The 11th Annual One Act Play festival kicked off on July 22 at Theatre 82. The first wave concludes on July 30, and the second series of plays will run through August 13. The nine plays presented in the first wave all focused on the theme of time, according to Jessica Chace, the festival’s artistic director.
Schrodinger’s Roulette, from Jody McColman, was a tense drama about two sisters locked in a windowless room after getting into trouble with some very bad men. In the room was a table with three guns, and the women end up having to deal with their own mortality.
The charming and whimsical All Grown Up, from Lauren Annicelli and Simone Pellegrino, who also starred, focused on a child and a grownup in an art gallery. The rapport between Annicelli and Pellegrino was appealing as they shared memories of childhood.
One of the highlights of the festival was the witty Funeral Crashers, from Andy Accioli. Two women, Julia and Theresa, sit in a funeral home and ruminate about funerals, the mourners, and life and death. Cherylee Dumas and Lauren Annicelli were always amusing in this comic tale.
Salt in the Wound, from Mark Harvey Levine, was a wacky farce about a dinner party that is crashed by an unwelcome guest – Satan (Mark Carter).
A Dog Dreams, from Jeffrey Fischer-Smith, is a conversation between friends, Mark (Tom Chace), who is deceased, and Allie (Michelle L. Walker), who promised to take care of Mark’s dog. This was a poignant play about devotion and was well-acted by Chace and Walker.
Alexander the Great, from James C. Ferguson, was a satirical take on the legendary conqueror. Alexander, well-played by David Kane, is seen as an arrogant and boastful man who was also deeply insecure. His efforts to impress the citizens of Satrapy are met with tremendous skepticism.
The other plays included Clean Routine, from John C. Davenport and Jaryl Draper; The McGillicuttys, from Emily Norklun, and Suicide Coaster, from Bridgette Dutta Portman.
One Act Play Festival runs through August 13; 7pm Fridays, 3pm and 7pm Saturdays. Presented by Artists Exchange, Theatre 82, 82 Rolfe Square, Cranston. Artists-Exchange.org.