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Friday, 19 August 2016 02:06

Park Plays, Series Three: Love in Bloom, Love in Doom.

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Park Plays, Series Three: Love in Bloom, Love in Doom.

The Actors Workout Studio presents six original one-acts written by members of The AWS Writer’s Workshop. 

Plays written by: Johnny Cho, Chris Karmiol, Dagney Kerr & Eric Seppala.

The Actors Workout Studio presents another series of plays by a group of very talented and entertaining writers, all taking place in the same park setting and all performed by a group of really wonderful actors.

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Although the landscape is the same, as well as the theme, ‘love in bloom, love in doom,’ that’s pretty much where any similarities between the pieces ends. 

Of course there is a play about a break up, which is very clever actually, and eerily familiar. There is also a play about running into an ‘ex’ when you absolutely least expect it…and it not going at all as you might have hoped.  Another great play is about a deeply mistaken double date picnic…hilarious. Another about the profoundest kind of loss imaginable and how we truly need each other in spite of our fears and prejudices.

All these moments played out for us, with passion and with intimacy and with grace, are so beautifully crafted and movingly portrayed that we, the audience, forget that where we are altogether, in this small, sweet theatre in North Hollywood.  We are transported to this park, to the space around this particular bench, and along with these compelling actors we experience tragedies,  triumphs and  something else, something more…truth.

I adore short plays, they have such an immediacy to them.  No frills, no flash, no time for exposition and with all that gone, there is an opportunity to connect in a truly profound way - a way for the actors to connect to the audience, to each other and ultimately to the story and the words they speak.

A great short play is kind of like the best conversation you have ever had with a total stranger.  

You know the kind, when you feel totally in synch, your lack of familiarity with each other freeing you, removing any misplaced barriers of commonality or politeness and because of this freedom you are closer to each other than anyone can be…just for those few moments…in only that particular place and time.

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A short play, like a short film or a short story can, at its very best, sharpen your focus in an instant, like an icy blast of arctic wind, and suddenly you are awake and exactly where you are supposed to be, listening to the magic of words, just words being spoken.  Amazing when you really think about it.

The Actors Workout Studio has created a safe space for these actors and writers to produce work with these truthful qualities, and in an entertaining and moving way.

The two pieces that stood out for me, probably because they touched on something very personal, were "Stay" and "Initial Velocity."  The first a play with two dogs, meeting as they usually do in their favorite park, but this time to say a loving goodbye...made me cry. And the second about two people so in love with each other they are afraid to even look, let alone speak…made me remember.  Both plays' characters are so beautifully played that I had to mention them to you, but in truth, every play in this series is brilliant, these where just the two that made the most lasting impact with me.

I am never, ever even vaguely disappointed with anything I see at The Actors Workout Studio, and this time was no different…I thoroughly recommend “Park Plays Series Three: Love in Bloom, Love in Doom.

The show runs from August 12 - August 28th, Friday, Saturday at 8pm & Sundays at 7pm. 


The Actors Workout Studio, 4735 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91602


Satchel Andre, Stirling Bradley, Julia Henning, Clarissa Hoffman, Chris Karmiol, Dagney Kerr, Katie McCuen, Sharon Munfus, James Pacitti, Ana Pasti, Jordan Rennick, Maggie Rubin, Doug Sutherland & James Victor

Executive Producer - Fran Montano, Produced by Stacy Ann Raposa. Stage Manager - Karl Maschek, Assistant Stage Manager - Javier Martinez, Lighting Design - Eric Stillions, Sound Design - Phil Talsky.

Read 4615 times Last modified on Monday, 22 August 2016 02:11
Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Writer, Filmmaker, Musician. Samantha has Produced over 60 short films and Written and Directed 20. She is the co-creator of 52 Films/52 Weeks and The Cinema Tribe Collective. She has written over 400 LA Theatre reviews and is partners in Xpress Records a Music Publishing Company in the UK.  This year she will be directing her first feature film which she also wrote, developing several others and is writing a children’s book.