On Wednesday, August 13, at 7:30 P.M., St. Croix Festival Theatre will hold its third annual One-Act Play Contest. This year, four plays have been selected for reading by members of Festival Theatre’s acting company. The plays, original submissions by playwrights with origins in, or ties to, Wisconsin and Minnesota, were selected based upon originality, quality of plot and dialogue, and creativity. At the reading, first, second and third place winners will be chosen by the four member reading committee who made the original selections, with input from the audience members in attendance at the reading.
The four plays cover a broad range of subject matter. “Harvest” by Forrest Hartl is the story of a young woman, Elsa, who dreams of leaving a Wisconsin farm in the 1940s. She lives with her brother and her widowed mother who reluctantly has accepted the free labor of a German prisoner of war through a government program. Elsa meets Otto, the prisoner, and the relationship turns into a secret romance; however, once the secret is revealed, Elsa’s life changes forever.
In “The Bar at the Best Western” by Andrew Davis, David Dolle and Jennifer Mohlenhoff-Bagget, three female executives are sent to sign a talented and valuable child to a public relations contract. During the trip, they discover that the assignment has ramifications far beyond what they had expected and, in fact, requires that they change everything they had thought about their work and their world.
“St. George on the Bus” by MT Cozzola is a comedy about a mother and daughter struggling with the implications of an apparent miracle—the materialization of a not-very-good family painting on a city bus. As they come to terms with this odd event, mother and daughter reevaluate their understanding of themselves, each other, and the annoyingly inconsistent thing called “God.”
In “Candy Kisses” by Arnold Johnston and Deborah Ann Percy, cousins take refuge from the tensions of their Uncle Louie’s wake by hiding in the dead man’s basement pantry, where they air their differences over oft-married Louie’s estate and rediscover a measure of their lost girlhood affection for each other and for Louie’s treasure trove of candy.
Several of the playwrights will be in attendance at the reading and following the judging of the plays the audience will be invited to engage with the playwrights in discussing what they have experienced. Because of the adult nature of some material, it is recommended that only high school age and older audience members attend these readings. It promises to be an interesting and enlightening evening at Festival Theatre and all are invited to attend. Tickets are $10.