Arts and Entertainment

10-minute Play fest lights up grange

The first two weekends in May mark the seventh anniversary of Orcas Island’s local Playwrights’ Festival presented by The Actors Theater of Orcas Island. The festival was created to encourage local islanders to show off their talents and to challenge them to develop skills in writing, acting and directing.

As with previous festivals, this year includes a mix of seasoned and new playwrights. The seven short plays have varying themes ranging from a look at a husband and wife in crisis, three sisters reuniting, to a modern day band at a crossroads. New playwrights include Cara Russell, Luann Pamatian, and Indy Zoeller. New actors to the ATOI stage are Peter Vinson, Olivia Roseberry, Vanessa Ryder, Larry Coddington, Denise O’Toole, Rebecca Ferrell and Tom Fiscus. Additionally, new directors include Cara Russell and Lin McNulty.

The plays included in this year’s Play Fest are detailed below.

“It’s All About the Breath,” written by Luann Pamatian, directed by Cara Russell. The play is performed by Denise O’Toole, Regina Zwilling, Dove Dingman, Larry Coddington and Suzanne Gropper. All Jane wants is just one hour to herself, but her subconscious has something else in mind.

“Thought for Food,” written by Cara Russell, directed by Lin McNulty, performed by Indy Zoeller and Tom Fiscus. Can genius inspire this hopeless, genre confused, writer?

“Held,” written by Ron Herman, directed by Patty Monaco and Lin McNulty, performed by Suzanne Gropper and Vanessa Ryder. The relationship between mother and daughter is often challenging, especially when it's complicated by past secrets.

“The Waiting Room,” written by Jackie Bates, directed by Ron Herman, performed by Maura O'Neill, Angelica Mayo, and Pat Ayers. When an emergency reunites three sisters later in life, they demonstrate how siblings can grow up in the same circumstances, be involved in the same events, yet have had very different experiences.

“May the Force,” written by Michele Griskey, directed by Ron Herman, performed by Freddy Hinkle, Gary Bauder, and Pat Ayers. A wife returns from a business trip to find her husband escaping reality with the “force.”

“Square One,” written by Lin McNulty, directed by Doug Bechtel, and performed by Maria Massey, and Rebecca Ferrell.  Two women meet unexpectedly at a quilting class and revisit the trauma of a shared past.

Diminished Thirds,” written by Indy Zoeller, directed by Bev Leyman, performed by Zack Knight, Peter Vinson, and Olivia Roseberry. Three members of an up-and-coming band come to a crossroads as one of them contemplates a big life change, while the band's romantic entanglements threaten to break them up for good.

The plays will be presented at the Grange on Friday, May 4, Saturday, May 5, and Sunday, May 6 followed by Friday, May 11, Saturday, May 12, and closing on Sunday, May 13. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. This family-friendly event is $5 for adults and children. Tickets are at Darvill’s, at and at the door.

For additional information call Ron Herman, (831) 234-4960, or email at

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