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Spring Shorts

a Short Play Festival
CATEGORY : COMEDY DRAMA
by Amy Cuomo, Carol Winters, Tom Coash, Christine Weems, Chris Shaw Swanson, Robin Pond, Susan Middaugh, Dave Fisher

COMPANY : Onstage Atlanta, Inc. [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Onstage Atlanta on Ponce [WEBSITE]
ID# 5068

SHOWING : May 05, 2017 - May 14, 2017

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Written by local and national playwrights. If you’ve enjoyed our Merry Little Holiday Shorts, then surely you will enjoy our 2017 Spring Shorts - 8 original 10 minute 1 act plays:
"Baby Doll" by Amy Cuomo, featuring Brandon Mitchell, Lorena Morales, and Kate Guyton
"Tinder Is the Night" by Carol Winters, featuring Lory Cox and Abra Thurmond
"Raghead" by Tom Coash, featuring Erin McCulley and Peter Perozzi
"Second Guess" by Christine Weems, featuring Kate Guyton and Olivia Kaye Sloan
"Out from Under with Mary" by Chris Shaw Swanson, featuring Carolyn Choe and Olivia Kaye Sloan
"Something in Common" by Robin Pond, featuring Kate Guyton and Erin McCulley
"When I Fall in Love..." by Susan Middaugh, featuring Brian Jones and Tasha Jones
"Jubilee Catalog Sales" by Dave Fisher, featuring Jennifer Morse, Lory Cox, and Lisa Gordon


CAST & CREW LIST
dir. "Baby Doll" J. Michael Carroll
dir. "Out from Under with Mary" Carolyn Choe
dir. "When I Fall in Love..." Katy Clarke
dir. "Second Guess" Elisabeth Cooper
dir. "Something in Common" Richard Diaz
dir. "Jubilee Catalog Sales" Scott F. Rousseau
dir. "Raghead" Olivia Sloan
Mary Carolyn Choe
Betty, Katherine Lory Cox
Mrs. Etheridge Lisa Gordon
Nanny, Danielle, Cindy Kate Guyton
Ed Brian Jones
Florence Tasha Jones
Sarah, Millicent Erin McCulley
Gavin Brandon Michael Mitchell
Sally Jennifer Morse
Nick Peter Perozzi
Margie, Diane Olivia Sloan
Sherry Abra Thurmond
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Short; Not Always Sweet
by playgoer
Sunday, May 7, 2017
4.0
Something to make you think. Something to make you feel. Something to make you laugh. Onstage Atlanta’s 2017 version of "Spring Shorts" provides all of these and more, using simple settings lit by Tom Gillespie and featuring Charlie Miller’s effective sound design.

First up is Amy Cuomo’s "Baby Doll," in which a woman (Lorena Morales) surprises her husband (Brandon Mitchell) by her purchase of a lifelike doll and accompanying bassinette and nanny (Kate Guyton). It’s more of a situation set-up than anything else, with no resolution. Its Twilight Zone-like vibe (emphasized by sound clips) makes it mildly interesting, but no more. Kate Guyton gives a nicely creepy and unsettling performance, and J. Michael Carroll has blocked it with more movement than seen in most of the other pieces.

Second comes "Tinder Is the Night," by Carol Winters. This is another selection that is all set-up and no payoff. Abra Thurmond plays a divorcee who claims her life is too busy for men, but who has profiles on nine different dating sites. Lory Cox plays her concerned friend. Nothing of note happens. Clay Randel’s direction has them sitting at a table most of the time, and he hasn’t elicited a compelling performance from Ms. Thurmond.

Olivia Kaye Sloan has blocked Tom Coash’s "Raghead" in much the same manner, with two people sitting at a table for much of the action, but there is so much variety in posture and attitude that the play does not seem static at all. Erin McCulley gives a marvelous performance as a woman wearing a hijab who’s in a bar on a blind date with Nick, played by Peter Perozzi. The play has bite, giving the audience a lot to think about.

"Second Guess," which ends the first act, takes a more comic turn. A runaway bride (Kate Guyton) and her supportive friend (Olivia Kaye Sloan) have entered a theatre to deal with the aftermath of the bride having left the nuptials to her seventh fiancé. The two actresses give very compelling performances. Elisabeth Cooper has directed Christine Weems’ script to hit all the comic highpoints, although her blocking of action in the audience creates horrible sightlines for some members of the audience.

The second act slides into more dramatic territory, starting with Chris Shaw Swanson’s "Out from Under with Mary," in which homeless woman Mary (Carolyn Choe) encounters Diane (Olivia Kaye Sloan) at a drug testing center in a bad section of town. Ms. Choe has directed herself in a lovely performance, ably supported by Ms. Sloan. This is a touching short play, with plenty of laughs, but even more heart.

"Something in Common," by Robin Pond, features fine dramatic performances from two actresses previously seen, this time under Richard J. Diaz’s direction. Kate Guyton and Erin McCulley portray a biological mother and the teenager she give up at birth. Ms. Guyton’s no-nonsense, steely character seems the polar opposite of Ms. McCulley’s twitchy, needy teen. It’s only in the final moments that we see what these two women truly have in common.

"When I Fall in Love..." also takes a conceivably somber situation, in which a woman (Katy Clarke filling in for Tasha Jones at the performance I attended) and a man (Brian Jones) visit their spouses at a memory care facility. The material is shaped by director Katy Clarke to have comic undertones, with a sweetly understated ending.

Scott F. Rousseau directs the final selection, Dave Fisher’s "Jubilee Catalog Sales," which is a comic gem. Jennifer Morse is delightfully single-minded as a telephone order-taker, causing Lory Cox to tremble in fear and befuddlement as a would-be customer. Lisa Gordon comes on as a neighbor near the end, changing the dynamic of the situation, and a final twist brings the play, and the evening, to a close.

With short plays, there’s almost always enough variety to prevent the entire evening from being stale and boring. The 2017 edition of Onstage Atlanta’s "Spring Shorts" starts a little slow, but it hits its stride in the middle of the first act and never lets up. The variety of plays tends toward the serious rather than the silly, but there is a wonderful balance of drama and comedy, sometimes between one selection and the next, but more often within a single selection. This "Spring Shorts" is well worth a viewing. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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