This is the hilarious story of a theater group trying desperately to put on a play in spite of maddening interference from a haughty author who keeps revising the script. Act I is a rehearsal of the dreadful show, Act II is the near disastrous dress rehearsal, and the final act is the actual performance in which anything that can go wrong does. When the author decides to give a speech on the state of the modern theatre during the curtain calls, the audience is treated to a madcap climax to a thoroughly hilarious romp. Even the sound effects reap their share of laughter.
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Ten people are enticed into coming to an island under different pretexts, e.g. offers of employment or to enjoy a late summer holiday, or to meet with old friends. All have been complicit in the death(s) of other human beings but either escaped justice or committed an act that was not subject to legal sanction. The guests are charged with their respective "crimes" by a gramophone recording after dinner the first night and informed that they have been brought to the island to pay for their actions. They are the only people on the island, and cannot escape due to the distance from the mainland and the inclement weather, yet gradually all ten are killed in turn, in a manner that seems to parallel the ten deaths in the nursery rhyme. Nobody else seems to be left alive on the island by the apparently last death. A confession in the form of a postscript to the novel, unveils how the killings took place and who was responsible.
"A romantic comedy that plays fancifully with time and space while its young American hero encounters the eternal spirit of Parisian amour. Smart has interesting things to say about life and love … about the larger differences which both unite and divide us. He doesn't solve the enigma of love, of course, but he makes us feel good about love's possibility." —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "The 13th of Paris displays Smart's unique voice and style. While most of his peers are writing about drugs, crime, and disaffected, shopping-mall-addled youth, Smart's subjects are romantic, poetic and elegantly theatrical." —Edgerton New American Play Award This was produced by CAT Theatre and ran from January 18 - February 3, 2013.
The old fishing pier out on the end of Cypress Lake has just fallen under the magic of another Catfish Moon. It was the favorite hangout for three best friends when they were kids—skipping school, skinny dipping and even experiencing the mysteries of kissing girls. Now Curley, Gordon and Frog are older, and they have tasted the bitterness of life as well as the sweetness, and the pressures and problems that come with middle age have eroded the closeness between Frog and Gordon. The final straw comes when Frog discovers that Gordon is dating his ex-wife. Curley, the "big brother" of the bunch, in an attempt to recapture the friendship and settle all disputes, convinces Frog and Gordon to go on an overnight fishing trip like old times. On the pier, the weight of adulthood is lifted by laughter and their love of fishing, and the three guys discover that their friendship was never really lost. However, in the midst of catching the biggest fish of all time, life brings them back to a painful reality. The poignant resolution of the play brings Gordon and Frog to the realization that life is too precious and too short to let true friendship get away.
Catfish Moon played at CAT Theatre from May 18 through June 3, 2012.
The Children's Hour is a 1934 stage play written by Lillian Hellman. It is a drama set in an all-girls boarding school run by two women, Karen Wright and Martha Dobie. An angry student, Mary Tilford, runs away from the school and to avoid being sent back she tells her grandmother that the two headmistresses are having a lesbian affair. The accusation proceeds to destroy the women's careers, relationships and lives.
This production played at CAT Theatre from March 23 through April 7, 2012.
Cunningly written by Tom Mula, Almighty Bob follows 84-year-old Bob through his first week at Providence Nursing Home. But good old Bob isn’t the average client, and soon begins performing contemporary Biblical miracles, such as turning his fish-sandwich lunch into hundreds of fish sandwiches. Through Bob’s interactions with his daughter Karen, his doctor Wally, and his nurse (who is supposedly also a fallen angel) Colleen, we learn his unique secret: He claims to be God.
One of only three plays nominated for Best Play of the Year in 1997 by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, Home Fires is the story of a Texas woman trying to raise her three teenage children during hard times in World War II. After Nettie's husband leaves her, she is forced to take in female boarders to make ends meet. The house is crowded and the eccentric women who stay there are entertaining, lost souls looking for husbands and careers in a world without men. The play examines family, home, honor and dreams during a time when everyone had to "make do or do without." Sonny, the teenage son, is afraid to go off to war. When Maggie, a sexy new boarder, opens his eyes to his musical talents and his sexuality, Sonny fights with his mother and runs away, thus evading his draft notice. As the play moves through five years, all the characters face many obstacles, not the least of which is keeping their faith in spite of severe disappointments. Eventually, Sonny returns home to see his mother for one last time and to give her a lasting gift to remember him by.
Produced by CAT Theatre and on stage from October 21 through November 6, 2011.
A mysterious gathering at the country estate of Lady Somerset begins in murder and ends in…farce? What starts off as an Agatha Christie type murder mystery will end with laughter as these all too familiar characters rebel at their lot in life.
By Virginia playwright Ed Sala. The show ran from May 27 through June 12, 2011
Directed by Andy Resnick, the cast included Bob Murphy, Bunny Smith, Emma Mason, Jay Hart, Jerry Long & Toni Cacioppo
Almost, Maine is by John Cariani, comprising nine short plays that explore love and loss in a remote, mythical almost-town called Almost, Maine. It premiered at the Portland Stage Company in Portland, Maine in 2004 where it broke box office records and garnered critical acclaim. There are ten short scenes: Her Heart, Sad & Glad, Getting It Back, Seeing the Thing, Story of Hope, Where It Went, This Hurts, They Fell, Epilogue, and Prologue, and Interlogue.
The Fiddler's House is a comedy/drama about a widower and his housekeeper, is Chamberlayne Actors Theatre's contribution to the 2011 Acts of Faith Festival. Written and directed by CAT's own Sheryle Criswell, the play looks at differences in race and religion, conflicts between career and family, and issues of human mistakes and self-forgiveness.
The play ran from January 21 through February 6, 2011.