A patchwork play

July 13, 2012

By Annette Hallet | Special to The Tico Times

As the director of the next Little Theatre Group production, I would describe “My Life as a Crazy Quilt” as a collection of short plays that explore extraordinary interactions that occur between ordinary people. It promises to be an entertaining evening that will both amuse and touch the hearts of the audience members.

While most of the plays put on by LTG are written by well-known playwrights, this one is an original work by a New York playwright who specializes in short plays; it has not been performed before, so the LTG production will be the premier performance.

I also wanted to use some actors who were not very well-known, and perhaps attract some new faces to our stage. I am thrilled to say that I succeeded. I am so excited by the talent that I have to work with that I cannot wait for opening night when our audience will have the chance to see them.

When Gail Nystrom of the Costa Rican Humanitarian Federation heard about the production, she was quick to tell me about the quilt of La Carpio, a collection of real-life stories in quilt form. As a result of the collaboration, an original theatrical work is under development, which I hope will also be premiered to tell the story of this quilt.

Two years ago, the women of La Carpio – a community composed largely of Nicaraguan immigrants living in low socio-economic conditions – were persuaded to each sew a fabric square describing an incident or circumstance in their lives.

These were then incorporated into a quilt. “Voices of the Quilt,” a work developed in conjunction with the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation, is a collection of short monologues that tell the stories. Although the monologues will be delivered in English for this production, I hope that the women will someday perform their own work in Spanish.

Other short plays

“The Visit” by Norm Foster is a comedic study of the family dynamic between domineering mother Rhonda, her husband Lloyd, and her son Richard, who chooses an unfortunate moment to share a long held secret.

“Fortunata Writes a Letter” by Theodore Apstein is set in an unspecified Central American country during the 1930s. It is a heart-warming and amusing dialogue between two simple folk about the merits of chickens, hot sauce and a letter to El Presidente.

If you have ever found yourself stuck with an elderly and cantankerous relative with whom you have little in common, then “Outdoor Pleasures” by Jean McConnell will probably seem familiar. Deidre, a 30-something social climber, and her aunty Tottie, a difficult and unwelcome weekend visitor, are set to enjoy an outdoor production of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” Or are they?

In by “Heart and Soul” by George Bryjak, a man believes that he might have lost his heart and soul as a result of overexposure to news media. A woman, however, has some unique insights and solutions to his problem.

The show will be performed Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, July 22 at 2:30 p.m.; Fri July 27, Saturday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 29 at 2:30 p.m. at Teatro Laurence Olivier, Av 2, Ca 28. For more info, call 8916-6564 or visit www.littletheatregroup.org

₡6,000 is the suggested donation, with discounts for members who reserve online, students and bookings of 10 or more.

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