The Rosendale Theatre needs some work: a renovation of the exterior to make it Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant and a redo of the lobby. So when director, college professor and High Falls resident Susan Einhorn approached the Rosendale Theatre Collective board about doing a play festival, it seemed like the perfect excuse for a fundraiser. The Rosendale Theatre Plays Festival, scheduled for this Saturday, April 21 at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 and 7:30 p.m., consists of ten approximately ten-minute-long plays by local playwrights, and it has a twist: Each play is set in or near or is about the Theatre.
Einhorn, who had worked on similar “short play” festivals in the City that pivoted around a theme, put out the call and received 35 submissions. The playwrights whose plays were chosen represent a range of experience, from a writer who has a play optioned for Broadway to two people who had never written a play before. The playwrights are Jacqueline Ahl, Catherine M. Brown, Laurence Carr, Richard Carrazzini, Robert Clem, Laura Shaine Cunningham, David Little, Janet Neipris, D. Tucker Smith and Edward Versailles.
The full-scale productions feature local actors who also represent a range of experience, Einhorn said. The plays will be directed by Einhorn and two other theatre professionals: Ann Citron and Trish Hawkins. Citron runs Canaltown Alley Arts and Learning, which offers classes in voice, music, theatre and various “healing arts” such as yoga.
Hawkins, who currently teaches at the Bard Lifetime Learning Institute, was a member of Circle Repertory Theatre, located in the Village, where, among many other roles, she played the prostitute in Lanford Wilson’s Hot L Baltimore. She also performed opposite Judd Hirsch in the Pulitzer Prizewinning play Talley’s Folly and taught acting at the University of Iowa and other colleges. The cast includes Simone Bart, Claudia Brown, Sophia Raab Downs, Jason Downs, David Little, Doug Motel, Dana Patton, Rachel Ritacco, Eugene Ruoff, Lori Wilner and Carrie Wykoff. Both Citron and Hawkins will also act in one play, and each director will direct three plays. The tenth piece, Uncle Tony by Robert Clem, will feature a surprise.
Tickets cost $15 and are available by visiting www.rosendaletheatre.org or at the Theatre.