Recalibrate your impulses to binge on holiday ham and feast your ears on contemporary scripts in bone-deep readings by Williamston Theatre’s finest.
A day focused on community engagement is the perfect balance to the hype over Cyber Monday deals. The original works read on #Giving Tuesday range from screwball sex comedies to tales of epic loneliness and the fight against obsolescence in a fast-moving world.
“We read fascinating plays, all written in the past two to three years,” said Emily Sutton-Smith, the development director. “It’s very different from a fully staged production, but it’s also very different from just reading a play from a page.”
Three years ago, Sutton-Smith became the troupe’s expert on the funds-giving holiday and worked with Tony Casella, the creative director, to include his vision of cramming a whole season into one day.
“It’s great because we can just share stories with people,” Sutton-Smith said. In its three years of existence, the theater fest has come to draw “stalwart, die-hard people who come at 10 o’clock in the morning and want to hear plays all day.”
Sutton-Smith said eight people stayed for the entirety of last year’s micro-fest, but the individual shows continue to fill the theater as the evening progresses. The subject matter in the line-up could be described as PG-13 plus, and will not appeal to younger audiences.
While the event is free, smiling faces with red buckets, minus the ringing bells, will be on standby to collect donations. Sutton said a small table for brochures from “a handful” of Williamston-based charities is to be set aside for the community to take home.
“It’s a reminder during the giving season that ‘hey, this is what we do.' It’s about engagement,” Sutton-Smith said.
Here in the lineup:
10 a.m. : "Tracy Jones," by Stephen Kaplan
Tracy Jones is throwing a party to which she’s invited every woman in the world who is also named Tracy Jones.
Noon: "Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England," by Madeleine George
A screwball sex comedy about the perils of monogamy, certainty and academic administration.
2 p.m. : "SHOCK! The Spine-Tingling Tale of Miss Spidra," by Joseph Zettelmaier
Starting as a struggling actress trying to make her mark, Joyce finds herself becoming an icon, a celebrity. But her efforts to keep her beloved show alive cost her more than she could have guessed.
4 p.m. : "Creating Claire," by Joe DiPietro
Employed as a docent at a natural history museum, nice, middle-aged Claire comes under fire when her tour-guide patter deviates from the strict scientific beliefs of her formidable supervisor and heads down a path that espouses intelligent design. Claire’s spiritual slant attracts extra visitors but soon leads to legal action. A powerful exploration of the supernova that results when science, faith and politics collide.
6 p.m. : "Fortune," by Deborah Zoe Laufer
Maude, a lonely, surly, storefront psychic, has accepted that love is not in the cards for her. She can see the future and knows this to be true. But when Jeremy, a despondent love-hungry accountant, threatens to kill himself if she sees no love for him, she must wrestle with fate and in changing his destiny change her own.
8 p.m.: "Maytag Virgin," by Audrey Cefaly
A classic Southern love story. Maytag Virgin follows Alabama teacher Lizzy Nash and her new neighbor, Jack Key, over the year following the tragic death of Lizzy’s husband. The play explores the ideas of inertia and self-enlightenment, and the bridge between the two.
#Giving Tuesday at Williamston Theatre
Tuesday, Dec. 3, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
122 S. Putnam St., Williamston
(517) 655-7469 ext. 25