRP's co-artistic directors in June, says the one-act format “provides a fantastic laboratory for playwrights, directors, and actors to experiment and take artistic risks. This year's company brings a broad range of both theater experience and life experience to the stage, making the already-eclectic program all the more exciting to watch. I'm thrilled to help carry Annie's legacy forward by continuing to create opportunities to discover and amplify the talent within our community.”
The Company includes Bahman Mahdavi, Traci Berchi, Peter Broussard, Pamela Corkey, Cathie Creed, Paul Davis, Amy Donahue, Eric Fischer, Magdalena Keppel, Randy Lichtenwalner, Stewart McDermet, Shey Nessralla, John Ogorzeleck, Susan O'Hara, Cris Parker-Jennings, Mickey Parker-Jennings, Veronica Stevens, and Nicole Winot.