By Meredith Beaumont
What do playwrights do when there is a global pandemic and theaters are closed? They go experimental!
This year our annual event will feature seven plays mostly intended for the stage but adapted and filmed all over North America. Homegrown recording devices—computers, phones, and cameras have been brought into play (so to speak) to create productions that look very different.
Tasha Paley’s fictional family has serious problems. And serious addictions. Some of which you’ve never even heard of (well, maybe…) Videoed entirely on Zoom, in separate locations (even though it all takes place in the same room!), this play will challenge your concept of an ensemble piece.
Actors Phoebe Greyson, Anne Campbell, and Chris Kapilla come together remotely for “Jewish Addiction.”
Cora’s photograph album is a constant comfort. Despite COVID, her husband Bertrand is planning an exotic vacation. Lauren Osornio solves the question of how two people with disparate ideas, in the isolation of a pandemic, can keep their relationship afloat. “Love in the Time of COVID-19” was filmed at Osornio’s house, in San Miguel de Allende, with her real-life husband, Ted Englander.
Who killed the priest? (and while he was administering last rites, too…). Mike Lucas’ monologue “The Guard’s Tribunal” brings some interesting revelations. San Miguel actor Mick Diener shot and edited the piece at his home in Mexico.
Warning: Adult content
A man and a woman are brought together in a dramatic and off-the-grid theatrical event in Marilyn Bullivant’s farcical but tragic “Latecomers Will Not Be Seated,” which was filmed entirely on an iPod at their property in Quebec, Canada. Rick Davey, a man of many talents, acted in and also edited the production.
Eleanor’s mind is on other things while her husband is away. It all comes out in a Zoom meeting, where she learns there can be more to a phone call than she ever imagined. “While the Cat’s Away” was recorded on Zoom by director/playwright, Anne Campbell, with actors Lauren Osornio, Chris Kapilla, and Marilyn Bullivant connecting electronically for this racy comedy. Alan Campbell composed the mood music.
Sharon Steeber’s lyrical quintet of monologues follows five generations of women and their ability to survive. Phoebe Greyson, Tasha Paley, Marilyn Bullivant, Lauren Osornio, and Anne Campbell filmed themselves individually, in locales across the continent, for Steeber to create as a whole: “A Woman of Parts.”
It’s a cruel and violent world in many parts of Central America, and women, trapped by their situations, quest for a fairer life. Lia Gladstone has written a series of monologues whose poetry belies the tragedy of these lives. Mexican actor Marisol Meneses illuminates these cries de coeur, creating a dramatic pastiche, in “This Land,” filmed in Mexico City.
We would like to offer our works this year for free, as a gift to all of you, in San Miguel and around the world.