Alaska writers featured in late-night theater fest

Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2002

The misadventures of a rock star and the glory of food will be celebrated in Perseverance Theatre's new Midnight Theatre Festival. Three new plays by Alaska writers will be presented in coming weeks in the Douglas theater.

"Money" opens the series Saturday, April 27, with a show at 10 p.m. A matinee performance will follow at 2 p.m. Sunday. "Athena," by Jason Hodges of Fairbanks, will be presented as a play reading May 11. "Feast or Famine," a series of six short pieces on food will be presented May 18.

"This is our spring festival of new work," said Peter DuBois, the artistic director of Perseverance Theatre. Julia O'Malley of Perseverance said the late-night showings serve several purposes. The plays won't conflict with "Lost in Kubla Khan." running on the mainstage, and the festival adds excitement.

"Athena" is a comedy about a Madonna-like rock singer, DuBois said.

"She creates this character called The Bastard as a kind of marketing strategy for an album," he said. "He's supposed to be her old boyfriend from high school, who was this hard-drinking, abusive guy. She hasn't seen him for years."

The scheme gets out of control and she needs to find a real character for the part. She looks up her real high school boyfriend, a straight-laced accountant, and convinces him to play the part.

"Feast or Famine" is evolving out of a workshop with Bridget Carpenter, the theater's artist-in-residence. The shorts will be presented in courses, with themes such as food and love, or food and sex.

"Local people are writing things about food, little 10-minute plays," said O'Malley. She said she's already written a theater piece about her grandmother's recipe for spaghetti sauce, which she staged with Sara Boario in January at Out North Theater in Anchorage.

She's looking at writing about a food experience from her days at Smith College in Massachusetts. "I lived in a vegetarian all-girls co-op," she said. "It was ridiculous."

"Feast or Famine" probably will feature lots of snacks, she added. Admission to each performance is $10.

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