The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 16, 2013

New Voices Play Festival kicks off Friday at GVT




Greenbrier Valley Theatre will present six brand new 10-minute plays at the New Voices Play Festival this Friday and Saturday and again Jan. 25-26 at 7:30 p.m.

The festival showcases the talents of local playwrights who see their works fully realized with director, cast and full production crew.

Tickets are adults, $12; senior (60+) $10; and student/child, $8. For tickets or more information, call 304-645-3838.

Selected from over 100 works submitted from across the country, this year’s six plays offer a skewed look into human nature. The characters are engaged in unique, heightened situations that are both entertaining and poignant.

Of the six plays, three are the work of West Virginia playwrights — two local and one from Huntington.

In Alex Dremann’s “Narcoleptic Pillow Fight,” the seven-year itch sends a medically challenged couple headfirst into a bedtime brawl when a soup ladle, a sister-in-law and two perfectly timed cases of narcolepsy invade an otherwise normal matrimonial argument. Dremann hails from Philadelphia. This is his first production with Greenbrier Valley Theatre.

Jonathan Joy’s “Little Donkeys and Elephants” is an engaging Christmas comedy about two children, Billy and Amy, whose differing viewpoints on how to celebrate the holiday season lead to spirited arguments over whose family traditions are more politically correct. Joy is a writer/ teacher/director/actor from Huntington.

“A Game of Twenty ... ” is playwright Eric Fritzius’ attempt to answer the great inscrutable questions of the 20th century. While waiting in a limbo-esque lobby of the afterlife, a man is told he may ask 20 questions of the “administrator.” This is the fourth of Fritzius’ plays to be produced by GVT.

Seattle playwright Barbara Lindsay has written more than 50 plays. Her dark comedy “On the Line” explores the charged relationship between an emotionally wrecked girl who is dateless on Valentine’s Day and the judgmental male volunteer working the crisis hotline.

In Brett Hursey’s “Splitting Hares,” when Ron Jr. leaves for college, his father’s psyche takes a “hare-y” turn. Can Ron Sr. and Annie, with the help of their marriage counselor, sort out their problems before a made-up condition really sends Ron hopping away?

“Occupy My Mind” is Greenbrier County native and White Sulphur Springs resident Christian M. Giggenbach’s third play to be produced in GVT’s New Voices festivals. In this political comedy, a manic protest leader begins gathering a ragtag team of activists for his own offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Will his boot camp initiation tactics move his followers to follow in his path or run out the door instead?

The festival features a cast of all community actors: Stephanie Bachman, Austin Barnett, Ellen Broudy, Larry Davis, Eric Fritzius, Nathan Gwartney, Lieselotte Heil, Blair Hicks, Sarah Johnson, Micah Labishak, Tina Marquart, Nancy Miller, Shane Miller, Abel Nobel, and George Piasecki. Directors are Ryan Ferrebee, Sarah Johnson and Courtney Susman.