Think you might like the theater but don’t want to commit to watching the same play for two to three hours? Or maybe you just want to get a wide sampling of all the local theater talent the CSRA has to offer. If either one of those applies to you, “Quickies,” now in its fifth year at Le Chat Noir, has everything you might be looking for.
“Quickies” is an annual short play festival at Le Chat Noir that features original scripts by local authors. It has gained recognition for its diversity, bringing new writers, directors and actors to the stage.
“It really provides kind of a theater sampler and lets people experience different styles, different casts, different writers, different directors and that’s an appealing thing for a lot people,” said Jezibell Anat, one of the coordinators for “Quickies.” “They like kind of the variety show.”
This year’s lineup features some really solid dramas, Anat said. It is also the second year they have used a juried selection process in putting the show together.
“When we first started five years ago, Krys (Bailey) and I just looked at the pieces and picked them,” Anat explained. “The second year was the one we did all originals and then last year we started to have a blind readers’ panel.”
So, what does that mean?
“When people submit stuff we ask them to put their name on the coversheet only, take the name off in the plays and they are read by people who have nothing to do with ‘Quickies’,” said Anat. Because it’s juried, there is no favoritism.
“Nobody knows anybody,” said Anat. “Nobody has to feel like, ‘Oh, that’s my friend, I better pick their piece,’ Also, I don’t want people to feel like because I’m the coordinator: ‘Of course she puts her pieces in. because she’s coordinating it.’ Mine go through the same submission process as everybody else. I really feel like that gives us a more unbiased viewpoint. With local people, the danger is always friends versus quality. So we really want to go for what is the best versus who has the most friends. I really feel like we’ve gotten a good selection here.”
This year’s selections range from Taylor Strickland’s “Based on the Love Between James and Sybil Stockdale,” an intense drama based on a true story from the Vietnam era, to “Books in My Bed” by Doug and Jennifer Holley, which is a charming tale of a child’s bedtime story coming to life right in her room, to Anat’s own play “Steps,” which tells the story of daughters by three different mothers who gather after their father’s death and uncover family secrets. It has lots of twists and turns, Anat said.
Back for the fifth year in a row, Jonathan Cook has two plays being showcased. Some of Cook’s other works have been contenders in major theater festivals and have been produced all across the country.
Performances are April 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 at 8 p.m. Admission is $20. More information and full descriptions of all the featured plays can be found on the “Quickies” event page on Facebook.