Little Theatre of Watertown staging ‘There Is a Season” — six 10-minute plays

After an absence of nearly a year, Little Theatre of Watertown returns to the stage this month with six 10-minute plays of two characters each.

Director and show coordinator Elizabeth P. Smith has named the collection “There is a Season.”

“They are very different, but they hold together nicely,” Mrs. Smith said. “I feel that it deals with seasons of peoples’ lives.”

She was inspired to stage the six stories after she discovered a book of short plays in a New York City Barnes & Noble store a few years ago. She contacted the playwrights of the six plays she had in mind.

“They were very supportive,” Mrs. Smith said. “Then it was just a matter of finding a place to do it since we lost the Black River Valley Club.”

Little Theatre held shows at the club, including dinner theaters. Troupe officials were told last summer they had to find a new home after the Black River Valley Club announced it was being sold with a plan to convert space into rental apartments. That plan fell through. However, the club is in dire financial straits because of ongoing costs.

The last show Little Theatre produced was “Mass Appeal” in February. Spring and fall shows were canceled.

“There Is A Season” will be staged Jan. 29, 30 and 31 at Savory Downtown at the Best Western Carriage House Inn, 300 Washington St. Hors d’oeuvres will be served.

“We wanted to try something new, something different than a dinner show,” said Little Theatre president Daniel J. Allington. “We wanted to branch out a little bit and bring something different for our audiences.”

Other things are different in the latest show in addition to the food and location.

“It does have more adult language and adult content than some of our other shows,” Mr. Allington said. “But it’s very enjoyable. They are thought-provoking and some of them are very funny.”

Mrs. Smith said she would give an R rating to most of the plays.

“It’s not something you’d bring your kids to,” she said. “I’m not even encouraging it for junior high and senior high students.”

But “There is a Season,” the director said, will create a range of emotions.

“Some of them are outrageously funny,” Mrs. Smith said. “And some of them will really make you think.”

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The six plays, in order of performance:

“Double D” by Jim Dalglish

Actors: Tyler Graves and Kimberly Jannone

“It’s got some real pathos to it,” Mrs. Smith said. “It’s about a shoe salesman who gives up his old lifestyle and this woman comes in. She’s huge, with very large feet. She’s been going all around town trying to find shoes that will fit her. She has very low self-esteem.”

“9 Hours to Fallujah” by Craig McNulty

Actors: Cindy Tyler and Brandon Davis

Two Marine reservists are out in the field before an impending battle.

“It’s very serious, but insightful,” Mrs. Smith said.

“The Same Thing” by Lisa Soland

Actors: Terry Burgess and Sarah Hovey

This play, which precedes intermission, concerns a man and a woman who meet by accident at a grocery store.

“It’s sweet. It’s just a nice little story,” Mrs. Smith said.

“Bone China” by K. Alexa Mavromatis

Actors: Munierah Macedo and Hannah Grybowski

Memories are refreshed for two sisters sorting through an attic one afternoon. One sister is dying of cancer.

“She’s Fabulous” by Jack Neary

Actors: Kathie Strader and Kathleen Chevier

During intermission of a Broadway production of “Death of a Salesman,” two fellow actresses in the audience begin to critique the leading lady of the show.

“The dialogue between them is snarky,” said Mrs. Strader. “It’s also funny and touching in places.”

“It’s a riot,” Mrs. Smith said. “They (Mrs. Strader and Mrs. Chevier) play off each other so well.”

Mrs. Strader said she can partially relate to the play. Years ago, she tried out for a “Death of a Salesman” lead role when it was staged by Little Theatre.

“I didn’t get the part,” she said. “I was too young.”

“Pillow” by Frederick Stroppel

Actors: Susie Curtis and Anita Prather Harvell

“It’s the most outrageous of them all and the most R-rated,” Mrs. Smith said. “It deals with two friends.”

One of the friends sets the other up with a blind date, which goes terribly wrong.

“I purposely put it at the end,” Mrs. Smith said. “But I hope people don’t go away thinking, ‘I can’t believe they put that on.’”

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Mr. Allington said “There Is a Season” works for the Savory Downtown location because it can be set up and taken down quickly at the busy establishment, which he said was able to squeeze in the three days of performances. There are no immediate plans to host more Little Theatre shows at the location.

Meanwhile, a search for a permanent Little Theatre home continues. There are plans to host a spring show in the auditorium at Immaculate Heart Central School.

“We are taking every lead we get and making whatever contacts that we can,” Mr. Allington said. “Unfortunately, they haven’t come to fruition.”

Mrs. Smith said the staff at Savory Downtown has been tremendous in helping Little Theatre stage “There Is a Season.”

“I want a good turnout for this,” she said. “I want to pack the place. I want it to be profitable for both organizations so that we will be able to do more shows there.”

 

 

By Chris Brock, Times Staff Writer