HFCC presents “The Actor’s Nightmare” and other One Acts

Photo by Sue Suchyta

Everything that can go wrong does in Christopher Durang’s one-act play “The Actor’s Nightmare.” Jamie Pappas (left) of Wyandotte plays Henry Irving, Amanda Pierce of Dearborn plays Dame Ellen Terry, Laith Salim of Dearborn portrays George Spelvin, Amanda Chahine of Dearborn Heights plays Sarah Siddons and India Jackson portrays Meg, the stage manager. When George wanders backstage at a theater he is immediately told he must go on for another actor. Not knowing what show is being performed, George panics and improvises through portions of “Private Lives,” “Checkmate,” “Hamlet” and “A Man for all Seasons” amid hilarious confusion. The play is one of five one-act entries being performed Friday to Sunday and June 24 to 26 at Adray Auditorium in the MacKenzie Fine Arts Center on the HFCC campus, 5101 Evergreen in Dearborn. Friday and Saturday shows are at 8 p.m., with 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinees.

By Sue Suchyta
Henry Ford Community College Fine Arts and Fitness Division will present their annual One Act Festival June 17 to 19 and 24 to 26, with 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday shows and 2 p.m. Sunday matinees.

Gerry Dzuiblinski provided the artistic and technical direction and scenic designs, with Kim Barrett designing the costumes and Jennifer Gazdecki designing the lighting.

In Christopher Durang’s “The Actor’s Nightmare” George Splevin wanders into the backstage of a theater and is immediately told he must go onstage for another actor.

However, not only has George never attended a rehearsal, he doesn’t even know what play the troupe is performing.

As the comedy and confusion ensues, George swings between panic and improvisation as the company cycles between four plays: “Private Lives,” “Checkmate,” “Hamlet,” and “A Man for all Seasons.”

Ramzi Khzouz of Dearborn Heights is the student director. The cast includes Laith Salim of Dearborn as George Spelvin, Amanda Chahine of Dearborn Heights as Sarah Siddons, Amanda Pierce of Dearborn as Dame Ellen Terry, India Jackson of Detroit as the stage manager Meg and Jamie Pappas of Wyandotte as Henry Irving.

In Percy Granger’s “Vivien” a manic-depressive, schizophrenic father, Vivien, checks himself into a mental ward. Paul, his self-centered son, has unanswered questions for his father and tries to connect with him after years of family dysfunction and unresolved issues.

The one act play deals with depression and loneliness, and takes audiences on an emotional rollercoaster.

Miekyle Turner of Romulus student directs the show, with Dominic Lomuscio of Dearborn Heights as Vivien, Christian Plonka of Dearborn Heights as Paul and Asia Smith of Detroit as Miss Tedesco, the nurse.

George Bernard Shaw’s “Augustus Does his Bit” is a comedy of manners. The lead character, Augustus, is a bumbling World War I era British officer who must deal with a curmudgeonly clerk and a mysterious femme fatale.

The one act play is student directed by Tim Beson of Riverview, with Jesse Warren of Riverview as Augustus, Tim Pollack of Wyandotte as the clerk and Amanda Pierce of Dearborn as the mysterious lady.

Tony and Nobel Prize-winning author Harold Pinter set “Mountain Language” in an unspecified time in an unknown location where an oppressive regime rules by force and identifies people by number. As two women wait to see the men who have been taken from them, the audience is forced to wonder whether the oppressors or the oppressed can retain their humanity.

The one act play is directed by Gerry Dzuiblinski. The cast includes David Rojas of Wyandotte as an officer, India Jackson of Detroit as a young woman, Kevis Sardin of Lincoln Park as a sergeant, Robert Gray of Redford as a prisoner, Tim Pollock of Wyandotte as a guard and Dennis Rymarz of Dearborn as a hooded man.

“The Faculty Meeting” by Ken Jones is an academic farce with professors named Fondle, Quagmire, Lipswitch, Crummie, Bland and Wright.

The story is set in a faculty meeting that starts out one chair short and sinks to teacher bullying by the end. Along that way the audience experiences mixed metaphors and other nonsensical exchanges.

Student directed by Jennifer Rymarz of Dearborn, the show features Jamie Pappas of Wyandotte as Mr. Fondle, Laith Salim of Dearborn as Dr. Quagmire, Amanda Chahine of Dearborn Heights as Dr. Lipswitch, India Jackson of Detroit as Ms. Crummie, David Rojas of Wyandotte as Mr. Bland and Robert Gray of Redford as Mr. Wright.

The HFCC 2011 One Act Play Festival will be presented in Adray Auditorium in the Mackenzie Fine Arts Center. All tickets are $6. The campus is located at 5101 Evergreen Rd. in Dearborn. For more information, call (313) 845-9817 or go to www.hfcctheater.org.

Next season HFCC will present Jane Martin’s “Vital Signs” weekends Aug. 18 to 28, with direction by Mary Bremer.

Their young audience theater presentation, “Sleeping Beauty,” will run selected dates Nov. 15 through Dec. 5 with school matinees and weekend performances for the general public. Christopher Bremer will direct the show.

In April 2012 Judith Fletcher will direct the popular Broadway musical “Grease.”