KVPAC's Encore Players presents Jane Shepard's Kickass Plays for Women this month.
This "gritty, hard-edged drama is a compilation of four short Shepard plays, featuring strong, contemporary female roles that give new muscle to actresses of exceptional range. In the tradition of David Mamet, Shepard creates a cynical, street-smart edged work, precisely crafted for stage effect. Shepard writes powerful and explicit dialog for female actors with both intense drama and modern humor in all four of these works: Nine; Commencing; Friends of the Deceased; and The Last Nickel."
Each of the one act plays is directed by a different Katy female director. Their individual visions and styles unite to create a single vision of Shepard's work. Nine, directed by Morgan Midkiff, is a fascinating play about the power of language. Two imprisoned women use their words to motivate and push one another in order to survive their situation. A complicated relationship is revealed as the two women use not only kind words to lift one another up but also cruel and even obscene words to stir one another up in an attempt to find the humor and strength they need to fight against their captors.
InCommencing, directed by Katie Martin, a woman is looking forward to a romantic encounter when the person who shows up not only isn't her type, but is a girl! The two women spend the night in a cycle of bickering and flirting but ultimately find they have a lot in common after all.
Friends of the Deceased, directed by Lisa Connolly, finds a wealthy and embittered widow lingering long after her husband's grave site service only to confront a mysterious and unsuspecting young woman upon her late arrival to the funeral. Convinced that the young woman is her husband's mistress, the widow attempts to buy a confession but learns an even deeper, unforeseen truth. Rounding out Shepard's collection is The Last Nickel, directed by Heather Villano. Nickelcenters on sisters dealing with the aftermath of a tragic death in the family. Through the use of puppets giving real-time commentary on the action, we are transported to a happier time of childhood memories but can never fully escape the unnerving truth that something horrible has happened.
"I love the unexpected in live theatre and I hope to hear a gasp or two from the audience as they journey along with all the characters on their roller-coaster ride of emotions," says Lisa Connolly, director of Friends of the Deceased. "Isn't that why we love the theatre so much? It is supposed to enlighten and entertain us, and when it surprises us as well, that is brilliant!"
Kick@&$ Plays for Women performs tonight, July 27 & July 28 at 8:00pm and July 29 at 2:00pm at The ExhibitForce Main Theatre at KVPAC, 2501 S Mason Rd., Ste #290, Katy, TX 77450. For Katy audience members who seek an evening at the theater, they can look to Encore Players as a source to enjoy the theater in their own home town without the commute or cost involved with heading to one of downtown Houston's theaters. Tickets are $18. Senior & group rates are also available. Students will only be sold at the door with parental consent. For further information or to purchase advance tickets on-line, visit www.kvpac.org.