By Lee Howard and Greg Gamble.
Cast: 5m., 4w., expandable to 9m., 4w., 3 either gender The Last Touchy-Feely Drama on the American Stage: 5m. (3 roles may be played by women). A ludicrously slow-moving father and son reconciliation theatre piece is broken down and overanalyzed by a trio of cruelly detached sportscasters. Every cross, pause and pretentious utterance is cause for an exuberant shout and a lengthy dissection. Even the characters' gray hair paint and bedroom slippers are chatted over excitedly. Brimming over with rapid-fire monologues, the satire rests on exposing America's fascination with victim-glorification and the theatre community's preoccupation with emotional pain as a dramatic punctuation mark. This rollicking comedy reaches a pinnacle as the announcers wait breathlessly to see if the playwright will "Go for the Tony Award." Minimal set.
Deliver Us Not! (or Birth, Where Is Thy Sting?): 3 actors (m. or w.) Three fetuses sharing a womb debate the possibilities of life-after-birth, trying to come to terms with their impending due-date. This festival-winning, easy-to-stage crowd-pleaser combines witty palaver and thought-provoking banter to form a marriage of mirth and meaning. The characters represent a trio of philosophies, including an atheist fetus who is convinced that "you're conceived, you live, you're born and that's it! There's nothing after birth!" Another fetus, seeing his time in the womb as a cosmic deception, propounds the notion that once he passes through the birth canal he'll be at one with the universe and free of all pain, discomfort and fear. Of course, we know better. And so does the last fetus, who takes a sane, sober, wait-and-see approach to the next world. Taking to task such topics as atheism, warm-fuzzy-new-age sophisms, and pompous poetry, Deliver Us Not! juggles it all with impudent wit and subtle subtext. Minimal set.
It's Tough to Be Somebody!: (4m., 4w.) An apathetic high school "Fame Awareness Education" class learns a hard lesson from a washed-up, wet-brained silver screen maven. This in-your-face hoot is a brashly insensitive look at sensitivity that touches on modern tolerance-mania with all the politeness of a cattle prod. The script swaggers with every insolent line, mocking without remorse as the overly caring teacher apologizes profusely for uttering such a bigoted and insensitive phrase as "Good morning, students." An intimidating, blustering traffic cop is brought in to scare the kids away from fame with a monologue on the evaporation of the soul under the limelight. Minimal set.