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Sauk Will Present Four Plays-in-Development Readings Online

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Sauk Will Present Four Plays-in-Development Readings Online

As part of their continued effort to keep creating theatre during the Coronavirus shutdown, The Sauk (Hillsdale County's community theatre) will move their annual Plays-in-Development to May with four readings of new plays streamed online.

The plays will be streamed live at The Sauk's Facebook and Youtube pages as well as at

Started in 2015, "Plays-in-Development" is a unique project to help writers develop their scripts. Actors and directors work one on one with playwrights to learn what works and what does not work about their plays. During rehearsals, the playwrights make changes to their scripts. The project ends with free staged readings for the public. After the readings, the audience gets an opportunity to respond to what they have heard. Therefore, the playwrights end the process with constructive feedback from directors, actors and audience.

"We usually do this program in July each year," said Sauk Executive Director Trinity Bird who coordinates the projects. "We traditionally bring the playwrights to Jonesville where they interact one-on-one with our actors and directors. This year, things are unique in our world. Our theatre is dedicated to offering theatrical experiences to our community even if we can't meet in person at the theatre. We proposed bringing the project online to the writers and directors and I am happy to say everyone was on board."

The four plays selected for this project were chosen from over 250 submissions from all over the country by a seven-member selection committee.

Plays-in-Development is sponsored by Gossage Eye Institute & Optical, Playford Real Estate, Country Carpets and Don Toffolo of Edward Jones. The Sauk 2020 season sponsor is Expressions Photography & Design. The 2020 media sponsor is WCSR Radio Hillsdale. For more information about The Sauk, visit

Gravity: A Union By Alex Wolfe (Nebraska), Directed by Liz Pence

Saturday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Gravity: A Union tells the story of a Father and Daughter recovering from the recent death of their Wife/Mother. A representative from Child Services has been assigned to their case, as there is some question of the Father's ability to take care of the Daughter. As the play continues, it is revealed that the Father has a fairly dark past as part of a military experiment to discover, and potentially contact, Heaven. Supernatural and psychological forces collide as each character eventually reveals their true motivations, and the play ends on a question: what is actually important to a family after a tragedy of this scale? This play contains strong language, drug use and violence.

The cast consists of Trinity Bird as Father, Estelle McCourry as Daughter, Spenser Jones as Man and Barbara Cliffe-Miller as Woman. Meghan Barnes will read the stage directions.

Sebastian Rising By Edward deBuvitz (Albuquerque, NM), Directed by Trinity Bird

Saturday, May 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Sebastian is a 17-year-old boy living with his Uncle Monte. Uncle Monte means well but is constantly working on "get-rich-quick" schemes by selling items he finds on the internet which usually end up causing problems and forcing he and Sebastian to flee in the middle of the night. When Monte partners with a blind Iraq war veteran to search for the location where, according to a talk show host, the wealthy of the country were planning to leave for Mars, their relationship is strained to the breaking point.

The cast consists of Timothy Favreau as Sebastian Miller, Tim Ambrose as Monte Miller, Ray Pratt as JC Moon, Zachary Gifford as Delivery Man/Mister Dill, Morgan Blonde as Samantha, Trevor Wagler as Leo, Noah Bryant as Banjo and George North as Wayne Rockefeller. Andrea Ortell will read stage directions.

Clear Blue Sky By Bruce Karp (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Directed by Jennifer Wagler

Saturday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Clear Blue Sky is inspired by a news article about the person who was on duty at the Portland airport in Maine on 9/11. The day started out as a seemingly routine day, and he did not find anything unusual about the men who came along, dressed in business casual clothing. Having no reason to suspect who they were or their intended destruction, he allowed them to pass through security. Guilt-ridden and unable to maintain a job, he finally, after ten years, starts to experience some semblance of stability, until a 9/11 widow moves to his town, causing old wounds and guilt to resurface. That is when the play begins. This play contains strong language as well as reminders of 9/11 that may be upsetting for some audience members.

The cast consists of Spenser Jones as Harvey Goren, Brendan Pratt as Glenn Canfield, Summer Housler as Carol Morgan, Trevor Wagler as Jesse Morgan, Meaghan Bryant as Phyllis Goren, Ray Pratt as John Goren and Tiffany Thatcher as Dale Cox. Stage directions will be read by Pat Bogusz.

The Long Wait By Sarah Gray (of Jonesville, MI), Directed by Mari Nunez

Saturday, May 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Matt and Carrie are driving home from a party. When nature calls but traffic doesn't cooperate, Carrie is in trouble. Will Matt help? Will Carrie make it? This short comedy is relatable to just about everyone.

The cast consists of Lisa LaFountain as Carrie and Spenser Jones as Matt. Anne Conners will read the stage directions.


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