(Featured photo is of “Delivery Room” written and directed by Marty Matfess)
Three years ago, rehearsals were welll underway for the annual Quickies in April at Le Chat Noir.
But COVID interrupted, bringing everything to a halt and putting the “short play buffet” as its organizer calls it on an extended hiatus. Directors have dusted off their scripts from that 2020 show and are finally bringing those long-awaited pieces to the stage for two weekends beginning April 14.
Most of the original 2020 lineup is still in tact.
“We did take on a few new ones because we had a little room,” said Jezibell Anat, who has put Quickies together since it began in 2010. She’s also written and directed one of the shows.
Eight original, locally written plays are part of this year’s short play festival.
Plays are between 5 and 15 minutes long, and offerings range from supernatural horror to slapstick comedy, making it a great introduction to theater for someone who might be new to the art, she said. If a patron doesn’t like one play, it will be over in a few minutes followed by something totally different.
Not only is it good for people new to viewing theater, but it’s a great way for new actors to try their chops at a role, she said. Several theater newcomers are part of this year’s performances.
Among the plays featured are Welcome to KIRA, written and directed by Jezibell Anat; You’re F**ked Pal, written by Jonathan Cook, directed by Shelby Smith; Sometimes There’s a Girl, written and directed by Rick Davis; Confession, written by Joanne Greene, directed by Shelby Smith; Carl’s Thing, written and directed by Marty Matfess; Delivery Room, written and directed by Marty Matfess; Motetz Dam, written and directed by Devon McSherry; and Next Stop, Valhalla, written and directed by Joseph Zuchowski.
Providing a synopsis on each one would almost give some of them completely away since they aren’t long; however, relationships are central to most of the plays, she said.
Plays are performed with minimal accoutrements. They rely heavily on the skill of the writer and the actors to bring the pieces to life, she said.
“It’s in a black box theater,” she said. “We can’t do a full set, and there’s not a lot of lighting effects.”
The festival started as a way to give local playwrights a chance to have their works featured on stage.
Plays are submitted for review by a blind jury. In addition to being the required length another stipulation is that they be written by people in the Augusta area, even though someone from New York tried to submit one a few years ago.
Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at email@example.com