By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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PORT ANGELES — Girlfriends and jealousy. Bank robbers seeking expertise. A young monk seeking enlightenment.
These are the topics of the rapid-fire sagas in the Find Your Voice Play Festival, opening tonight and running through next weekend at Peninsula College.
The show tosses together seven plays — each no longer than 10 minutes — created by actors and writers from campus and community, with performances at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday as well as next Friday and Saturday, June 6 and 7, in the Little Theater on the main campus, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd.
Tickets to the Find Your Voice Play Festival are $7 for general admission, free for Peninsula College students and $5 for seniors and other students, and more information can be found at www.pencol.edu.
Each play had to meet criteria set by drama professor Lara Starcevich: Somewhere in the script, the words “sloth,” “green” and “space” must appear.
This is how the play festival is done each year, and “it's fun to see where people's imaginations take them,” said Starcevich, herself an actor and playwright.
The short scripts come to life in the hands of seven directors and a small troupe of actors, including several who are making their theatrical debut, Starcevich added, so “the energy is very high. They're floating on the high of being on stage for the first time or directing for the first time.”
Then there's Damon Little, 13, already a veteran.
'On top of it'
After starring in “A Thousand Clowns” in Sequim and “A Christmas Story” in Port Angeles, the youth is cast in two Find Your Voice productions: “The Answer,” in which he plays a monk, and “MyFaveClassEver,” where he's a college student.
“He's on top of it,” Starcevich said.
The plays are:
■ “Over Mojitos” by Jeremiah Paulsen, with Gloria Lht directing Chongyang Hu, Varsha Tse and Ean Henninger in a story of a man, two women and jealousy.
■ “Green Sloth and Space,” written and directed by Sharon French, with Sierra Stack and John Merton Marrs as a couple who got married by mistake and try to make the best of it.
■ “What Pablo Said” by Naomi Klockars, with Tiannah Berglund directing Amy Meyer, Paul Rynearson, Varsha Tse, Rebekah Clark and Kelly Kenyon in the story of a writer who wants to put her characters to rest, but the characters have no intention of bowing out.
■ “Cemetery Gates,” written and directed by Ean Henninger and starring Ean and Kate Henninger as a couple of “residentially challenged” people, as Starcevich puts it, who have a thought-provoking view of life.
■ “The Answer” by Cary Pepper, with Starcevich directing and Little, Steve Boutelle, Paul Rynearson and Starcevich in the story of a young monk and his elders.
■ “Let's Rob a Bank” by Mirza Rachmat, with Hannah Hendrickson directing Derek Smith, Wayne Gao and Kate Henninger as would-be bank robbers and a waitress at a diner.
■ “MyFaveClassEver” by Starcevich, with Sierra Stack directing Sydney Roberts, Boutelle, Little, Clark and French in a comedy about what happens in a college classroom where no one wants to take charge.
In addition to the two-weekend run, selections from the Find Your Voice festival will arrive on stage at 12:35 p.m. Thursday in a free public Studium Generale program. Part of Spring Arts Week at Peninsula College, the Studium will take place in the Little Theater.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.