"Sweepstakes," starring the wonderfully talented Joanna McCoy and Jack Knox was voted the audience favorite, so I took home both the best local play and best play overall! This is very exciting! Joanna is a thinner, prettier Melissa McCarthy, and kind of stole the show with her over-the-top interpretations of a character who mistakenly thinks she's won millions in a Sweepstakes. Jack, as the straight man and a cool, confident salesman, turned a good play into a great one with his body language and facial expressions! So excited they could help my play win!
What makes it more exciting was the quality of the competition! All seven plays were fantastic! Musical performances by Emmy Mote, Sophia Cook, Stacey McCoy were mesmerizing, as was the country poetry of John Pisarik.
The play "Call Into Question" by Sara Lawson won the award for best play written by an author under 18, and it is a thrilling play. It starred Chris Ball and Harrison Van Mersbergen, along with young Hailey Swan, who was the best ninja I have ever seen on stage. The play itself is ripped from the pages of a spy novel, and is all in good fun!
Brittney Derby and Zack Musgrove penned "Call-tastrophe," which has some hilarious moments. Brittney played the main character, waiting for an important phone call after a job interview. Each call she gets comes from a more wacky character -- everything from a drunken ex-boyfriend to an over-doting mother, from an insecure telemarketer to a best friend who is a little too "gangsta" obsessed. It was funny on top of funny!
Russ Mikels and I had the honor of performing Greg Freier's "Dialing Death" -- a bit about two hapless gangsters who accidentally ask their mother to "off" someone. Now they have to figure out what to do about Mom -- she knows too much -- but can you "off" your own mother? We had a lot of fun with this play, and the audience had a lot of fun with us!
Freier had one other play in competition -- "We Appear To Have Company" -- which is packed with very dry, British-style humor and a good amount of absurdity. What's a gentleman to do when a clown has decided to squat in your living room? Julie Griffin and Paul Fleetwood -- who is from Great Britain, so the accent was no problem -- played the of the perplexed couple with a clown problem perfectly!
David Patterson's "True Calling" was probably the deepest play of the night -- a budding playwright waits for a phone call from a director of short plays as his friend begs him to go out and chase the ladies. David explored the real feelings any artist experiences as he or she waits for some kind of validation of his or her work. Writers will connect to this play immediately. Aaron Gingerich and Nathan Bierl did a fantastic job of holding the audience's attention. We were all pulling for Aaron's character, while laughing at the mannerisms of Nathan's. A good play, through and through.
Eva Adderly's "The Prospect" was the one completely serious play of the night, dealing with the relationship of two brothers who are no longer brothers by practice, just by blood. I had the honor of acting in this play, along with Chris Griffin. This play stands up to any, and the dialogue rings true. I expect to see this play published sometime soon, it is a true piece of art.
All in all, a fun two nights of Summer Shorts! Now, time to get ready for Summer Shorts 2015!