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STLCC-Forest Park Hosts 20th Annual One-Act Play Festival

September 10, 2010

Local playwright Gregory S. Carr’s provocative look at today’s political climate, a shrewd comedy by Oscar and Emmy winner Alan Ball, a madcap twist to Shakespeare’s balcony scene, a fleet feet vignette, and one of Tennessee Williams’ tragic lovelorn ladies will be showcased during the 20th annual One-Act Play Festival presented by the College Theatre Council of Greater St. Louis.


Five college theater programs are participating this year – Webster University, Harris-Stowe State University, Principia College, and both Forest Park and Florissant Valley’s campuses of St. Louis Community College. Performances will take place the weekend of Sept. 17, 18 and 19 at the St. Louis Community College-Forest Park’s Mildred E. Bastian Center for the Performing Arts, 5600 Oakland Ave., with an 8 p.m. curtain Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. curtain on Sunday. Admission is free and open to the public.


Carr’s  “Cognitive Dissonance” takes place on Oct. 18, 2008, on the grounds of the Gateway Arch, at a rally where presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama will speak. Park Ranger Abraham Grant encounters a young white supremacist, Jefferson Lee, who wants to make his mark on history but Grant is determined to stop Lee’s assassination plan. Race, religion and a healthy dose of politics influence a psychological battle of the mind.


A native St. Louisan, Carr has taught humanities at Harris-Stowe for six years, and as an adjunct instructor at STLCC. His plays have been produced by the Missouri Historical Society, Soundstage Productions and Pamoja Theatre Workshop. At Forest Park, he has produced “Johnnie Taylor is Gone” (Spring 2006), “The Watershed Syndrome” (Fall 2006 – One-Act Festival) and “A Colored Funeral” (Spring 2008).


His short play, which features Napoleon Williams III as Abraham and Steve Schluckebier as Jefferson, is presented by Harris-Stowe. Carr also directed.


“Fit for Feet” by Jordan Harrison is Webster’s entry, directed by visiting professor Julie Foh. Harrison is a hotshot young playwright whose spry 10-minute play won the Heideman Award at the prestigious Humana Festival at the Actors Theatre of Louisville in 2003. As the date draws closer to their wedding, a young bride-to-be is concerned about her fiance’s obsession with legendary Russian ballet dancer Nijinsky. What does it mean to take a leap and leave everything behind? The cast includes Kurt Hellerich, Dakota Mackey-McGee, Mandi Lee and Hillary Brainard.


“Under the Balcony” by Bruce Kane will be presented by STLCC-Florissant Valley, directed by Daniel J. Betzler. This 2009 comedy is a modern twist on age-old romance, as a fleeing Casanova attempts to turn Romeo from a lover to a seducer underneath Juliet’s balcony. The cast includes John Lewis as Casanova, Maurice Walters II as Romeo and Rachel Stassi as Juliet.


“Portrait of a Madonna” by Tennessee Williams will be presented by STLCC-Forest Park, directed by Carla Moody. This 1945 drama centers on a delusional spinster living in poverty, haunted by memories of a former love, who broke her heart and married someone else. Kristie Lyon plays Miss Lucretia Collins, whom many believe was the precursor to Blanche DuBois. Tyler Rau and Kevin Bailey portray the porter and the elevator boy.


“Your Mother’s Butt” by Alan Ball will be presented by Principia College, directed by Ben Rowe, a senior theater major last year. Ball, who won an Oscar for his original screenplay “American Beauty,” is the creator of ‘Six Feet Under” and “True Blood.” His savvy works often examine the loss of individual identity and expression in modern times, and this two-character play written in 1990 features a female therapist desperately searching for clues to help a shoe-obsessed disturbed young man. Alice Stanley plays the psychologist and Hunter Hoffman is her client.


For more information, contact Tim Daly, STLCC-Forest Park theater manager, at 314-644-9386 or tdaly3@stlcc.edu.