'Disney and Fujikawa' by Lloyd Suh, directed by Linsay Firman: A 1942 meeting of two very different cartoonists, Gyo Fujikawa and Walt Disney. An uncomfortable conversation about power, personal responsibility, and the art of animation at a time of great uncertainty and national crisis.
Julia Specht's 'Down Cleghorn,' directed by Ralph Peña: A love letter to central Massachusetts, and a reflection on motherhood, food, and self-centeredness.
'Linus and Murray' by Leah Nanako Winkler, directed by RJ Tolan: Linus is a cat, Murray is dog. But that doesn't even begin to describe their differences.
'On the Outs' by Christina Gorman, directed by David Auburn: Becoming reacquainted ain’t easy for these two long-ago lovers as they grapple with conflicting definitions of what constitutes “home.”
'Falling Away' by Christopher Shinn, directed by Mark Armstrong: A woman and a man discuss their lives. As they talk, the nature of their relationship—and the agonizing question between them—is finally confronted.
“A miraculous event in theater occurred when I attended the Ensemble Studio Theatre's presentation of their '36th Marathon of One-Act Plays Series B:' Each and every one of the five plays presented was outstanding…As if the entertainment value and compelling written word wasn’t enough to keep me satisfied, each play was beautifully staged and delivered by talented and skilled actors, most of them deserving and worthy of a much higher profile stage.” Full Review
“The best of this bunch? Leah Nanako Winkler’s ‘Linus and Murray’…RJ Tolan directed these two perfectly cast actors with exquisite feeling and high-precision humor. The ending is devastating…Jeff Biehl and Tiffany Villarin are both excellent in ‘Disney & Fujikawa’…’Down Cleghorn’…The drama, directed by Ralph Peña, feels a bit unfinished and seems mostly a condemnation of the mother’s sexual activity.” Full Review
"'Down Cleghorn:' The writing is tense, but it doesn’t quite find equivalent emotion in the performances...'Falling Away:' While the writing is taut, the emotional nuances of the text might have been brought forth more effectively by older, more mature actors...'Linus and Murray:' By the middle of the play the dialogue ends up being a touch repetitive...But the performances merit praise...This comedy unexpectedly becomes very poignant...Equally satisfying was 'Disney and Fujikawa.'" Full Review
See it if you are interested in seeing what the new playwrights are doing; you enjoy short glimpses into varied lives (including cat/dog friends).
Don't see it if you want highly polished productions with lots of scenery; you have no interest in supporting upcoming talent; you prefer musicals.
See it if you're excited by the possibility of a diamond in the rough. I particularly enjoyed "Linus & Murray" and "Disney & Fujikawa."
Don't see it if you expect high production value and high quality across the board. This is an ambitious, scrappy way to test out a bunch of new work.
See it if enjoy short, innovative theatre, tolerate range of writing quality with good to great acting. Linus/Murray &On the Outs great, Disney good.
Don't see it if you prefer multi-act shows with elaborate sets, large casts or musicals or cannot tolerate some preachy, long soliloquies or any banal ones.
See it if Five plays 80, 30, 90, 80, 95. 1-slice of life. 2-terrible. 3-cute dog and cat. 4-historical fiction. 5-psycho drama. Good variety
Don't see it if You don't like short one act plays.
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