Island Theatre Workshop’s second annual one-act festival opens Friday, March 14, at the Katharine Cornell Theatre.
Three directors will offer a program of four plays, all of which look at life with both humor and sadness.
Lee Fierro will be presenting two shows: Aria da Capa, by Edna St.Vincent Millay, and Extensions, by Murray Schisgal.
With its characters drawn from the Italian commedia dell’arte, Aria da Capa appears at first glance to be a gentle little fantasy — but the fantasy is soon disturbed by a harsher view of life which the remaining characters do their best to ignore. The play also contains the remarkable opening line, “Is this my artichoke or yours?” Brad Austin appears as Pierrot, Katharine Pilcher as Pierret, May Oskan as Thursis, Adam Stilgoe as Corydon, and Xavier Powers as Cothurnus.
Extensions is about a vaudeville team who, while waiting to hear from their agent, are subjected to a relentless barrage of supernatural phone calls that encapsulate all of life’s random vicissitudes. Song, dance and comic patter intertwine with the absurdist dramatization of their isolation and desperate need for each other. Leslie J. Stark takes time off from directing to perform Bob, with Jessica Buckley as Betsy, the second member of the team.
Kevin Ryan will direct Frederick Stroppel’s Domestic Violence. Mike Gilman plays the character of Mike and Treather Gassman his wife, Sandy. Mr. Gilman, who works for WMVY, has been in several Island Theatre Workshop, Inc. productions, including Gypsy and last year’s ITW One Acts. Ms. Gassman, a teacher at the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School, was most recently seen as Cinderella in the last year’s ITW production of Into the Woods.
Leslie J. Stark returns with another original one act, This Seat Is Occupied, by Susan Shafer. He will appear as the conductor, with Talia Leuning as the commuter. Leslie has appeared in and directed Island productions for both ITW and the Vineyard Playhouse.
The One Acts will be performed Friday through Sunday, March 14 to 16, and Friday through Sunday, March 21 to 23. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $15; Island Club cards will be accepted, and there is a senior discount of 20 per cent. For details and to make reservations, please call Kevin Ryan at 508-627-3166.