What do you get when you mix together six great short plays, seven consummate actors, some clever Marky Pierson videos, the entire McDonald theatrical family, and then stuff them all into the Red Barn Theatre for a couple of hours?
No, not a quiche, silly.
But you do get a whole lot of fun. Because that’s what Short Attention Span Theatre has always been at the Red Barn, for both the audiences and the actors: non-stop, over-the-top, laugh-‘til-you-cry fun.
And after a two-year hiatus, the Red Barn is finally bringing back the always-popular spring short play fest. SAST – as it’s referred to – opens Tuesday, April 25 for a short three week run. Dubbed “Brief Encounters” and all new for 2017, the plays all deal with momentary encounters between people…or in some cases, talking penguins or dolphins. (Yeah…it’s that kind of fun.) All curtains are at 8 pm.
“We got a lot of help from Suzi Westfall at City Theatre in Miami,” said Mimi McDonald, managing director of Red Barn and one of the directors in this year’s SAST. “They have perfected the art of the short play there, and she sent me about fifty scripts. So we were able to find six really great ones, including some South Florida playwrights like Rich Orloff, and the always-popular Shel Silverstein.”
Populating the plays will be some of the top talents from this season’s stage offerings at all of Key West’s theaters, including Marjorie Paul-Shook, Lisa Elena Monda, Erin McKenna, Susannah Wells, Gordon Mackey, Aramis Ikatu, and newcomer Cody Borah.
“It’s a great way for us to work with all these folks at once,” McDonald said, “and it lets us finish off the season with a bang…go out on a limb and just let it all hang out. I can’t tell you how much fun it is.”
Directing this wealth of talent will be the entire McDonald clan, including Mimi, husband Gary, son Jack, daughter Amber McDonald Good, and close family friends Susannah Wells and Richard Grusin. “You can imagine what our dinners have been like lately,“ McDonald said.
Adding to the merriment will be Marky Pierson, of Wonderdog Studios, who, along with Wells as cinematographer and director, will be providing hilarious video interludes between the plays.
“They’re very kitchy and goofy,” said Pierson, “but at the same time, well thought-out and executed. The ghist is aliens and the kinds of encounters you can have with them – of the first, second, third kind. But given the show’s title – ‘Brief Encounters’ – you can guess how we’ll be dressed.” Morgan Fraga stars with Pierson in the videos.
Short Attention Span Theatre will be the final mainstage production of the Red Barn’s very successful season. There will be a catered after-party on Opening Night that ticketholders for that evening’s performance are welcome to attend. Tickets may be purchased by visiting redbarntheatre.com/tickets or calling the box office at 305-296-9911. For more information, visit redbarntheatre.com.
The production is sponsored in part by Key TV, Digital Island Media, Design Group Key West, and the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.