Friday, March 29, 2013


     So you’re finding yourself in the Tri-Cities this weekend, (or like me, crossing mountains to get there) and may be wondering, what’s the AACTFest’s National One-Act Play Competition Region IX Festival in Richland WA got to offer you?  After all, life’s short and the DVR’s not gonna watch itself, right?
      Well, lemme give you five reasons.
(1)   You only want to see good plays?  Well, guess what?  Adjudicators from Oregon and Washington, in separate state competitions, chose four of these plays to send forward.  Speaking as someone who saw one of those festivals:  you missed some good stuff already.  Now you have the chance to see what evolution has wrought.
(2)  Economic incentive:  FIVE plays from THREE STATES over TWO DAYS for the low low price of $20.  At these prices, you can’t afford to miss ‘em.  The most plays we’ve had at a Region IX Festival EVER!  (Unless I’m wrong, which has happened before, but I’m out on this limb anyway, so I’m just gonna dangle with purpose.)
(3)  Bonus material:  on Saturday, before the Festival kicks off the final leg, there’s a Troupe performance from ACT/Richland at 11am.  Like, just so you could watch more stuff.
(4)  Adjudicators step it up for the Regional – only one show goes to national, and there’s some seriously scrutiny brought to bear.  And you get to watch that scrutiny.
(5)   Scenic amazement:  10x10 box; 10 minutes set-up; 60 minutes (or less) show; 10-minute take down – and the word is every single show does something INCREDIBLE with these limitations. 

And that’s if you just like shows and adjudicating.  Washington’s got a serious streak going on – can either Oregon or Idaho break through to Nationals?  Who picks up other awards at the dessert Saturday night?  And when are you gonna get the chance to see the National champion without a ticket to Carmel IN, hmm? 
     So click on the helpful links to the Richland Players all over this site for the show times (mainly Friday starting at 6pm and Saturday starting at 12:30pm), and make the effort this weekend.  Lotta sweet hard work ramped up for the big-time.
       And who wants to miss the big time when the artists from Beaverton, Lake City, Spokane, Tualatin, and Bremerton come to Richland to unfurl their magicks?
       Not me, that’s who.   

Friday, March 8, 2013


    So there was this state theater festival, really, no foolin’, Washington state, in Bremerton, a fabled land strewn with festive naval ship parts and (I kid you not) street-corner art of a fish fly-catching a fisherman.  And a puppet museum near my hotel.  It’s like the gods saw me coming, grabbed me by the ankles, dangled me upside down, and took all my discretionary cash.

    But mainly there was a theater festival that was so good, we mispronounce words to indicate how good it was – it was UH-mazing; it was fan-TAS-tic; it was HUH-larious; it was Rana-lana-drama-ding-dong-diddly-well done.  (Y’see Rana Tan ran the festival; that’s why that’s funny.  Oops – explaining my jokes, that’s not a good thing.  Forget I did that – move it along, nothing to see here folks . . .)

     So on WSCTA’s fb page and other places you can find the Plays Going to Regional (Bremerton Community Theater’s The Thread Men and Spokane Civic Theatre’s The Turn of the Screw) and the winners of the Adjudicator awards (do you expect facts in every parenthetical statement?  Disappointed much?) and the member-voted WSCTA Betty Wills Treasure Award (Bremerton Community Theater’s The Thread Men) and the Ralph Eaton New Horizon Award for First Time Entry to the Kaleidoscope Festival (which went to The Changing Scene Theatre Northwest, which previously went to the festival ten years ago . . . yes, there’s a future board meeting where I have some ‘xplainin’ to do . . .), so I won’t waste any time going into details about this, except to give you the FULL SKINNY (just noticed that’s an oxymoron) on the results of my favorite award:  the WSCTA Magic Moment Award.

      Pretend (it’s a theater association- you should be familiar with the concept of pretend) you didn’t go to the festival.  OK, maybe less crying.  Hey, don’t rend that shirt, you’re gonna need that – not the LAMP, it’s part of a set!  Not a theatrical set, I mean it matches the other lamps.  ALL RIGHT ALL RIGHT, stop pretending.  Yeesh, last time I use that “pretend” set-up.  So listen to me explain to you, who didn’t attend, what theater is. 

     We create memories.  We pour hours of time into creating for audiences moments that will become memories.  To the band of happy few who were at Bremerton last weekend, we share these memories, and as we reconnect over time, we vibrate with the special friction that is common experience.  For those who were not there, we have a record of amazing moments.

       The WSCTA members get to vote for the Magic Moment award, where each member chooses their favorite moment from the festival.  We handed an award to the one that got the most votes (that’s the one in bold below), but to give you the slightest inkling how SPEC-TAC-U-LAR (whoops, that’s how that’s actually pronounced) this festival was, here’s a list of EVERY MAGIC MOMENT in our vote box.

    Because I think our members captured the event better than I could (and you can find me trying in whimsical synopsizes on fB.)

    So without further ado, THE MAGIC MOMENTS of KALEIDOSCOPE ‘13, according to those who were there and voted, alphabetically-ish, with (shows in parantheses), unless the whole dang show’s a moment (happened twice!) and (no-duh) SPOILER ALERT:

Adolfo (The Drowsy Chaperone)

Death by Chopstick in Neck; “Misfortune” (Didn’t See That Coming)

Death of Miles (The Turn of the Screw)

Dropping the Cell Phone in the Flower Vase (God of Carnage)

Elevator Drop (The Thread Men)

Eric Spenser, actor (The Thread Men)

Exercise/Gym/Treadmill Segment (Seriously Menopausal)

God of Carnage

John Collins Breaking Down (The Thread Men)

Man in Chair’s Delight in Sharing Music (The Drowsy Chaperone)

Monkeys! (The Drowsy Chaperone)

Nurse Carrying the Baby Stage Left (The Long Christmas Dinner)

Opening the Elevator That Was Not Supposed to Work (The Thread Men)

Telegram Revealed When Sam Dies (The Long Christmas Dinner)

This Property is Condemned

Wrong Record Played/The Emperor’s Nightingale (The Drowsy Chaperone)

Shoulda been there.

    Unless you were.  Remember all that?  Yeah, me too.