Web exclusive: The tale of two plays
The days of back-to-back features at the drive-in are long gone. But for those still seeking a two-for-one price in regards to entertainment, you might want to visit the Morgan-Wixson Theatre this month. Throughout the month of May, the Morgan-Wixson will run two back-to-back satirical plays by American playwright Christopher Durang: "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All for You" and "The Actor's Nightmare." Both short plays offer fun, lighthearted and hilarious entertainment.
The first play, "Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it all For You," is centered on the Catholic religion. Sister Mary Ignatius (played by Joanna Churgin) opens up the show with a monologue of sorts, discussing the perils of Hell and Purgatory.
The show expands after that to include additional characters and eventually shifts to a more dramatic approach at the end, all while cleverly keeping the laughs appropriately in place.
Performing alongside Churgin is the young Brighid Fleming as the role of Thomas, one of Sister Mary's current students. Despite the age difference against the rest of the cast, Fleming was a delight to watch.
Churgin also delivered a very solid performance with great acting and perfect comedic timing that had the audience laughing the entire time.
Absurdity was taken to another level with the play that followed next. "The Actor's Nightmare" is summarized with its title – A man, George Spelvin (played by Johnny Arena) finds himself unaware of his identity and clueless as to how he found himself preparing to star in a play.
The show then drifts into surrealism, weaving theater jokes within each scene, so those still unfamiliar with theater should take caution: A lot of the punch lines will go right above your head.
With that said, "The Actor's Nightmare" is just as amusing as its predecessor. Arena did well in his role – but another actor stole the show. Kat Primeau, who played Dame Ellen Terry, held the audience's attention during most of her stage time. She gave more eccentricity to her already fantastical character, making her a standout among the others.
All in all, the short plays are very enjoyable and a nice way to spend your Saturday evening. Your preference between the two is up to you – they each have their own distinct forms of humor and satire. Personally, I enjoyed "Sister Mary," more, but to each their own.
"Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All for You" and "The Actor's Nightmare" will be performed every weekend in May. For more information, head to www.Morgan-Wixson.org.