Poughkeepsie’s Half Moon Theatre has been curating an annual short play festival for the past five years, and the sixth – coming up this weekend – is thematically organized to reflect the stage company’s tasteful new home at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park. Curated by Darrah Cloud, David Simpatico and Patty Wineapple and directed by Michael Schiralli, Ten-Minute Play Festival 2016: The Tasting Menu will consist of eight short plays with one important thing in common: Each incorporates a delectable dish that will then be offered on a tasting menu at a special post-performance reception.
This year’s festival playwrights – some of them local – are Rob Ackerman, Alexandra Angeloch, Darrah Cloud, Lisa Kimball, Howard Meyer, N. N. Ewing, David Simpatico and Geoff Tarson. The acting ensemble includes Nancy Auffarth, Rob Brinkmann, Asia Howard, Grace Angela Henry, Stephen Jones, Ryan Katzer, Barbara Rankin and Michael Withall. The content of the plays is described as “a sophisticated, off-Broadway style evening of theatre, with adult language and humor.”
The 90-minute performance begins at 8 p.m. this Friday and Saturday, March 11 and 12 in the CIA’s Marriott Pavilion, located at 1946 Campus Drive, just off Route 9 in Hyde Park. The tasting reception will directly follow the performance. Tickets cost $45 general admission, $40 for seniors. To purchase, call (800) 838-3006 or visit www.brownpapertickets.com/e/2494137. And if a tasting menu sounds like too much of a tease, you can make reservations for a specially crafted family-style meal, with a selection of salads, homemade pastas and dessert, at the CIA’s Caterina de’ Medici restaurant prior to the Saturday show. For Half Moon Theatre patrons only, the repast will cost $39 per person over and above the cost of your Ten-Minute Play Festival ticket: still a great deal for dinner and a show. To book your pre-theater dinner reservations, call (845) 905-4533 or e-mail email@example.com.