By Jenny Neyman
Sandy Weeks is exhibiting the first signs of the contagious condition — the itch of excitement, uncontrollable bursts of laughter, bouts of dramatic pauses and restless gesture syndrome.
Yvette Tappana succumbed many years ago and now has such a full-blown case that she can’t stand to go long without treatment.
The bug? Acting. The treatment? Community theater, of which there will be an offering — “Scenes to See,” a presentation of one-act comedies from Triumvirate Theatre — this weekend and next in Soldotna.
“I was going through stage withdrawals, straight up. I was starting to shake. You can only talk to yourself in front of the mirror so often before you realize the audience of one sucks,” she said.
Weeks and her family are new to the area, and she decided to audition as an activity she could do with her teenage daughter. Her daughter ended up having scheduling conflicts and couldn’t participate, but by then she was hooked. Now she finds herself squabbling with her
husband about an unattended bag — among other things — at the airport in “Baggage Unattended,” by Eric Coble, directed by Sally Cassano-Archuleta. She’s also an ill-fated, fantastical beast in a fable of Noah’s ark, “The Chance of a Lifetime, Or How the Unicorn Lost His Spot,” by H. Michael Krawitz, directed by Terri Burdick.
“I chose it because it’s humorous and because it said, ‘A cartoon for the theater,’ and that just caught my funny bone,” Burdick said.
Burdick herself is performing in “A Duet for Bear and Dog,” written by Sybil Rosen, directed by Laura Forbes, about a bear treed by an unlikely dog in New York City, debating the merits of domestication versus remaining wild.
Marc Berezin is another pulling double duty, playing Noah in “The Chance of a Lifetime,” and the beleaguered husband in “Baggage Unattended.”
It’s addiction, yes, in that they find it hard to resist, but the one-act format means participation really doesn’t impose negatively upon their lives.
“We’ve been doing 10-minute plays for many years now and they’re always fun. The commitment isn’t too demanding, they’re just short little, generally humorous pieces, although they can be dramas. But it’s fun being in them, and directing a few,” Berezin said, as he’s directed in the past. “I’m just happy there were some parts for an old immature man.”
This versatile format offers opportunities for the mature and less so, in age or behavior. It’s a great introduction to theater for newcomers, and a way for veterans to stay involved without having it consume all their spare time.
“It’s a good opportunity for someone wanting to get into theater locally or theater in general. It’s a great way to get people in without feeling like they’re overly committed and scared, to kind of test their theater wings,” Tappana said.
It’s also an opportunity for audiences to get a variety of shows in one sitting.
“They’re always a lot of fun,” Berezin said.
“Scenes to See” will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 9, 10, 16 and 17 at Triumvirate Threatre at the Peninsula Center Mall in Soldotna. Tickets are $15, available in advance at River City Books in Soldotna, or at the door. The show includes performances by Berezin, Ken Duff, Nicole Egholm, Eli Graham, Kate Schwarzer, Donna Shirnberg, Tappana, Natalie Tucker, Tim Tucker and Weeks, as well as “Ledge, Ledger and the Legend,” by Paul Elliott, directed by Ann Shirnberg.