This past weekend, the Indiana Writers Center and IndyFringe brought together theater organizations in Indianapolis including Theatre on the Square and NoExit Performance to create short plays made by upcoming artists called “Short, Sharp and Twisted Play Festival.”
This particular festival picked six short plays that were made by emerging artists and with the help of these organizations, the artists were able to bring their work to life. The different organizations were able to bring in many people to be part of the plays for playing various characters whom they’d be able to enjoy.
The plays in this festival include:
“Bagged,” by Jerry Holt, Directed by Lori Raffel (Theatre on the Square)
“The Send Off,” by Marjie Griffin, Directed by Laura Baltz (Carmel Community Players)
“Apertif, Digestif,” by Neil Martin, Directed by Beverly Roche (NoExit Performance Group)
“The Crazed End,” by James Hendrix, Directed by Kaylee Good (Khaos Company Theatre)
“The Final Word,” by Louis Janeira, Directed by Talor Poore (First Folio Productions)
“The Mustard Seed Affair,” Teri Costello, Directed by Ann Marie Elliott (Casey Ross Productions)
All of these short plays were linked together by a certain object such as a letter, necklace, a photo, or a Purdue shirt, found inside a curiosity shop, in which the main story, “The Curiosity Shop,” takes place.
This was a great way for anyone who loves theater or writing and would want to see their work be adapted on stage. The people who were a part of this festival seem to be behind and excited to see what they get to work with.
Josiah McCruiston is one of the actors who participated in this festival by playing Guy Oliver in the short, “The Crazed End,” in which a Doctor comes into a town meeting to discuss the end of the world.
“My role was an interesting experience, the character isn't really spelled out so when we rehearsed we had to find our way around each other and that made it more natural,” he said.
McCruiston played Wayne Johnson, one of the town locals who found the Doctor’s reasons behind the world’s end to be exaggerated and completely false.
The actor was able to take a learning curve out of playing his character in the play and said, “When you allow yourself to fall into the piece naturally, you find that your art isn't an accident.” He also added that this would be something that the other actors could be able to take from their plays as well.
Hannah Elizabeth played Wanda in the short play “Bagged,” and said “I'm super pleased with the play – it had such fun characters that an actor can really do a lot with. I also loved how sweet and touching it was – it had a great balance of comedy and heartwarming.”
The actors’ performances in all the short plays made this festival feel like a community where everyone wanted to see what artists are out there who were willing to share their work with others. Everyone appeared to enjoy themselves playing these unique characters.
Elizabeth had no idea about any of this, but immediately got excited for it. She was contacted by Lori Raffel of the Theatre of the Square. McCruiston was contacted by the person who made “The Curiosity Shop,” Andrew Black, and loved getting new work.
If there’s anyone who has work in the field of theatre who would want to have their work be adapted to stage, then the Short, Sharp and Twisted Play Festival is definitely the way to go.