Half Moon Theatre Hosts PARANORMAL IN POUGHKEEPSIE 10 Minute Play Festival This Weekend
Half Moon Theatre has announced that the theme of its fourth annual 10 Minute Play Festival is "Paranormal in Poughkeepsie." The 10 Minute Play Festival, which runs this weekend, June 6-8, 2014, is an evening of theatre comprised of a series of short plays, each 10 minutes in length and written by a different playwright.
"Paranormal in Poughkeepsie" is a theme that has celebrates a wide range of fun and wacky topics, such as: bugs from space falling in love with a champion bug slayer; a young writer celebrating his birthday with his parents before heading off into Hollywood legend; an alien invasion planned behind the counters of a local inn; and the surprise waiting behind the doors of a venerable historic landmark.
"I read an article in The Poughkeepise Journal about a group trying to raise money to put up a statue in memory of Ed Wood, Poughkeepsie's native son-and Hollywood's worst director. It only made sense then to grow our festival out of that!" said Darrah Cloud, Co-Director of HMT's Writers' Constellation and a featured playwright in the Festival. "We are always inspired by the history of this area of the Hudson Valley, the people who found their ways here or were born here, and all there is to celebrate about it. And to satirize! Satire is the sincerest form of flattery."
"We wanted to have fun with the varied history of the Hudson Valley, the abundant spiritual energy and magnetism of the area, and we wanted to explore any sordid underbellies we could find!" agreed David Simpatico, Co-Director of HMT's Writers' Constellation and also a featured playwright in the Festival. "Ed Wood wrote and directed movies about life on the outside of the established parameters of reality, and we wanted to use that thrust as inspiration."
This year, HMT audiences will recognize many beloved and familiar locations around the Poughkeepsie area as the settings of the Festival's plays. Unexpected happenings and encounters take place in the Poughkeepsie train station, The Mercury Grand Hotel, Bonefish Grill, Tower Pizza in Pine Plains, Ed Wood's childhood home at 115 Franklin Street, the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, and the historic Beekman Arms hotel.
Simpatico explains, "Ed Wood's off-kilter sensibility and blind self-confidence, as well as his bravery in following his own path, inspired us to take a creative look under the apparent normalcy of Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County in search of the warped, the supernatural, the extra-terrestrial: the paranormal!" "There's more humor this year, given the nature of the theme, and we are hoping to add a level of sound design to heighten the audience's experience during the staged, on-book readings. We have a wonderful cast of professional actors to bring all the pieces to life."
All of the plays are written for this festival by award-winning playwrights and authors. The playwrights include Marisa Smith, Jenny Lyn Bader, Rob Handel, Mark Burns, Martina Deignan, Alex Angeloch, David Simpatico, Darrah Cloud, and Jennifer Skura. David Simpatico is the Supervising Director of the Festival, and many of HMT's professional acting company will perform.
Festival plays include: THE DAY TOWER PIZZA STOOD STILL, in which an alien cockroach walks into a pizza parlor demanding to meet Craig Thomas; PLAN 10 FROM DUTCHESS COUNTY parodies Ed Wood's Plan Nine from Outer Space as a newlywed couple checks into the Mercury Grand Hotel on a stormy night with dire consequences for the entire universe; SUPERNATURAL SEMINAR, in which a medium channels the dead at disbelievers at Rhinebeck's Omega Institute with hysterical results; IN ED WE TRUST, which examines living a life free from the shackles of others' opinions as a couple moves West following the Church of Ed Wood (this is a real thing); WELCOME TO THE BEEKMAN ARMS, in which a seemingly innocent pick-up in the bar leads to an amazing revelation about reincarnation; THE WOODS OF POUGHKEEPSIE, which examines Ed Wood's normal childhood being dressed like a girl by his mother who was sad because she didn't have a little girl; and PLAN NOT 9, which pits the reality of life versus the fantasy of being cast in a Hollywood movie as a young actor gets his big break... in an Ed Wood movie!
Half Moon Theatre Managing Director Kristy Grimes said, "The 10 Minute Play Festival has quickly become one of Half Moon Theatre's signature events and is a favorite with our audiences. It's a really fun outing because there is something for everyone-we call it a 'theatrical smorgasbord.' Each playwright in the Paranormal in Poughkeepsie festival has a unique writing style and it's fascinating to see their work showcased in one evening of fun, whimsical, offbeat theatre."
Simpatico said, "I don't want to give away any surprises, but each play has a special moment. I hope everyone comes to see these fun, entertaining and thought-provoking plays. They were all written just for this festival, and they represent a cross-cutting of styles, themes and content. There's something for everyone."
This project is made possible in part through a grant from the Dutchess County Arts Council, administrator of public funds through NYSCA's Decentralization Program.
The 10 Minute Play Festival runs June 6-8, with performances at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, June 6 and Saturday, June 7, and a 2:00 p.m. performance on Sunday, June 8. The 10 Minute Play Festival will be held at the Half Moon Theatre Performance Space at 2515 South Road (Route 9) in the ground floor of the Oakwood Commons office building. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased online at halfmoontheatre.org or by calling 800-838-3006.