MadLab will present Theatre Roulette 2012, the latest edition of Columbus’ longest running shorts festival, this year with12 short plays over 3 nights, rotating over 4 weekends, culminating in the final day when all 12 plays are performed, at 8:00, May 3th-May 26th, Thursday though Saturdays at MadLab, 227 N. 3rd St. Columbus. All 12 shows will be presented on the final day of the festival, May 26th beginning at 2 pm. Tickets cost $12, $10 Students/Seniors, $8 Members. Call 614-221-5418 or visit http://www.madlab.net
Back with their 13th annual Theatre Roulette, MadLab continues to crank out Columbus’ longest running shorts festival. They received 705 submissions and from that group of scripts, 12 were selected by 10 different playwrights representing 9 states and the United Kingdom. For 8 of the playwrights, this is their first Roulette. 3 playwrights who have had plays performed at Roulette in the past return. Mark Harvey Levine for his 6th Roulette. Greg Freier for the 2nd year in a row. And Alex Dremman has his 3rd entry in Roulette. Greg Freier and Gary Dooley have 2 plays each in this year’s festival.
Auditions were held in January. 20 actors were cast in 33 roles. 3 of them will make their MadLab debuts (Audrey Rush, Michael Schirtzinger, and Austin Wiezbiski). 10 of MadLab’s 24 ensemble members accepted roles with many accepting multiple parts.
The Columbus Foundation, GCAC, and OAC support MadLab throughout the year.
Following each playwright name is the city they live in and previous Roulette appearances.
As always, the Roulette shows are split into 3 nights, shown in a rotating basis, until the final day when all 12 shows are presented. The names for the nights this year are Snake Eyes, Box Cars, and High Rollers.
The Waiting Room by Steven Shapiro (Cary, NC)
Wray Withers as Wesley
David Thonnings as Peter
Directed by Jim Azelvandre
The Waiting Room explores those of us, who at times, reach out for the help of psychiatrists to help soothe our bruised and battered psyches. We accept a certain decorum and convention from such clinicians, but when confronted by a highly unconventional form of practice, our expectations take a rather odd trip down a circuitous path from the real, to the surreal, and back again.
Andy Batt: “The Waiting Room takes an interesting approach to love, loss, and the basic directionless feeling that seems to be permeating our society right now. It looks at the importance we place on certain things and turns a mirror on them to see what really makes us happy.”
Ten Minutes In The Orchard with Uncle Vanya’s Sister and her Seagull by Gary Dooley (Hardingstone, United Kingdom)
Michelle Batt as Actress
Jeff Potts as Actor 1 (Fluckas)
Jason Sudy as Actor 2 (Dr. & Count)
Directed by Jennifer Feather Youngblood
Whoever said that nothing much happens in Russian plays? In Madame Arkadina's orchard in pre-revolutionary Russia, fortunes change hands, there are tragic deaths, and great love affairs - all in the space of 10 minutes.
Andy Batt: “In 2004 MadLab produced Penny Penniworth – a fantastic parody/adaptation of Great Expectations and other classic works of literature. When I read Orchard, I got that same break-neck paced, silly, fun feeling that harkened back to one of the best, funniest shows MadLab has ever produced.”
The Peach by Alex Dremann (Philadelphia, PA) (ON THE PORCH ONE CRISP SPRING MORNING – Roulette 07, NARCOLPETIC PILLOW FIGHT – Roulette 10, FOUR DRY TONGUES – Roulette 10)
David Thonnings as Jake
Chris Lane as Karwacki
Directed by Andy Batt
Jake is a simple man who likes to kill things for his boss, but today his boss wants him dead.
Chris Lane: "I want to thank MadLab for continuing to produce Theatre Roulette every year, without fail. I also want to thank the Board and Ensemble for all of their fantastic dedication."
DATENAV™ by Gary Dooley
Josh Kessler as Graham
Audrey Rush as Wendy
Jennifer Feather Youngblood as the voice of DATENAV
Travis Horseman as the voice of SHAGTHWART
Directed by Aran Carr
Graham resorts to new technology to increase his chances with his date, Wendy – but things don't exactly go according to plan and Wendy has a secret of her own.
Josh Kessler: “Working with Audrey in DATENAV™, someone who's new to Theatre Roulette, has reminded me of just how energizing new talent is, and it's a blast getting to play off of her enthusiasm and excitement.”
Slipping into Anarchy by Jeffrey Wolf (Aurora, CO)
Jim Azlevandre as Kip
Jennifer Feather Youngblood as Victoria
Directed by Chris Lane
Slipping into Anarchy introduces the audience to a couple in the middle of their morning routine. As the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina intrudes into their lives, he tells her he poisoned her cup of coffee.
Andy Batt: “Jeffrey Wolf has crafted a riveting tale of empathy and helplessness. It really spoke to me in how I felt after great tragedies like Katrina and 9/11 of how I felt so impotent to help those in need. Sure I could send money and things like that, but I felt as if I should be there, on site, doing whatever I could to help. That same feeling of uselessness certainly manifests itself in so many ways that hit closer to home as well.”
Dead Zone by Spenser Davis (Chicago, IL)
Michael Schirtzinger as Dad
Paul Moon as Derrick
Austin Wiezbiski as Blake
Mony Carpenter as Mom
Directed by Josh Kessler
On the surface, the McClarrins are an All-American family: a twenty-year marriage, a beautiful home, two handsome sons - one in high school and one home from college for the summer. But when the four of them sit down for dinner, the older son has a devastating confession ... when he was at work, his cell-phone lost reception. And in this household, where the overbearing patriarch has taught his children that communication-by-phone is of the utmost importance, this admission is life-altering. Will the father banish his son, or will he take the punishment further by (*gasp*) deleting him from his phone's Contact List? A parody of the family drama genre, and a satire of the importance our culture gives to wireless technology, "Dead Zone" centers around a patriarch who reacts uncommonly to what we might refer to as an everyday occurrence.
Josh Kessler: “Directing my cast in DEAD ZONE has been a dream. Mike, Mony, Paul, and Austin all shine on stage, but it's been the joy with which they approach both the show and each other that's made the experience stand out to me.”
Unnamed Lands by Nicholas Sawin (St. Joseph, MO)
Andy Batt as Jerome
Travis Horseman as Harbin
Directed by Mony Carpenter
A married gay couple debates whether or not to name their surrogate’s baby. Jerome uses humor to deflect his husband’s (Harbin’s) argument that every baby deserves to be named, and instead questions why we name our children, and what those names suggest about the children and about us. When a startling revelation shifts the context of the debate, the fate of Jerome and Harbin’s marriage is called into question.
Director Mony Carpenter: “Having directed full length comedies and dramas elsewhere, it has been a challenge in my first directing effort for MadLab’s Roulette to “tell the story”, with an intriguing script that may alter the way you think about what it means to be parents or part of a family… in just under 10 minutes! Scheduling constraints can be a constant background noise when MadLab is trying to cast a dozen shows from a limited pool of talent, making me delighted and grateful to be working with Andy Batt and Travis Horseman. These two busy, experienced, talented and dedicated actor/directors have breathed life into nuanced characters, creating a wonderful little reality of their own. One night this last week, I forgot they were actors who were carefully delivering speeches written for them; I bought into the life of the real people who were living in front of me through these two gentle men. Let them make believers out of you, opening your mind to the possibilities they have created.”
Based on Real Events by David Vardeman (Portland, ME)
Josh Kessler as Inspector
Stephen Woosley as Sergeant
Jason Sudy as Rudy
Michelle Batt as Psychic
Directed by Vicki Andronis
With the aid of surrogate witnesses and the municipal psychic, an ambitious Inspector grills his hand-picked prime suspect in a series of crimes. The Inspector's goal is to keep his city safe by solving every reported crime, at the same time saving his constituents money by suspending such costly and time-consuming impediments to public welfare as due process.
Josh Kessler: “Having Vicki as my director has been wonderful. It's great having someone with her eye for the craft shape a fast-paced comedy like Based On Real Events, and it's doubly nice working with someone who can communicate with me on such a personal level.”
Endless Sea by Elena Hartwell (Newcastle, WA)
Jim Azelvandre as Man
Jennifer Feather Youngblood as Woman
Directed by Tay Lane
Two characters find themselves embroiled in the long term effects of a tragic event for very different reasons. The barrage of images from the Tsunami in Japan prompted the writing of this play. That event illuminated the now cinematic nature of disaster in our tech-heavy culture. A reminder that behind each headline or soundbyte are individuals, with their own stories, sometimes of loss, sometimes of redemption, sometimes buried in the sand.
Misfortune by Mark Harvey Levine (Pasadena, CA) (SURPRISE - Roulette 05, SAVER - Roulette 07, THE RENTAL - Roulette 08, THAT WORD - Roulette 10, UP ON THE ROOF – Roulette 11)
Audrey Rush as Stephanie
Jeff Potts as Barry
Linda O'Donnell as Cindy
Directed by Mary Sink
Barry receives some disturbing news from a fortune cookie. His days could be numbered.
Andy Batt: “What can one say about Mark Harvey Levine? Best 10-minutes playwright in history? I can’t claim to have read all the 10-minutes plays ever written, but I can say that I have literally read thousands of them and I have never seen another playwright that has the volume of work while still maintaining a high level of quality.”
Shadows by Greg Freier (Norwalk, IA) (THE MEETING – Roulette 11)
Michael Schirtzinger as Ray
Austin Wiezbiski as Walt
Melissa Bair as Irene
Directed by Linda O'Donnell
A kindly gentleman in a nursing home attempts to convince his son that he speaks with his late wife on a daily basis, only to have his wife convince him otherwise. A fictional story based on true fiction.
Michael Schirtzinger on his Roulette experience: “What a great group of people - friendly, funny and smart!”
But Was It An Approved Death? by Greg Freier
Jim Azelvandre as Harold
Vicki Andronis as Emma
Directed by Michelle Batt
Elderly British Couple...Brand New Family Portrait...Children Being Mysteriously Murdered...How Will They Save The Family Portrait Without Having To Commission A New One.
Andy Batt: “It’s been called Family Portrait II (the original produced in Roulette 2007). Is comparing another original work to what might be the best Theatre Roulette play ever produced such a bad thing? I don’t think so.”