Who knew Columbus was teeming with playwrights? Evolution Theatre Co. received 35 submissions for its annual local playwrights’ festival. Held April 24 to May 3, the festival presents the six best one-act plays submitted. Sheldon Gleisser, whose “Versions of Vera” made the cut, says, “It’s always nice to see ‘Streetcar Named Desire’ or whatever … but it’s also really great to see something completely new and local.” Here are three can’t-miss works that fit the bill. evolutiontheatre.org
“Madeline’s Uncle” by Jack PetersenA former television director for Channels 4 and 6, Petersen has written plays that have been produced as far away as Scotland, but this one-act about a grown woman bickering with her aged uncle is one of the first he has written at a shorter length. “You’ve got to hit the ground running and go with it,” he says of the genre.
“Sea Change” by David MeyersAn administrator at Columbus State Community College, Meyers fell into writing plays in the mid-’90s, when he was dissatisfied with his young daughter’s annual Christmas show. (The widely performed “The Last Christmas Carol” was the result.) His “Twilight Zone”-esque festival entry has an irresistible tagline: “It’s a love triangle involving a grizzled fisherman, his long-suffering wife and a lump of whale vomit,” he says.
“When Mastodons Roamed Ohio” by Johnrick HoleHole’s work has been produced by the likes of CATCO and MadLab. Like most of his dark comic plays, this one sprang from a mental image: “A woman trying to convince her husband that they should go to the funeral of one of their friends.” He adds, “From there, you basically find out who these people are and what they’re trying to get and why they’re resisting.”