The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

August 13, 2012

You’ll see varied plotlines in annual one-act plays


By ROGER SMITH - For the Star Beacon
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — Four regional playwrights have proffered a total of nine short one-act plays that will be presented this weekend at the Ashtabula Arts Center.

Local theater buffs Clay Nielsen and David Bucci have penned the majority of the scripts, while Tom Raber and Kermit Wall from surrounding communities each contributed a written work.

The annual weekend of “One Acts” reaches out to patrons who like to experience new stage presentations, and this cacophony of scenarios should certainly entertain those who choose to spend a couple of hours watching them.

The evening offers a visit to a restaurant where the waitress from hell is employed. Most of us have met her somewhere in our dining out experiences. Next, the audience will sit in on a parent-teacher conference that is out of this world. Empty-nesters will enjoy the recurring theme which exists in vignette 3. Junior has to leave home before his parents can wing their way to Florida; he is hesitant to depart.

Mutineers sailing on the Jolly Jack experience the red-tape of government intervention via a visit from an OSHA inspector. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 gives employees and their representatives the right to file a complaint and request an OSHA inspection of their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or their employer is not following OSHA standards. A deck hand has filed a complaint.

Shades of “Talk Back” are evident as Marty Robbins and his cameraman try to create a video time capsule to be opened 250 years hence. Perhaps your next-door neighbor is on the film; maybe it’s you. It’s fitting that the time capsule episode is followed by a visit to a therapy session that has surprising results..

Following the intermission, viewers will be taken to a gymnasium where a has-been boxer meets a never-was song writer. This is the only time where a ‘crusty language’ warning should be offered.  Then it’s back to the classroom where a substitute teacher takes control of the class and changes the lesson plan just enough to make for an interesting fairy tale rewrite.

The evening ends with what looks to be an uprising in a local old folks home, but turns out to be …well...perhaps it’s just one of those things we’d all like to be a part of when we have the opportunity.

Performances of the “One Acts” are scheduled for tonight and Saturday night at 8 and Sunday afternoon at 2. Tickets may be purchased by phoning the arts center at 964-3396. Walk-in seating is available. The show is presented in the one of the ballet practice rooms, assuring a pleasant theater intimacy that is appropriate for these new ventures.