‘Short Attention Span Theatre’ showcases local playwrights

Photo by Sue Suchyta. Wyandotte Community Theatre presents “Short Attention Span Theatre” with Mario Silva (left) of Carleton, David Thompson of Brownstown Township, Austin Sulkey of Southgate, Ed Sohoza of Wyandotte, Andrew Daraban of Lincoln Park, Nick Mullins of Allen Park, and Elizabeth Stone-Hall of Wyandotte rehearsing a scene from “The Dilbert Filter.”  For more information, go to wyandottecommunitytheatre.com.

Photo by Sue Suchyta. Wyandotte Community Theatre presents “Short Attention Span Theatre” with Mario Silva (left) of Carleton, David Thompson of Brownstown Township, Austin Sulkey of Southgate, Ed Sohoza of Wyandotte, Andrew Daraban of Lincoln Park, Nick Mullins of Allen Park, and Elizabeth Stone-Hall of Wyandotte rehearsing a scene from “The Dilbert Filter.” For more information, go to wyandottecommunitytheatre.com.

By SUE SUCHYTA

Wyandotte Community Theatre presents it second annual “Short Attention Span Theatre” featuring the one acts of local playwrights at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8, 9, 15 and 16 at the James R. DeSana Center for Arts and Culture at 81 Chestnut in Wyandotte.

Tickets are $13, with a $2 senior discount. The show contains adult content. For more information, go to wyandottecommunitytheatre.com.

The selections include “The Drunken Savior” by P. S. Quincy of Wyandotte; “The Dilbert Filter” and “Beyond the Breast: Five Colors, One Fight” by Dinah Tutein of Rockwood; “Wrong Number” and “Lucky Blue” by Angie Ransdell of Pontiac; “Eye of the Beholder” and “Just Playing Around” by Elizabeth Stone-Hall of Wyandotte; “A Writer’s Block” by Elaine Lukawski of Lincoln Park; and “Christian Nutts and the League of Gays” by Andrew Daraban of Lincoln Park.

The authors, with the exception of Ransdell, directed their own plays. Tammy Trudelle of Wyandotte directed “Wrong Number,” with Austin Sulkey of Southgate directing “Lucky Blue.”

The vignettes range from comic to satirical to serious.

“The Drunken Savior” follows Jesus seeking peace and quiet following stressful events, and encountering the opposite, while “The Dilbert Filter” is a comedy about what people really want to say, but can’t, in work and social situations.

“Wrong Number” follows two people who connect over the phone after a miss-dial, while “Eye of the Beholder,” set in a bar, explores the fine line between art and and vandalism when a street artist  uses a building as a canvas for their graffiti.

“Beyond the Breast: Five Colors, One Fight” focuses on women dealing with the different stages of gynecological cancer. Tutein, the playwright and a uterine cancer survivor, uses the one act to send a positive message to others fighting cancer.

“A Writer’s Block” follows a single mother and grandmother, who, with the help of a friend,  overcomes her fear and pens a play, while “Lucky Blue” is a comic look at a couple encountering their first pregnancy scare.

“Just Playing Around” explores what happens when a cast and director make changes to a play, and the playwright doesn’t let death prevent him from objecting to their revisions, while “Christian Nutts and the League of Gays” looks at what happens when satanic Daimon Rule tries to convince Christian “Chris” Nutts to join the rainbow league.

Trudelle said WCT wanted to give the community a chance to see the works of area playwrights that might not otherwise be produced.
“No one else is really doing that right now,” Trudelle said. “We wanted to do something that is different, that is original, (and) that is fun for not only us but for the authors.”

She hopes potential area playwrights will be inspired to create and submit scripts for next year’s one act production.
“We want to bring people in to show them different things other than the great big musicals and the great big plays,” Trudelle said. “Here’s some one acts that may make you think.”

Stone-Hall said some of the one acts have situations or local issues to which audiences can relate, like a small bar in Detroit, a campus community, or a community theater.

“This whole show has got such a variety that there is something for everyone,” Stone-Hall said. “We go from funny to very serious.”
Stone-Hall said “Beyond the Breast” addresses different female cancers and the life experiences of women facing them, while the hilarious “Christian Nutts and the League of Gays” pushes the envelope.

“If that’s not your sense of humor, then ‘Dilbert Filter,’ with the wedding scene of banging glasses and frustrated bride and groom might be your cup of tea,” Stone-Hall said.

Tutein said the humorous wedding scene of the frustrated bride and groom facing non-stop glassware percussion was inspired by a wedding she attend last September, while “Beyond the Breast” provides what she hopes is a positive message for those fighting cancer and their loved ones.
“A positive spirit and a fighting spirit is one of the best ways to defeat cancer, and I wanted to get that message out there,” Tutein said. “I am hoping that it will make it easier for people to talk about it and be more supportive.

“There are so many things that you have to deal with once you hear that 6-letter word. You’ve got radiation, you’ve got chemotherapy, you’ve got surgery, and it is such a mountain. It can weigh you down. Cancer is not just physical. It is mental, too.”

Daraban closes the show with a satirical look at gay stereotypes in “Christian Nutts.”

“It’s definitely meant to be funny,” Daraban said. “If they had to take something away, I would say you can’t fit aspects of gender and sexuality into boxes all because you are gay. It doesn’t mean there is a certain personality that goes with that.”

Directors Daraban, Lukawski, Stone-Hall, Sulky, Trudell and Tutein also perform in the acting ensemble, along with Nick Mullins of Allen Park; Dana Chicko of Lincoln Park; Chelsea Gerring of Southgate; Amanda Johnson of Trenton; Wyandotte residents Jazmyn Bencik, Josh Davis, Ethan Kankula, Glen Reynolds, Jessica Shelata, Ed Sohoza, and Dylan Stone; David Thompson of Brownstown Township; and Mario Silva of Carleton.

DAG PRESENTS BEATLES TRIBUTE BAND FOR FUNDRAISER

The Downriver Actors Guild presents the Beatles tribute band Toppermost at March 5 at Rookies Bar and Grill, 1519 Oak, in Wyandotte.
Dinner, featuring burgers and fries, is at 7 p.m., with the band playing from 8 to 11 p.m.
Admission is $20, with a cash bar. For tickets or more information, call 734-407-7020 or go to downriveractorsguild.net.

MCYT BARD BUMS PRESENT “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM” AT WSU

The Motor City Youth Theatre Bard Bums will share its production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at Wayne State University’s Studio Theatre, located underground at the Hilberry, 4743 Cass in Detroit. The event is free, but seating is limited, and guests are asked to register at eventbrite.com.