MadLab Announces Theatre Roulette 2017

In its eighteenth year, Central Ohio's longest running shorts festival presents 3 very distinct nights of new works rotating over 3 weekends culminating in the final day when all 3 nights of programming are performed.

Showtimes: 8 p.m. except for May 27th when they are at 2, 4, and 8 p.m., Thursday May 11, Friday May 12, and Saturday May 13, Thursday May 18, Friday May 19 and Saturday May 20, Thursday May 25, Friday May 26 and Saturday May 27

Tickets: $15, $13 for students and senior citizens, $10 for MadLab members

The Community Arts Fund of Columbus Foundation, GCAC, and OAC support MadLab throughout the year.

Back with their 18th annual Theatre Roulette, MadLab continues to crank out Columbus' longest running shorts festival. This year the festival you can bet on any of three distinct nights of programming:

House Edge - A night of second chances, last chances, and first impressions. Directed by Amanda Bauer with assistance from Vicki Kessler. . Performances on Friday May 12th, Saturday May 20th, Thursday May 25 at 8 p.m. and Saturday May 27 at 2 p.m.

Wheel Checks - A night full of life altering decisions. From careers, to love, to life and death - whatever these characters choose they can be sure their lives will never be the same. Directed by Laura Spires and Kyle Jepson Performances on Saturday May 13th, Thursday May 18th, and Friday May 26th at 8 p.m. and Saturday May 27 @ 4 p.m.

Inside Bets -- A night of shows that stretches from the earliest morning hours through a day of dating issues, paradise, and ends on a golf course. Directed by Stephen Woosley except for 5:53 which will be directed by Jason Sudy and Speed Date which will be directed by Tay Lane. Performances on Thursday May 11th, Friday May 19th at 8 p.m. and Saturday May 27th at 8 p.m.

Auditions were held on February 12. 40 actors were cast in 64 roles. 16 of them will make their MadLab debuts, 14 have worked previously with MadLab and 10 are ensemble members.

Inside Bets

5:53 by Christopher Lockheardt

A couple duels at dawn over who will shut off the alarm clock, and in this duel no weapon is out of bounds.

Joyce - Colleen Dunne

Lionel - RJ Shuman

Playwright Bio:

"Christopher Lockheardt? Wasn't he the only MadLab writer last season whose play wasn't nominated for a Theatre Roundtable award?" Yes, yes. But this play is completely different. It's about a demanding woman, a stubborn man, and creepy critters that--Okay, you know what? Feel free to hang out at the snack bar for the next ten minutes. You won't miss a thing.

The Last Word by JC Cifranic

Two hitmen are just trying to do their job when they run into a complication in their professional relationship.

Mercer - Susie McGarry

Belz - Vicki Kessler

Mark - RJ Shuman

Playwright Bio:

JC Cifranic is a playwright from Cleveland OH, where her work has been performed with convergence-continuum and Playwrights Local. She has recently graduated from the NEOMFA program. When she isn't writing, performing, or stage managing, she's procrastinating.

Speed Date by David Susman

What do Andrea and Michael do on their first date? Absolutely everything.

Michael - Dallas Ray

Andrea - Erynn Robe

Waiter - Brett Hutton

Playwright Bio

David Susman is a Maine-based playwright. His works have won several prizes, including the Peter Honegger Prize at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and the People's Choice Award at the Maine Playwrights Festival; he has also been a finalist for the Heideman Award at The Actors Theatre of Louisville. His play "Film Appreciation" was recently anthologized in Smith & Kraus's Best Ten-Minute Plays series, and his play "Spice" has been made into a short film, recently screened at the Sedona International Film Festival

Ask Me Anything by Philip Middleton Williams

A job interview gets intimate, harrowing, and twisted.

Steve - Dante Montoto

Martin - Blake Litteral

Leo - Greg MCgill

Playwright bio

Philip Middleton Williams: His first play, The Hunter, was produced at the University of Minnesota in 1977. It was followed by Dark Twist, The Purer, Brighter Years, Here's Hoping, and Can't Live Without You. Other works include Ask Me Anything, Last Exit, A Life Enriching Community, Which Way To The Beach, and A Moment of Clarity. His newest work, All Together Now, won first place in the 2016 Playgroup LLC of Boca Raton playwriting contest.

Can't Live Without You was his first play to receive a New York production at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre in January 2008.

He lives in Miami, Florida and is a member of The Dramatists Guild.

Homeland Security by Matthew Widman

Big government and big business conspire to save America in this surreal black comedy about the challenges and limitations of protecting personal privacy in the digital age.

Brendan - Brett Hutton

Ivy - Colleen Underwood

Hawthorne - Scott Wilson

Hastings - Colleen Dunne

Playwright bio

Matthew Widman is a New York playwright and screenwriter. Matt's plays have been produced at theaters and festivals around the country including the Samuel French OOB Festival, the Camino Real Playhouse in California, the Downtown Urban Arts Festival and the Spotlight On Festival in Manhattan, the Fusion Theatre Company in Albuquerque, the Durango Arts Center in Colorado, the Taproot Theatre in Seattle, the Tri-State Festival in New Jersey, the WordWave Festival in Lake Tahoe and at HB Studio in New York City. His current stage project, Kill the Dog, a dark romantic comedy about kids, dogs and our desperate need for connection was a recent finalist for Bloomington Playwrights Project's Reva Shiner Comedy Award. His bittersweet drama, In the Garden, about a family coping with Alzheimer's disease, is part of the national MemoryCare Plays project ( and is published in the IPPY award winning The MemoryCare Plays anthology (

Deal by Stephen Woosley

What if you didn't have to go home? What if you could stay here?"

Katie - Bethany Dickens

Michael - Keith Jackson

Playwright bio

Stephen Woosley is excited to have his work featured in Roulette for a second time. The first was Tragic Fun in 2014's Theatre Roulette. This is his 3rd straight year directing an entire night of Roulette. He also directed shows for Roulette from 2006-2010. This will be his 14th appearance in a Roulette as an actor. He has had his work performed by OGP, MadLab, Mind the Gap Theatre and Strangedog Theatre. He has also written a number of sketches for MadLab's TMX series (2005-2007), The Sketch Show (R.I.P.) and Sketchy Sex. He has a cat named Chloe.

A Wicked Slice by John Busser

Because who doesn't like a nice, friendly cut-throat game of golf?

Steve - Scott Wilson

Alan - Dallas Ray

George - Blake Litteral

Ted - Greg MCgill

Playwright Bio:

John Busser has been (oh, how I've heard THAT bandied about before) an actor and writer for almost twenty years in the Cleveland area having performed at many places including The Beck Center, Ensemble Theatre, Karamu, Cleveland Public Theatre, Dobama, Convergence Continuum and others. He is a regular cast member of Flanagan's Wake at Kennedy's Cabaret, having finished its eighth season and most likely coming back for a ninth. He also helps run Cleveland Public Theatre's writers workshop, the Dark Room, and has had some of his pieces performed in both Cleveland and Columbus (coincidentally at the very same place you're reading this bio). He graciously thanks the folks here at Madlab for putting on another one of his little goof pieces, but he realizes they probably just need his subscription renewal.

House Edge

All Out of Second Chances by Scotto Moore

Margaret learns an unexpected secret about her mother's history, as she hears for the first time the tale of how Charlotte Atherton traveled from east coast to west on the Transcontinental Railroad, and met a woman on the train who would change her life forever.

Margaret - Melissa Bair

Charlotte - Olivia Sawatzki

Henry - Stephen Woosley

Millicent - Randi Morgan

Playwright bio:

Scotto Moore wrote & directed "Balconies," "interlace [falling star]" and "Duel of the Linguist Mages" (the latter was nominated for the American Theatre Critics Association's Steinberg New Play Award, and for a Gregory Award for outstanding playwright); wrote book & lyrics for the musical "A Mouse Who Knows Me" with Robertson Witmer (composer); wrote "When I Come To My Senses, I'm Alive!" (also nominated for a Gregory Award for outstanding playwright, and produced by Cayuga Community College in New York); wrote & performed in "H.P. Lovecraft: Stand-Up Comedian!" which was selected for a remount at Bumbershoot 2015; wrote & co-directed the short play collection "Star Crossed, and other tales from a devious universe"; and adapted & directed "The Principia Discordia LIVE!" - all produced by Annex Theatre. His plays for young adults, the one-act "Dimension Force" and the short play "Ways of the World," were produced by Seattle Public Theater's Youth Program. "Can't Talk Right Now," a one-act drama, premiered in 2016 with Theatre22 and was re-mounted for Bumbershoot 2016. He has written 24 short plays for the 14/48 Festival; 6 short plays for Pacific Play Company; 2 very short plays for the One Minute Play Festival; and 1 short play for Seattle Theatre Works. The Pocket Theater produced 7 of his short plays for a Writer Showcase in October 2016.

Last Man Standing by Chris Morris

A long life generates many rewards and regrets. Grant ruminates on both when a special visitor enters his life and takes the seat next to his at the coffeehouse.

Cary - Olivia Sawatzki

Grant - Michael Moore

Playwright bio

Chris Morris used to be somebody, as people say. That somebody was a local playwright and progenitor of the old late night program 3 in 30. A couple years ago he set off for the wilderness known as the land of the wild onions, or as some people refer to it: Chicago. "Last Man Standing" is his second play in a Theatre Roulette production. The first, "Exit Interview", has been adapted for a short film currently in production. This play deals with a different form of exit. He is grateful to MadLab for once again putting his words on stage and to everyone who pushes and prods him to actually write something every now and then-most especially his chief supporter and cheerleader, Aran.

Ladder by Doug Powhida

Marriage is like a ladder; built from the rungs of trust, empathy and patience; the paint tray shelf of communication; and that very top step: love. But the sticker says not to stand on that top step... it's dangerous. Can a man and a woman navigate that ladder and have their relationship survive?

Agent - Peter Graybeal

Husband - Stephen Woosley

Wife - Anna Leeper

Other Man - Rob Philpott

Playwright Bio

Doug Powhida is a writer and humorist, though designing and building interactive spaces is what pays the bills. A recently published author, you might know Doug as Fake Dispatch on Twitter or as HolyJuan from Doug is married to Miss Sally and has two kids, Greg and Ann. Doug has written several plays for MadLab's "3 in 30" and for O.G. Productions "The St. James Tavern Annual Shorts Festival." He is not bitter about not being a television weatherman.

Her Big Day by Heather Meyer

An anti-bridezilla bride gets far too hospitable on her wedding day.

Donna - Anna Leeper

Jane - Mary Sink

Mary - Malerie Torres

Playwright Bio

Heather Meyer is a comedy writer in Minneapolis. She's also an improvisor and sketch comedy instructor. She has an MFA in Playwriting from Spalding University and is a proud member of the Dramatist's Guild. Online at and @HeatherMeyer2

Fargo 3D by E. Wade Fritzius

A 10 minute political horror comedy. Security is at an all time high in all walks of life, including at the movie theater, where sneaking in food to avoid inflated snack bar prices is a serious business requiring serious counter-measures. Enter Agent DeGrunt of the Movie Theatre Security Administration (MTSA), who will insure no one sneaks snacks to a showing of Fargo 3D.

Alex - Alex Greene

Lara - Malerie Torres

Agent DeGrunte - Jodie Engle

Patron 1 - Mary Sink

Patron 2 - Megan Lear

Patron 3 - Anna Leeper

Shane - Peter Graybeal

Playwright Bio

Eric Fritzius' short plays have been produced by theatre companies across the West Virginia/Virginia/Ohio tri-state region. His play "Fargo 3D" debuted at the Greenbrier VAlley Theatre's 2014 New Voices Play Festival. It has since been performed for Trillium Performing Arts in Lewisburg, Longwood University's 0 to 60 Ten Minute Play Festival, and as part of a staged reading of three of his plays for the Vintage Theatre Company's inaugural West Virginia Playwright's Festival in Clarksburg. His first collection of short fiction, A Consternation of Monsters, was published in 2015 and has now been released as an audiobook. Visit him online at

A Clean Dislike by Alex Dremann

Marjorie and Annie don't like each other and go on an epic verbal quest to figure out why

Marjorie - Vicki Kessler

Annie - Melissa Bair

Playwright bio

Alex studied playwriting at USC and has had over 300 productions of his short plays. Evenings of his collected short plays include: "Slap Happy" (Madlab Theatre, Columbus, OH), "B-Sides, Rarities and Unreleased Tracks" (City Theatre, Wilmington, DE) and "13 Lemonade Ave." (Secret Room Theatre, Philadelphia, PA). Full lengths include: "Split Pea Pod" (The Brick Playhouse), "Postcoital Variations" (Philadelphia Theatre Workshop) and "The :nv:s:ble Play" (Madlab Theatre & Theatre of NOTE).

Caleb and Rita by Jessica Moss

Terri is meeting Caleb. Andrew is meeting Rita. Or They're supposed to.

Andrew - Rob Philpott

Terri - Megan Lear

Playwright Bio:

Jessica Moss is an actor, playwright, and producer from Toronto, Canada. She is the creator/performer of solo shows Modern Love (Next Stage Festival, Toronto), and Polly Polly (Toronto/Edmonton Fringe; Patron's Pick, Best of Fringe, Ed Mirvish Award for Entrepreneurship). Her full-length plays include Next to Him (RBC Tarragon Emerging Playwrights Contest Shortlist, Second Prize in Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition, Finalist for Tangent Theatre Tivoli's NEWvember and SafeWord's Playwriting Contest), I Will Miss You When You're Gone, Cam Baby (Toronto Fringe New Play Contest Winner, 2016), Stand Up, and A Girl Lives Alone. As an actor, Jessica has appeared with the National Arts Centre, Tarragon Theatre, Necessary Angel/LuminaTO Festival, SummerWorks, Sudbury Theatre Centre, Young People's Theatre, and many times at the Toronto Fringe. Jessica currently lives in New York, and is a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting fellow at Juilliard., @jessiemercury.

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