Perishable Theatre's eighth annual Women's Playwriting Festival consists of three diverse one act plays. "Finding Life" by Caridad Svich from Los Angeles about a young girl writing in her notebook following the different phases of her writing life into womanhood. "Pretty Speeches" by Katerie Morin from Cambridge about a coldhearted businessman hiring a ghostwriter to eulogize his dying marriage and destroying the writer and the wife's lives. "In The Wild" by Crystal Skillman from Brooklyn about five diferent campers and how nature affects them. Throw in fifteen multitalented performers and three insightful expert directors and you have a night of new plays to be savored for years to come.
"Finding Life" is directed by Sylvia Ann Soares and follows the life of Lili(Sarah Parramore) from age 7 to 60. Sarah does an excellent job playing the petulant 7 year old and her transitions from 7 to 12 to 17 to 35 and finally 60 are handled perfectly as she changes her voice and demeanor in each scene. The influence of her second grade teacher leads her to the life of a writer. Sylvia directs Sarah and her fellow cast members through these vignettes using set pieces to change the local with ease. Lili's friends are played wonderfully by Joell Jacob, Kara Lund and Carol Pegg who make the age changes too. Fourth grade student, Mya Sherman plays Azu, Lili's friends daughter. She handles her lines beautifully displaying great poise in one so young. Rounding out the cast is Lynne Collinson, a veteran performer who plays the much older role of Nen, Lili's mother. She makes the crotchty character come to life by ranting about hating trees and why is Lili always writing and who are the friends who will be visiting. As Lili contemplates her life as a writer the play comes to a close. A great start to the evening.
The second show "Pretty Speeches" is directed Amy Lynn Budd and follows the overbearing and militant way a businessman treats the people around him. Michael Cappelli is brilliant as this egomaniacal character. His stuffy exterior shows the lack of emotion beneath and his stomping on the floor and holding his breath with his upside down hourglass lend humor to this play. Kerrie Brown as his secretary is outstanding. Her voice is beautiful and clear in the delivery of all her lines. Kerrie's dance instruction and final rejection of the writer add to the pleasure of this show. David Tessier plays the ghostwriter who has never been in love. He falls in love through dancing finally giving into his true feelings of love. David does an excellent job and uses many appropriate facial expressions showing the character's innocence invoking much laughter. Rounding out the cast is the long suffering wife Sharon Carpentier handling her role in the face of defeat gracefully. Amy paid a lot of attention to the set making them stand out as seperate playing spaces. Great job.
Last but not least is the final play "In The Wild" directed by Mary Lee Vitale whose use of the playing space and direction of the performers to crawl, fall, run and climb is fantastic. The first campers are novices and are frightened by the wild animal noises. Casey Seymour Kim and Marilyn Dubois make Betty and Bonnie into the two stooges. Their panic attacks and facial ticks and twists are hysterical. The next two campers are played by PJ Carroll as Clarence, a wilderness guide and Joanne Fayan as Dakota, a married woman interested in jumping his bones. Both performers handle their roles splendidly. I loved when Joanne physically throws herself onto PJ smothering him with kisses only to hit him with a rock later on. She does wonders also when she physically crawls across the floor and up the platforms. I' surprised Joanne didn't skin her knees.
The last member of this play does a herculean task with her monologue to her dead mother. Jennifer Hays commands the stage with her voice and physicality. She throws herself off the platform onto the floor and runs, cries and delivers her lines with great emotion while doing it. Brava with your huge monologue. So for an enjoyable evening of new female playwrights go to Perishable Theatre to see their shows in their premiere presentations