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June Summer Harvest, The Lakeside Plays

a 10-Minute Plays
by jpbeck

COMPANY : Onion Man Productions [WEBSITE]
ID# 4911

SHOWING : June 09, 2016 - June 26, 2016



This is the first of three collections of original 10-minute plays to be staged over Summer 2016. All the plays share a common setting, at the lake!

"Dead or Alive" by Natasha Patel, Laura King, James Beck
For two detectives, it’s all a game, sometimes.
Directed by James Beck
Featuring: Daniel Carter Brown, Natasha Patel and Alexis Seith

"To the Rescue" by Laura King
Two camp counselors are cast into unknown waters of love with only a single life preserver.
Directed by Patrick Young
Featuring: Carmen Hijar and Buster Shadwick

"Of Wenches Baloney and Beer" by David Allan Dodson
Directed by James Beck
Featuring: Patrick Young, Crystal Robertson, Lory Cox and Joe McLaughlin

"The Plowman" by Wayne Paul Mattingly
A splash in the lake can mean so much.
Directed by James Beck
Featuring: Greg Fitzgerald and Zoe Stephens

"Couch Potato" by Anne-Sophie Marie
Family. Grief. Furniture
Directed by Anna Fontaine
Featuring: Marianne Geyer and Casey Cudmore

"Crossing the Delaware" by Matt Hanf
The American Revolution has never been more revolting.
Directed by James Beck
Featuring: Patrick Young, Greg Fitzgerald, Lory Cox, Isabel de La Cruz and Allen Stone

"Lakefront Lot" by David Fisher
Lakefront property is just not for everyone.
Directed by Linda Place
Featuring: Patrick Young, Paige Steadman, Cat Roche and Joe McLaughlin

"Music Of Love" by Suzanne Bailie
A man loses himself creating music to save humanity.
Directed by Linda Place
Featuring: Paige Steadman and Allen Stone

Cast Lory Cox
Cast Joseph McLaughlin
Cast Crystal Robertson
Cast Cat Roche
Cast Paige Steadman
Cast Allen Stone
Cast Patrick S. Young
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Overstaying a Welcome
by playgoer
Sunday, June 26, 2016
Onion Man Productions’ June Summer Harvest 2016 plays are a grab bag of short plays in various styles, ranging from silly comedies to cryptic dramas. Most go on a touch too long, taking a while to set up their premise and/or continuing on after they make their point. If you stay through the end of the evening, though, you’ll be able to enjoy the perfectly calibrated entertainment of David Allan Dodson’s "Of Wenches, Baloney, and Beer," which goes on just the right amount of time to leave an impression of sheer delight.

The playing space contains a wooden support beam near center stage, but that doesn’t prove to be an impediment. Set design, by J. Beck, Patrick Young, Cathy Seith, and David Fisher, uses tree-like flats on this section of stage, with a porch door at stage left. A step along the edge of the stage approximates the shore of a lake adequately. Lighting design, by James Beck and Patrick Young, and sound design, by James Beck, help to set the tone for each piece.

The show starts with "Dead or Alive," by Natasha Patel, Laura King, and James Beck, directed by the ever-present Mr. Beck. This play is split into four parts that play throughout the evening. The language in this piece is jarringly, gratuitously foul, and the piece is neither comedy nor ghost story, falling into a no man’s land somewhere between the two. The blocking is fine and the performances by Daniel Carter Brown and Natasha Patel are adequate, but the play doesn’t conclude with the resonance it apparently wishes it had.

"Crossing the Delaware," by Matt Hanf, takes the second spot, with General George Washington (Allen Stone) and a Molly Pitcher soldier (Isabel de La Cruz) meeting a trio of shivering, starving soldiers (Patrick Young, Greg Fitzgerald, and Lory Cox) in preparation of Washington crossing the Delaware River on a frigid Christmas Eve. Mr. Beck has staged the piece nicely, but the comedy of the piece falls flat. Costumes, however, are quite good.

Next up is Anne-Sophie Marie’s "Couch Potato," which has at best a tenuous connection to its lakeside setting. The script implies an indoor setting. The play is a conversation between mother and daughter (Marianne Geyer and Casey Cudmore) concerning the replacement of a sofa clawed by a pet cat. The rather tedious script lists the daughter’s memories of her deceased father that revolve around the old sofa. Anna Fontaine’s direction doesn’t make the script catch fire.

To end the first act, following another installment of "Dead or Alive," is David Fisher’s "Lakefront Lot." The play starts out fairly slowly, with a husband (Patrick Young) trying to convince his wife (Paige Steadman) that they should buy a lakefront property, despite her reservations. Once the plot introduces Cat Roche, as a real estate agent, and Joe McLaughlin, as a tippling neighbor, the story flips into hyperdrive, moving to a quick, satisfying conclusion.

The second act starts with Suzanne Bailie’s "Music of Love." Like "Lakefront Lot," it is directed by Linda Place, who coaxes fine performances out of Paige Steadman, as a concerned daughter, and Allen Stone, as her mentally disturbed father. This is a sobering drama, but its blocking and light cues make for a somewhat ineffective ending, with flatness replacing the intended poetry of the final lines.

The third portion of "Dead or Alive" introduces a new character (Alexis Seith), but doesn’t clarify the direction of the plot. Wayne Paul Mattingly’s "The Plowman" follows, and it is equally opaque. The script concerns a non-swimming farmer (Greg Fitzgerald) and a swimming neighbor (Zoe Stephens), both of whom apparently have suffered losses and make tuna fish lunches. Mr. Beck’s direction has them both eating onstage (a sure-fire means of slowing the action) and the script requires them to gaze offstage multiple times, so it isn’t very effective as a theatre piece.

Laura King’s "To the Rescue" takes a cute idea about a person falling in love with their rescuer and drags it out to stultifying length. Patrick Young’s direction makes actors Carmen Hijar and Buster Shadwick appear to be rank amateurs, and the prop life preserver threatens to steal the show by flaking and disintegrating onstage as it is roughly used.

After the final installment of "Dead or Alive," we come to Mr. Dodson’s play. It’s nicely staged by James Beck, and delightfully performed by Patrick Young (as a Lake Lanier pirate), Crystal Robertson (as his more-than-understanding wife), and Joe McLaughlin and Lory Cox (as a bored retiree and his wife). The spot-on performances combine with the broad comedy of the script to end the show on a high note. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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