Friday, June 19, 2009

Floating Theater Company 2nd Annual Night of New Works

Middletown was abuzz with arts activities last night (Thursday June 18) as you can see from posts about Middle City Stage Company (read here or below this post) and the Rani Arbo/daisy mayhem concert at Russell Library (read here or below this post.)

This writer spent the evening taking part in the Floating Theater Company's "New Works" presentation. 4 short plays and 1 excerpt from a longer work were presented to an appreciative audience. Playwrights included Michael Ennis, Anne Cassady, Jean Wertz, Donagh Gleason and Terri Klein and the works ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Wertz's piece, "Traprock", featured a soliloquy by John Basinger inspired by the playwright's study of Noh Theater in Japan. It was stunning in its beauty and simplicity (thanks to the actor's great presentation.)

"The Session", Anne Cassady's piece (her first as a playwright), dealt with animals in a zoo but one was led to believe that they were in therapy.

Donagh Gleason's short play, "Boys Night Out (Gods Playing Pool)", dealt with the Gods Zeus and Jupiter playing pool and waiting for the Mayan Sun King to join them. The playwright and Michael Eck played the gods, having a fun time making them human.

Ennis' "The Tyrrany of Mammals" took on professors with clashing theories about how humans develop - Basinger's character, while brilliant, was also manipulative, crusty, and comically/tragically a breast man

The piece I took part in, Terri Klein's "Not So Fast", was quite surreal and a great exercise in comic existentialism.

Besides Eck, Gleason, Basinger and myself, actors included Kristin Flyntz, Courtney Antonioli, Virginia Wolf, Matthew Pollack, John Calderbank, and Ann Marie Sataline.

Many of those same actors will appear in a new set of "New Works" tonight (June 19) at 7 p.m. in the Green Street Arts Center. Judging by the first night, the plays should be very entertaining.

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