The Stokes County Arts Council wraps up its 2018 Winter Dessert Theatre season on Saturday, March 3 with an evening of one-act comedies at The Arts Place of Stokes, 502 N. Main Street in Danbury.
The two short plays, presented under the omnibus title of “Random Acts of Laughter,” will be performed by members of the NoneSuch Playmakers, a local theatre company based in Surry County. The Playmakers have been part of Stokes Arts’ Winter Dessert Theatre for the past 10 years. Both plays were written by NoneSuch co-founder Brack Llewellyn, who also directs.
The evening’s first offering is “Party Game.” The story involves publishing executive Sarah Kovak (King resident Billie Smith), who is not having fun at a co-worker’s raucous birthday party. Wine bottle in hand, she escapes to the relative quiet of the patio. Her solitude is suddenly shattered by the unexpected arrival of her ex-husband Harry (Brian Greene), a corporate analyst whom Sarah has not seen since their angry divorce. Adding insult to injury is Harry’s date for the evening, a “twenty-ish” intern named Mimsy (North Stokes High School senior Kristin Sands). After some very awkward introductions, Harry and Sarah square off for their first hilarious meeting since their split. Barbs and one-liners fill the room (along with pie charts and mathematics) as these former best friends bicker their way to an unexpected resolution.
The second random act is “Bestseller,” a short farce written by Llewellyn in 2016. The plot revolves around Beekman Publishing, a small New York publishing company headed by brothers Conrad (Evan Barnard) and Barney (Jake Pack). Beekman Publishing has built its fortune and reputation on a single author: Windham Delaney (Stokes County native Dalton Ridout). Delaney is the master of the “light-romance-tragedy-inspirational-fairytale,” which sells, as the Beekman brothers put it, “like cheap beer at a Mets game.” All is well (and very profitable) until the unpredictable writer drops out of sight and follows his muse into the world of “great books”. His latest submission, “The Saxon Prince” is an eleven-hundred-page work of literary genius – and a guaranteed flop with his readers. (The “Harlequin Romance Demographic,” as the brothers call it.) Desperate to keep the gravy train on the tracks, the Beekman brothers and their unstable secretary Amy (Olivia Jessup) hatch a plot to set things right—a plan straight out of Edgar Allan Poe (by the way of the Three Stooges.)
Filling two small supporting roles and serving as the production’s stage managers are NoneSuch co-founder Angela Llewellyn and longtime company member Jessica Llewellyn.
The pair of one-acts is framed by two brief scenes involving the two female characters, Mimsy and Amy. The entire show is presented without intermission, with a total running time of about 75 minutes. The plays do contains some adult themes and language, and are not intended for children under age 16.
“We like to bring our best to Stokes County,” said director Brack Llewellyn. “These one- acts are two of our favorites. They’ve played well with audiences in the past, and we hope our Stokes friends enjoy them.”
Llewellyn says “Random Acts of Laughter” is an opportunity to relax and have some laughs.
“There are no great messages here,” he stated. “It’s pure entertainment. Come out and have a good time at the theatre.”
Tickets for “Random Acts of Laugher” are $12 General Admission, $10 for Stokes Arts Members, $5 under 18 and can be purchased by contacting Stokes Arts at 336-593-8159.
One of the best parts of Winter Dessert Theatre is the desserts, sponsored by Cannon & Co. Dessert service begins at 6 p.m. and is followed by the performance at 7 p.m.