FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 22, 2008
MENDOCINO COLLEGE, 1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
Contact: Lisa Lunde, Public Information & Marketing Assistant T: 707-468-3063, Fax: 707-468-3008, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
File: NR-6th Annual Festival of News Plays
Photo: Nichole Phillips and Geoff Graham in 2006 New Play Festival
6th Annual Festival of New Plays at Mendocino College
Ukiah, CA The Mendocino College Theatre Arts Department will present the Sixth Annual Festival of New Plays on Friday and Saturday May 9 and 10 at 8 PM in the college’s Little Theatre, room 710 on the Ukiah campus.
The festival features seven new plays by local playwrights. Each play is approximately ten minutes long and will be presented at both performances. Many of the plays were developed in English professor Jody Gehrman’s writing classes. Gehrman has also served as the production’s dramaturge.
The plays have been directed by Mendocino College directing students under the guidance of theatre professor Reid Edelman. The short plays cover a range of topics and performance styles. According to Edelman, “this annual festival is one of the college theatre program’s most exciting projects.”
In Laura Towne’s “A New Life,” Claire’s life is crumbling. Her marriage has ended and she has descended into alcoholism and despair. When Evan, a bell-hop, tries to steal her jewelry out of her hotel room, a strange twist occurs and the two lost souls each give the other hope for a new life. Jonathan Whipple directs this lovely play featuring Cherilyn Evans and Caleb Meek-Bradley in the principal roles.
Jim Roger's "Memory Lapse" is about two old friends who meet after having been apart for many years. Ted (played by Charles Hessom), reeling after an unanticipated divorce, is coasting through life. Judy (played by Jan Michele) is thinking about her future and hopes she can trust her friend to do what her family cannot. This intricate play about human relationships is directed by Jim Williams.
“Blink,” by Florence Peck and Sheralyn Riewarts, takes the festival into a more surrealistic direction. The play takes place at an isolated bus stop somewhere between life and the world beyond. George (played by Chris Douthit) is a selfish and nasty man who likes things his way. But all of George’s bravado is finally of no use as the stranger (played by Tommy McFadden) guides him to his next destination. This haunting play is directed by KC Dill.
Ukiah High School theatre director Maria A. Monti is directing two plays in the festival. First, “Mixed Messages,” by Leanne Moore and Janice Crew, is a delightful internet age farce about two siblings and their virtual romantic relationships. The play features Heron Spence and Casey Merritt. Monti’s second play, “Elevator,” written by Natasha Yim, is a relationship comedy in which six characters stuck together in a stopped elevator discover that they have more in common than they wish to acknowledge. The strong ensemble cast features Jason Briseno, Nichole Phillips, Roseanne Wetzel, Jake Stoepler, Charles Hessom, and Chris Dill.
In Terena Scott’s “Choices,” directed by Chris Dill, Kris (played by Chris Douthit) and Laura (played by Lori Stubben) are ex-lovers meeting at their 20 year high school reunion. The two examine the choices that led them apart and consider the ongoing choices that continue to define their lives.
Finally, Corinna Rogers’ “Benediction,” directed by Joel Shura, is a disturbing play set in a Catholic confession booth. The priest (played by Tommy McFadden) gets more than he bargains for when one of his parishioner’s (played by Randy Moore) confesses sins that hit too close to home.
Tickets are available at the Mendocino Book Company and at the Mendocino College Bookstore. Admission is $5. This production is expected to sell out quickly, so audience members are encouraged to purchase tickets soon! All proceeds will help support the college theatre club. For more information, call Reid Edelman at 468-3172.
UKIAH, CA – # # # #
Created: April 25, 2008 @ 02:01 PM
Last Modified: April 25, 2008 @ 02:04 PM