“A Plate Full of Theatre”
Page on the Stage: The Outrageous New Play Festival Series
Three Diverse, Exhilarating Plays to Enjoy This Summer!
Last week, Beowulf Alley Theatre launched its program for playwrights. Page on the Stage: The Outrageous New Play Festival Series. In reviews, blogs, discussion with audience members, praise is high for our new program! We hope that you’ll join us for some very exciting summer fun in our air-conditioned theatre.
Three Tucson playwrights, three directors, more than a dozen actors and a very busy technical team are presenting three unpublished plays for public viewing after several weeks of work to transfer their words on the page to a place on the stage. From Wednesday to Sunday with evening and matinee presentations through July 18, ensembles will work with lighting, sound effects, props, costumes and minimal sets, to create an intimate environment where their words are the focus and the audience is a part of the process. Plan to spend time following each presentation engaging with playwrights, directors and actors. Let them know your thoughts about what you just observed.
Audience members commented:
It’s so fantastic to be able to talk with the playwright and discuss the things I saw and heard. He seemed to really appreciate my input.
What a terrific idea for a summer activity – and it’s worth every penny!
There are three very diverse plays to see and all of them kept me focused and engaged. This was really fun!
You’ll have the opportunity to see one play or pack all three into a single weekend. And, just for fun, you can support our new program by making a donation to our “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is,” fun-draiser to help us develop seed money for next year’s Play on the Stage program.
David Greenwood prefaced the opening of the new summer event with this blog entry:
Beowulf Alley is by far the most prolific theatre in town in terms of sheer activity … this summer they are producing three brand new plays. I won't say they will be full productions...I don't think they are designed to be that...but they will be a step or two or maybe three beyond a staged reading for example. The emphasis or concern will still be limited to the structure and content of the written script I imagine, and its potential for eventually becoming the basis of an actual real deal spectacle. Whatever and however they manifest, to me they are another welcome and much needed project in Tucson. As a community as a whole we are lacking this new play element just as we are lacking solidified and well prepared acting ensembles. So Beowulf's summer new play projects are an alert, a signal.
(Read David Greenwood’s blog in its entirety)
Let the Show Begin, Chuck Graham’s Arts review site, followed the openings with:
PAGE ON THE STAGE IS A PLATE FULL OF THEATER
The offerings are varied and the quality is good. Each play has its own unique appeal. The productions are complete. Though the stage sets are minimal, the actors are well-rehearsed and the ideas presented in all three are worth talking about afterward.
Lovers of language will find lots to love in Gavin Kayner’s new play, The Language of Flowers … Words flow at an elevated level from actors caught up in surreal situations performed on a dimly lit stage, which adds to the nightmare quality of [the play]… Layers of metaphors seem to fill every scene. “You don’t know if you love it or you hate it – but you definitely respect it,” said one playgoer at intermission. By the time you get to the ending with its blaze of light, you will definitely love it. The Language of Flowers is highly recommended for those who thrive on fine theater.”
Jonathan Northover takes a different, … entertaining, approach with his new play A Work of Art … We see how money, as well as beauty, can be in the eye of the beholder … Northover can’t resist toying with the idea of false realities … if some guy’s oil painting from 250 years ago is considered high art, why isn’t an exact copy of that painting also considered art? Is art all about timing? Where is the talent in that? Why should the first person who dreams up a particular set of shapes and colors applied with a certain type and number of brush strokes get all the credit? … A Work of Art is a play about language we can all appreciate.
There are lots of ghosts from the war in Vietnam floating around. One of the ghosts that doesn’t get much attention … is the subject of John Vornholt[‘s] The First Third dramatizing the night of Dec. 1, 1969, when the fate of the nation’s young men was decided by Fate itself … Vornholt catches the feeling of five guys who are college seniors, hanging around in front of a black-and-white TV with a bunch of beer and a bowl of chips, to see if their birthdays are among the first third of the 366 birth dates drawn (Feb. 29 was also included). Those in the first third were guaranteed to be drafted into military service. They knew they were definitely going …The First Third becomes a dramatization of conflicts that will inspire some timely thought afterward. Those who don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it.
Online and by phone at (520) 882-0555, tickets for a single play presentation are $12 and $30 for the series of three plays. Single plays are $15 at the door. There is a student/military rush ticket for $10, cash only, ID required, 15 minutes before curtain pending seating availability.
Parking is available at the City Garage at Pennington and Scott, just two blocks from the theatre, weeknights after 6 p.m. are FREE and the fee is a flat $2 all day on weekends. Street parking at meters is FREE after 5p weekdays and all day on weekends. Thanks to Pima County, the lot across the street from Beowulf Alley at Broadway and 6th Avenue is FREE Monday through Friday after 5pm and all weekend.
Tucson’s ready for summer entertainment. We can’t wait to see you at the theatre!
To make your reservations, use the form below. Payment must accompany reservation. Thank you.
Play #1, The First Third by John Vornholt, directed by Dave Sewell:
On December 1, 1969, at the height of the Vietnam War, the Selective Service held a nationwide draft lottery on prime-time TV in an attempt to make the draft more fair. Almost all deferments were canceled, and every able-bodied man between the ages of 19 and 26 faced a certainty of being drafted to go Vietnam if his birthday fell in the First Third of the capsules drawn. On this fateful night, we join five college seniors as their lives and futures are determined by a TV game show, hosted by retiring General William B. Hershey.
Play #2, The Language of Flowers by Gavin Kayner, directed by Steve Anderson
Think of this: It's the dead of night. Two sisters, one channeling Emily Dickinson - the second trapped in a delusion that her doll is a living baby - drag a body across the floor and stuff it into the refrigerator. They swear each other to secrecy. At dawn an escaped convict breaks into their home, into their private lives and all hell breaks loose. Of course, it's a love story. And a mystery. Waiting to be plucked.
Play #3, A Work of Art by Jonathan Northover, directed by Lydia Borowicz
London, England, in the world of high art as inhabited by Danny, Helen and Gornstoun and Helen’s Aunt Brailey, an eccentric gallery owner with a taste for good art. That is, as long as everyone realizes that it’s good. Led by bouts of arson, the exploitation of underage Chinese artists and a level of violence that can only derive from love, the plot centers around the disappearance of a unique original painting by the famous 19th century artist, Anton Von Holk Koopercheck. This is not just a play. It is an essential study of how far we might go in pursuit of a new idea, especially if it’s been done before. A study of our fascinating with originality, even if it doesn’t exist. And a study of not just what’s on the surface of art, but what’s supposed to be on the surface.