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Original plays showcased at Weathervane’s 8x10 TheatreFest

8/29/2013 - West Side Leader
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By David Ritchey

Shown from left from Weathervane Playhouse’s “Doubles Troubles” are: (back row) Andrew Alderson (Jack), Eileen Moushey (Marion) and director Ian Haberman; and (front row) Tom Stephan (Ralph) and playwright Roos Tandowsky.
Photo courtesy of Weathervane Playhouse
MERRIMAN VALLEY — Original plays, limited to 10 minutes of performance time, offer a challenge to playwrights. Weathervane Playhouse’s third annual 8x10 TheatreFest featured eight, 10-minute plays Aug. 16-18.

The first-place play as voted by the judges was “Bad Thing,” by Mark Cornell, of Chapel Hill, N.C. In the past year, Cornell has had 14 new plays premiere around the country. Mary Mahoney directed “Bad Thing” and Scott Davis and Matthew King played the two roles in the play. The story deals with the brothers driving to a doctor’s office. One brother is severely mentally disabled and the second brother is ill. The story deals with how each brother depends on the other.

The second-place script and the winner of the audience-favorite award was “Doubles Troubles.” Ian Haberman directed this short comedy by Ross Tandowsky, of California. The story concerns Marion (Eileen Moushey) and Ralph (Tom Stephan), who are asleep until Marion is awakened by a noise downstairs. Ralph can’t decide on the best way to protect himself and to get rid of the burglar. Marion has left the telephone downstairs, and they can’t dial 9-1-1. So, with a tennis racket in hand, Ralph finally gets out of the bedroom to do battle with the bad guy in the kitchen. The laughter is almost nonstop. “Doubles Troubles” has the structure of a situation comedy.

Playwrights submitted almost 200 plays for the competition. Once again Moushey served as chair of the competition. The scripts were divided among nine judges who narrowed the field to eight plays. 

The eight plays were judged in performance by Weathervane Executive Director John Hedges; Russ Musarra, a retired critic for the Akron Beacon Journal; Bill O’Connor, retired movie critic for the Akron Beacon Journal; and myself.

David Ritchey has a Ph.D. in communications and is a professor of communications at The University of Akron. He is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association.

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