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Review: Theatre Artists Studio's NEW SUMMER SHORTS 2022

The production of eight original ten-minute plays runs through June 26th at Theatre Artists Studio in Scottsdale, AZ.

Review: Theatre Artists Studio's NEW SUMMER SHORTS 2022 Synergy! That's what you might call what's going on at Theatre Artists Studio in Scottsdale, AZ.

As they have since 2006, the members of this unique collective combine their artistic talents to produce an end-of-Season octet of original ten-minute plays. Branded as NEW SUMMER SHORTS, each work is distinctive in its thematic focus. Each offers a pointed commentary on the human condition, ranging from downright funny to provocative.

The synergy shows (dramatically and effectively) in the collaboration among Studio members whose roles, throughout the production, may shift from that of playwright to producer, from director to actor. It's a demonstration of imagination and versatility in action and a joy to behold.

In Judith Eisenberg's Lost Luggage (Or I Bought That Dress in Oaxaca, a weary traveler (Katibelle Collins) finds that her personal items seem to have relocated to the possession of airport staff. With all the inconveniences that currently attend to airport travel, it's a worst-case scenario that may not be so unimaginable. In the hands of this cast, directed by Amy Hartman, the fantasy is a hoot.

A novel concept of an unorthodox interview process is the subject of Al Benneian's comical Get Out of Here! local favorites Tom Koelbel and Peter Cunniff team up for what turns out to be a clever twist on the corporate hiring process.

Benneian scores additional points and demonstrates the range of his imagination with Kafka Will Only Get You So Far, a delightful take on the dynamics of the dating scene. Koelbel returns to the stage with his wife, Lidia Lei Koelbel, to play a couple at dinner whose real feelings are voiced by black-masked black-clad alter egos (David Heap and Patti Moran).

Moran joins Dolores D'Amore Goldsmith and Zoey Rich in an all-too-familiar and highly amusing reflection on the generation gap. Written by Micki Shelton and directed by Judy Rollings, Apples from the Same Tree cuts to the core of the sweeping changes in technology and fashion...and how unrecognizable the tools of the past (a telephone or a typewriter) may be to today's youth.

The cornucopia of playlets is rounded out by Shelton's Puzzles and Borderlines, Les Leiter's The Chess Game, Alan Austin's Zone, and Tim Ashby's Moved.

Whether poking fun at human foibles or reflecting on critical social issues, The Studio's SHORTS offer an entertaining potpourri of perspectives.

NEW SUMMER SHORTS runs through June 26th at The Studio in Scottsdale: Theatre Artists Studio.

Theatre Artists Studio ~®id=64& ~ 602-765-0120 ~ Paradise Plaza, 4848 E. Cactus Road #406, Scottsdale, AZ

Poster credit to Theatre Artists Studio

From This Author - Herbert Paine

Herb Paine ~ Herb has served as Senior Contributing Editor and lead reviewer for BWW's Phoenix Metro Region since 2014. He has been acclaimed as BEST THEATRE CRITIC by PHOENIX magazine's... (read more about this author)

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