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Autumn Leaves

a Short Play Festival
CATEGORY : COMEDY DRAMA
by Steven D. Miller, David Fisher, Nick Boretz, Daniel Guyton

COMPANY : Onion Man Productions [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Onion Man [WEBSITE]
ID# 4971

SHOWING : October 14, 2016 - October 23, 2016

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

A fundraiser for Onion Man. A production of some eclectic one-act plays from Atlanta playwrights:
"Uxoricide" by David Fisher
"French Actress" by Nick Boretz
"Lunee Bin" by Steven D. Miller
"War Eagle" by Nick Boretz
"Dinner Party" by David Fisher
"The Sins of Rebethany Chastain" by Daniel Guyton
"Truly" by David Fisher


CAST & CREW LIST
Writer/Composer Nick Boretz
Writer/Composer David Fisher
Writer/Composer Daniel Guyton
Writer/Composer Steven Miller
"Lunee Bin", "War Eagle" Nick Boretz
"French Actress" (with Heather Lyda) Lee Buechele
"Uxoricide" J. Michael Carroll
"Truly" Diane Dicker
"Dinner Party" David Fisher
"The Sins of Rebethany Chastain" Daniel Guyton
"Truly" Steve Pryor
"Lunee Bin" Deborah Childs
"Uxoricide" Katy Clarke
"Truly" Diane Dicker
"The Sins of Rebethany Chastain" Kate Guyton
"French Actress" Sallye Hooks
"Lunee Bin" Annie Jacob
"Lunee Bin" Rick Perera
"Truly" Steve Pryor
"War Eagle", "Dinner Party" Erika Ragsdale
"French Actress" Stacy Sheets
"Uxoricide" Allen Stone
"War Eagle", "Dinner Party" Patrick S. Young
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Falling Leaves, Rising Action
by playgoer
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
4.0
The set for "Autumn Leaves" (designed/built by David Fisher, Nick Boretz, Patrick Young, James Beck, and Paige Steadman) provides no doorways, just panels behind which entrances and exits can be made. One panel is decorated with autumn colors at the top, suggesting fall foliage. It’s simple and practicable. Limited set pieces come on and go off between each of the seven short plays.

Sound design by Curt Shannon provides appropriate music selections to introduce each play and to transition to the next. Otherwise, sound effects are at a minimum. Lighting design, by Paige Steadman and James Beck, provides bright pools of light stage right and left at the height of people standing and another center stage at the height of people sitting.

In the first play, "Lunée Bin" by Steven D. Miller, director Nick Boretz’s fluid blocking requires a fair amount of movement across the stage, with the unfortunate result that the actors’ faces move in and out of illumination. Otherwise, the production moves smoothly, with Deborah Childs’ performance as a newly admitted mental hospital patient everything a playwright might wish. She is ably supported by Annie Jacob and Rick Perera as a nurse and doctor. Costuming and props are excellent, evoking the time period of the late 1940’s.

The tone changes to a comic vein in the second play, David Fisher’s "Truly." Reprising their roles from an Atlanta Theatre-to-Go production, Stephen Pryor and Diane Dicker play a man who utters "I love you" and a woman who requires a series of clarifications in order to construct the appropriate response. It’s funny and to the point, with not much movement in the blocking. The self-directed Mr. Pryor and Ms. Dicker each are delightful.

The third and fourth plays are both by Nick Boretz, and both seem to have set-ups that come to a conclusion just as the action appears to be on the verge of getting really interesting. "War Eagle," directed by the playwright, involves a young woman (Erika Ragsdale) insisting that a young man (Patrick Young) assist her with a cyber-bullying problem she is having. The play ends somewhat abruptly with a revelation from the young man’s past. "French Actress," directed by Lee Buechele and Heather Lyda, pits an aging and eccentric mother (Sallye Hooks) against an exasperated daughter (Stacy Sheets) who has been summoned on false pretenses. I was a bit confused by the storyline, which has the daughter indicate that she had been interrupted while studying, then state later that the college term has not yet started. Blocking for both these shows pretty much takes advantage of the pools of light on the stage.

After intermission, David Fisher’s "Dinner Party" comes along. The set consists of a couple of chairs center stage with the steering column of a car in front. As the play begins, a couple (the charismatic pair of Erika Ragsdale and Patrick Young) enter the car and start a discussion of the fabulous dinner party they’ve just attended. The shifts in tone and viewpoint provide a lot of hilarity, and the play goes on just long enough to get its point across and leave the audience fully satisfied. David Fisher has done a fine job of directing his own play.

Second up in the second act is David Fisher’s "Uxoricide," in which a husband (Allen Stone) and wife (Katy Clarke) trade cutesy endearments and veiled threats as they read the newspaper. J. Michael Carroll has directed it with enough movement to keep it from being static. At the performance I attended, though, there seemed to be line problems of the sort that make a playwright’s heart sink, knowing that his or her work is not being presented to its best advantage. Aside from the line problems, the performances are enjoyable.

Last is Daniel Guyton’s "The Sins of Rebethany Chastain." Reprising her role in this monologue from last year’s Atlanta Fringe Festival is the fantastic Kate Guyton, in a tour-de-force performance of a white-trashy young woman whose actions represent the "sins" of the title. It’s brash and profane and energetic and given lively direction by the playwright, ending the night on a high note of hilarity.

"Autumn Leaves" presents the works of four playwrights, each of whom appears to have a distinctive style that shines through in the productions. This is truly an "eclectic collection of short plays by local playwrights," with a nice flow that makes for an entertaining evening (or afternoon) of theatre. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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