Stage: hot ticket
By JOHN FLEMING, Times Performing Arts Critic
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 27, 2002
Curtain rises for young dramatists
[Photo: Gorilla Theatre]
For the second year, Gorilla Theatre is presenting the Young Dramatists Project, featuring plays by Hillsborough high school students. The winners are Skyler Roberts (author of Dinner Table), Zach Dorn (The American Assembly Line), Jessica Meloy (Tension), Chris Necker (Confessions of a Microwave Oven) and Lorraine Remmah (What Just Happened). Their plays will be performed at the theater by a cast of professional and student actors, giving the budding playwrights valuable experience.
"The hardest thing about being a playwright is to experience what the work looks and sounds like onstage," Gorilla co-founder Aubrey Hampton said. "You may think something is witty or profound, but you really don't know until you hear the words coming out of the actor's mouth standing on a stage."
Pictured here, from left, are Roberts, Necker, Hampton and Meloy. Each winner receives associate membership in the Dramatists Guild, the playwrights professional association, and a royalty of $250 from the project, which has a grant from the Arts Council of Hillsborough County.
Performances are at 7 tonight, 8 p.m. Friday, 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $5 and $10. (813) 879-2914.
One woman's wacky resume
[Times file 1997]
"Work every weekend? Sure. Work a computer, a register, a switchboard? Sure. Work until 4 a.m. and drag the bar mats out to the street and hose them down? Sure."
That's the heroine of Claudia Shear's Blown Sideways Through Life, desperately trying to win over a job interviewer. Shear's one-woman play is a wild and crazy chronicle of running through 65 jobs, ranging from toilet cleaner to hat-check girl, nude model to "fake secretary for a guy pulling a con involving pens," proofreader of legal documents on Wall Street's graveyard shift to receptionist in a whorehouse.
Shear is hot. Her work-world odyssey is getting its second production in the area in less than a year, this time at Florida Studio Theatre, starring Michelle Gardner under the direction of Victoria Holloway, longtime artistic director of American Stage before she moved to Arizona. Later this summer, Holloway's old theater is producing Shear's latest play, Dirty Blonde, a romantic comedy inspired by Mae West.
Blown Sideways Through Life opens with previews Tuesday and Wednesday and then runs through July 20 at Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota. Tickets: $24-$26. (941) 366-9000.
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