Thursday, February 28, 2008
Play Buffet debuts March 7
I wrote this story for Friday's Marianas Variety.
By Jeffrey C. Turbitt
Last year the public jammed the American Memorial Park for the original theater production "In Transit," which united the disparate stories of several individuals "stuck in an airport" into a common theme. The public's reaction was so positive that the company responsible for that production, the Voices of the Marianas, put together another incarnation of original theater on a similar theme. The new production is called The Play Buffet: A Little Something for Everyone's Taste, and it debuts Friday, March 7 at 7 p.m. in the American Memorial Park with followup performances March 8, 13 and 14.
The cast includes a list of veteran actors, including two drama educators in Harold Easton and Nahal Navidar, as well as high school students and general island gadflies such as Donald Cohen, Brad Ruszala, Elizabeth Henke, Susan Fishman, Richard Hamilton and others.
Like its precursor, the new play is a variety of original stories. “Some are taken from people's real lives, some from their imagination,” said producer and director Barbara Sher. "The idea is to have original theater in which people from different cultures, walks of life and ages can have an opportunity to tell their stories. In the show we have ten pieces that run the gamut from a Hollywood 40's type piece to very personal epiphanies. As I said, a little something for everyone. It's about life. That's why we called it the Play Buffet because life is a buffet, the good, the funny and the yucky. We hope to entertain, enlighten and delight our audience and perhaps inspire them to want to express their voice for the next show."
For Navidar, an accomplished actress with a degree in theater and English who has a piece about discovery of self and God in this play, theater is a means of expression. "Theater satisfies my soul. For the community and the world at large, theater is one of the most effective ways to make people question, and perhaps recognize, a piece of themselves in the characters and situations presented. Barbara Sher's passion for this project is contagious and I love working with her."
PTI Marketing Associate Brad Ruszala isn't a theater veteran exactly, but his interest in the craft became reignited when he played Patrick in "110 Flights" opposite Navidar last year. "I became interested in live theater as a senior in high school when I was cast in a musical. I've always wanted to participate in on-stage productions ever since. This play is special because it will give the audience an intimate view into the real lives of some of the performers. I was moved watching my friends and neighbors display their creativity in rehearsal. It'll definitely be a treat for everyone who comes to watch the show. It gives me the opportunity to get on stage and have a little fun acting out a part. It's a wonderful opportunity to enjoy another aspect of our culturally diverse community and the play offers another avenue to making new friends on Saipan."
Tickets are available for $5 from cast members, at the door or inquire via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.