East Falls theater takes a ‘fast and furious’ approach to this year’s One-Act Bonanza

Old Academy Players in East Falls will host its fourth-annual One-Act Bonanza this week, featuring seven short comedies per show.

“It’s one night – no, three nights of comedy,” said Nancy Frick, president of the Old Academy Players. This year, OPA adds a third performance to its One-Act Bonanza due to enthusiastic audiences in the previous years.

Each short play – a combination of new and previously published works – will run between 7 and 20 minutes, with a new emphasis on comedic fare this year.

Two plays, “Fourteen” by Alice Gerstenberg and directed by Thomas Abraham, and “The Party,” written and directed by Andy Pettit, detail the experiences of party hosts.

“Getting the News” written and directed by Lisa Lutwyche, and “Please Have a Seat and Someone Will Be With You,” written by Garth Wingfield and directed by Dale Mezzacappa, relate the unusual experiences of people in and around the medical profession.

“Post-Its,” written by Paul Dooley and Winnie Holzman and directed by Freda Gowling, explores a relationship captured on scraps of paper.

“Stew You” by Barbara Pease Weber and directed by Polly Edelstein, focuses on a complex relationship between five “sister wives” and their one shared husband.

“The Interview,” written and directed by Michelle Moscicki, details the experience of a psychiatric nurse participating in a job interview said to be “nothing short of crazy.”

This weekend marks the directorial debut of Abraham and Gowling. Frick noted that training new directors is a core component of the One-Act Bonanza, in addition to providing actors with additional opportunity for stage time.

The result is a “fast and furious” performance. “It’s a lot of fun that way,” said Frick.

The One-Act Bonanza was founded in 2009 by Old Academy member Chris Schenk, who spent four years at the theater as an actor, writer and producer. Schenk passed away in March of this year at the age of 29.

“He started what has very much become a tradition at OPA,” said Frick. “We’re continuing the one acts in his memory and because it was a great idea.”

The performances will take place on Friday, July 6, at 8 p.m., Saturday, July 7, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, July 8, at 2 p.m. at the Old Academy Players theater at 3544 Indian Queen Lane.

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