Actors and Artists of Fayette County stage annual 'One-Acts Festival'
A weekend of original one-act plays starts the new year and a new season for Actors and Artists of Fayette County at Geyer Performing Arts Center in Scottdale.
AAFC’s second annual “One Acts Festival” Jan. 11-13 gives theatergoers an opportunity to check out three new plays directed by three local directors.
“Harper Goes Rollerskating”
Jared Pascoe of Pittsburgh wrote “Harper Goes Rollerskating” about a woman that finds hope in the most unlikely places when she returns to her small hometown after a failed marriage and a lost job in a big city.
Pascoe graduated from Point Park University and has worked for talent agencies in New York City and Los Angeles. He also had an internship at Nancy Mosser Casting in Pittsburgh.
He currently represents talent for film, TV and voiceovers at Docherty Talent Agency in Pittsburgh.
“Harper Goes Rollerskating” will be directed by Stacy DiPasquale of Mt. Pleasant. The cast includes Caitlyn Cherry, Jesse Glover and Deloris Love.
“Love Locks on Clemente”
Evan W. Saunders’s play, “Love Locks on Clemente,” focuses on two strangers that have a chance encounter on Pittsburgh’s Roberto Clemente Bridge.
Saunders, a graduate of Duquesne University with a BA in economics, is a writer and theater artist based in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he is a student a Brooklyn Law School. His plays have been performed by Strand Theater Company, Pipedream Productions, the Duquesne University Red Masquers, and as part of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival.
He interned with the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, New York, where he also worked as a freelance literary representative for their National Director’s Fellowship. His play, “All in the Numbers,” was a finalist for Kitchen Dog Theater’s 2018 New Works Festival.
“Love Locks on Clemente” will be directed by Ally Riddle, a Seton Hill University student from Mount Pleasant. The cast features Adam Wainwright and Vanessa Clarke-Deaver.
Andy Werner, a Philadelphia-based playwright, actor and teaching artist wrote “Reframing Frances,” about Frances Stuben, an eccentric founder of a local Pennsylvania historical society, who has been missing for months. In her absence, a disgruntled board votes to reformat her beloved museum as an “interactive” children’s art exhibit. She resurfaces, traps the offending board members and confronts her closest friends – and 70-plus years of their grievances against her – in a last-ditch effort to force a new vote and save her life’s work.
Werner was resident playwright for The Little Theatre, a theatre school and family theatre where he wrote and produced more than 10 professional children’s productions. He earned an honorable mention from the Philadelphia Theatre Workshop’s Annual Playshop Festival for his two-actor quasi-farce for adults, “The Estate of Coco LaRue.”
Directing “Reframing Frances” will be Will Dixon of Greensburg, a veteran performer on Scottdale’s Geyer Performing Arts Center stage who made his directorial debut in September at the Geyer in “All Shook Up.”
The cast includes Diane Lasko, Amanda Leight, Martha Oliver and William White.
David DeFazio of Harrison City, a board member with AAFC, is coordinator for the “One-Acts Festival.”
Support for playwrights
“AAFC is pleased to provide an opportunity for up-and-coming playwrights to showcase their new works and for audiences to see the plays brought to life for the first time,” he said. “We think it is important for our local community and our theater community to come together and support these young playwrights and encourage them to keep writing and developing their art.”
More than 20 scripts were reviewed for this year’s festival, he said.
AAFC will continue its season with productions of “The Laramie Project” March 22-24, “Godspell” April 11-14, “Mamma Mia!” June 13-16, “Grease” Aug. 15-18, “The Rocky Horror Show” Oct. 17-19 and “Leading Ladies” Nov. 7-10.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.