Plays on the wayFans of the theater in Jamestown can mark their calendars for a number of upcoming plays in 2012 — the majority of which will come in the year’s first half. The 2nd ACT Community Group has three shows to offer in 2012, and the Jamestown College Theatre Department closes out its 2011-2012 season with three final shows.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Fans of the theater in Jamestown can mark their calendars for a number of upcoming plays in 2012 — the majority of which will come in the year’s first half.
The 2nd ACT Community Group has three shows to offer in 2012, and the Jamestown College Theatre Department closes out its 2011-2012 season with three final shows.
Jamestown College starts in early February with this six-character light-hearted, comedy, said Mike McIntyre, director of the Theatre Department at JC.
The play is from Feb. 2-4 with the story of six sisters reconnecting over a series of phone calls.
“One of the daughters tries to keep the other sisters updated and slowly, through these particular phone calls they learn to understand each other better,” McIntyre said.
The characters develop over the course of the play. But at the same time the script allows the audience to see each sister’s personality quirks, which is something most family members have.
‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)’
The Bard may have been the greatest story teller of all time, but this three person comedy is written for fans and non-fans alike, McIntyre said. The play is Feb. 15-18.
“A prior appreciation or understanding of Shakespeare isn’t required,” he said.
Simply put, three characters explain Shakespeare’s plays in a way that most people should be able to understand.
“It’s a show that has a very spontaneous or improvisational feel,” McIntyre said. “It’s a pretty wacky take on some of the ideas of Shakespeare.”
The show will also be put on “in the round,” or the same style of theater that the Bard used when his plays were first performed, he said.
Arthur Miller’s famous story of McCarthyism set to the Salem Witch Trials is a classic that McIntyre said he has been looking forward to putting on at JC for some time. The play will be from April 19-21.
In the 1940s and 1950s, Sen. Joseph McCarthy was a leader in the “red scare,” which accused many prominent politicians, actors, musicians and writers of being communists and persecuted people with communist ties.
“Of course it’s one of the great American masterpieces, so it’s the kind of work you love to have the crowd see and love to have your students involved in — because it’s such a powerful play,” he said.
The play takes place in the late 1600s in the Providence of Massachusetts Bay, where the citizens of Salem accuse their neighbors of witchcraft.
“Even though it appears to be about these figures in the late 1600s, it appears pretty clearly that it’s about the red scare in the 1950s,” McIntyre said.
Admission to each JC production is $7. Tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at 252-3467, ext. 2435 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
2nd ACT Community Theater Group
For the 2012 season the 2nd ACT Community Theater Group is putting on a series of Neil Simon plays.
“He’s well known, people are drawn to something their more familiar with, he’s had tremendous success for numerous years, and his plays — even though they may have been written 10-15-20 years ago — are timely,” said Lori Dorr, director of 2nd ACT.
Simon has written more than 30 plays from 1961 to 2004. In 2006 he was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, America’s foremost award for humor.
Dorr said she enjoys Simons’ characters because they have broad personalities but at the same time are real, down-to-earth people, she said.
‘Barefoot in the Park’
The first of the three Simon plays will be sometime in early March. Because of the Arts Center’s renovation project a site has yet to be decided.
“‘Barefoot in the Park’ is newlyweds finding their way through the first days of marriage, and finding out what commitment really means,” Dorr said.
One of the main characters has a grounded and rational personality, while the other is easy-going and mainly concerned about her personal enjoyment.
Dorr said the show is about “finding a harmony between personalities in new marriage.”
‘The Odd Couple’
No dates have been set for this play yet, but Dorr is hopeful that it will be the opening act for the renovation of the Arts Center, which is expected to be completed in late April.
Felix is a man’s man and finds himself living with his newly single friend Oscar. Each has a totally different personality, which leads to a humorous comedy, she said.
“How they were ever friends to begin with is beyond me,” Dorr said.
No dates are set in for this production but Dorr said it could be put on between September and November.
“‘Jacob’s Women’ is about a man who is a writer and he has multiple women in his life — however many of them are imaginary,” Dorr said.
While the first two Simon plays have a conflict of man vs. man, this production is more of a man vs. self conflict.
“Jacob is very boastful, prideful character,” she said. “In his opinion he is the ladies’ man, so that character plays to that, and leans to that.”
Each 2nd ACT production is a dinner theater and will include a meal. More information will be available at the Arts Center (251-2496) as the dates become set.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at brodgers@ jamestownsun. com