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Black Box Theatre Explores Life and Love in Wave III of Annual ONE ACT PLAY FESTIVAL through 8/26

For the third and final wave of the 2012 One Act Play Festival, Artists' Exchange presents six unique stories in the intimate Black Box Theatre. The characters and settings are as diverse as can be, but each play reflects similar subjects and themes: love and fear, life and death.

Death of a Snowman by Daniel Guyton examines life, love and loss through a fanciful conversation between a young girl and the snowman she created in her backyard. Charlotte (the adorable Haley Pine) grieves the recent death of her mother and turns to her rather eloquent, if physically frosty, friend (charmingly played by Billy Flynn) for a frank and philosophical discussion of life's biggest questions. Guyton's piece suitably explores grief and remembrance by embracing optimism, adding a touch of humor, and championing the well-lived life.

Rich Orloff's A Womb with a View tackles many of the same themes from the perspective of a baby still in the womb, only moments from birth. Meg Taylor-Roth brilliantly portrays the "new kid" with just the right amount of wonder, comedy and trepidation. Roth's "Baby" has serious reservations about exiting her familiar, comfortable environment for the world outside, and she steadfastly refuses to leave the womb. Though assured by her in-utero assistants that being alive and experiencing love are worth the pain and heartbreak she will, necessarily, encounter, the "what ifs" stall the delivery and lead to a candid discussion of the purpose of the soul and living life to its fullest measure.

Theme and Variations closes the first act by playing and replaying the same scene – a man and a woman meet at a bus stop – over and again in any number of different ways. From unrequited love to mutual attraction and from Shakespeare to small talk, Vladimir Zelevinsky's quick pen fuels possibility after possibility between these two strangers. Flynn and Sarah Good play "He" and "She" in superior form, changing characterization and temperaments in rapid-fire style. Flynn and Good are a strong team and they keep audience members guessing as to what each new scene will bring for their two characters.

Ten very talented actors grace the stage throughout the evening's performance, and the Black Box is an excellent venue to showcase all six playwrights' work. Parents, please note: most of the plays in this cycle contain adult language and/or themes.

Artists' Exchange presents Wave III of the 7th Annual One Act Play Festival with performances at the Black Box Theatre through August 26, 2012. Tickets are $15 and can be reserved by calling (401) 490-9475; visit for more information and complete listings. The Black Box Theatre is located at 50 Rolfe Square, Cranston, RI.

Pictured: A Womb With A View (L to R): Kelly Doran, Elizabeth Almeida, Meg Taylor-Roth and Catherine Fay.  Photo provided by Artists' Exchange.



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