Ten-minute Play Fest to light up the Grange

The first weekend in May marks the fifth anniversary of Orcas Island’s local playwrights’ festival presented by The Actors Theater of Orcas Island.

The festival was created to encourage local island talent to show off their skills and to challenge islanders 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 father/son conversation on the basketball court, a heavenly encounter, to a look at an old romance. New playwrights include Anita Leigh Holladay and John Aschoff. New to the stage are Cameron Smart, Gary Bauder, Halley McCormick, Maura O’Neill, Sheldon Gregory and Winfred Taylor.

The plays included in this year’s PlayFest are: “After,” written by Anita Leigh Holladay, directed by Patty Monaco and performed by Suzanne Gropper and Ron Herman. Thirty years later, two former lovers reconnect and find they still have much to talk about. “After and After,” written by Sandy Thompson, directed by Patty Monaco and performed by Luann Pamatian and Bryan Grantham. How does one couple deal with overwhelming guilt? “Clear!,” written by Ron Herman, directed by Melinda Milligan and performed by Halley McCormick and Winfred Taylor. When Tom Frank dies, he encounters a touching surprise in the afterlife.

“Of Men and Motorcycles,” written by Jackie Bates, directed by Sandy Thompson and performed by Louise Carnachan, Maura O’Neill and Ed Nebeker. What do you do when a friend does you a favor you’re not sure you want? “One on One,” written by John Aschoff, directed by Doug Bechtel and performed by Cameron Smart and Sheldon Gregory. The story of a father and son locking horns in a game of backyard hoops, in what might become the most important game of the younger man’s life. “Play Noir,” written by Michele Griskey, directed by Ron Herman and performed by Aaimee Johnson, Kaitlyn Richards, Ed Nebeker and Gary Bauder. The time: 1940s. The place: Marlowe’s new detective agency. The dilemma: How far should he go for a gorgeous dame? “Yours, Truly,” written by Louise Carnachan, directed by Sandy Thompson and performed by Suzanne Gropper and Doug Bechtel. You are invited to sit-in on an afternoon encounter that may be the start of a long-term relationship, or …

The plays will be presented at the Grange on Thursday, April 29, Friday, April 30, Saturday, May 1 and Sunday, May 2. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. This family friendly event is $5 for adults and children. Tickets are available at Darvill’s, at the door, and on the web at www.brownpapertickets.com

No one is ever turned away for inability to pay.