West Village audiences were once again enamored with another weekend of the Players Theatre LUV 2023 Short Play Festival. Each weekend for three weeks, a new selection of 15-minute original plays premieres with the desire to captivate audiences.
Last weekend’s audience-selected winner was “Marriage Counseling on Valentine’s Day”, written and directed by William Zolla II.
Funny and poignant, this one-act delves into just what it takes to make a marriage work. On Valentine;s Day, a therapist with a painful secret uses unconventional means in an effort to unearth the seemingly buried love between a bickering, married couple. Steve (Dan Purcell) and Margaret (Jade Andersen) are having marital troubles, arguing over peccadilloes and perceived slights. Their therapist Dr. Jenifer Ross (Elizabeth Sanders) guides them into seeing that the important parts of marriage are more than the sum of petty squabbles.
“Marriage Counseling on Valentines Day” was in good company with four other outstanding plays.
“Wedding Blues”, written by Frank Stancati and directed by Catherine Lamm, finds distraught bride Alice (Lexie Showalter) hiding in the men’s room at her wedding. David (Scott Keyes) a bar mitzvah guest from another room at the venue, stumbles upon her in the bathroom and tries to help her cope. But when the bridesmaid Midge (Ellie Plourde) and groom Brad (Joseph Bosse) appear, secrets are revealed that could threaten a happily ever after.
“Tomorrow”, written by David Taylor Little and directed by Carson Crow, opens with a brief encounter followed by the morning after. Brad (John Ververis) and Todd (Seth Laidlaw) have just awoken from a one-night-stand. Brad would like the date to continue, but Todd suffers from a crippling fear of commitment. Brad attempts to break through Todd's defenses, making him question if the way he’s living his life will really lead to happiness.
“The Immortal Jellyfish”, written by Elise Valderrama and directed by Haneen Arafat Murphy, follows scientist colleagues Dr. Vera Marengo (Elise Valderrama) and Dr. Joseph Dorowsky (Mike Brown), who are unknowingly in love with each other, as they discuss Dr. Dorowsky’s recent scientific breakthrough serum. However, it is soon revealed that Dr. Marengo has made a similar breakthrough with which she has been secretly dosing Dr. Dorowsky. This ends up spelling disaster for the couple.
“Do I Know You?”, written by Mike Long and directed by Chloe Kounadis, unveils that married couple Martha (Giuditta Lattanzi) and George (Brett Bainer) have passed on to the afterlife. The couple work together and learn a lesson both beautiful and tragic — about not only love but also the meaning of life.
The Players Theatre LUV 2023 Short Play Festival continues this Thursday through Sunday with Week 3, which will present five brand new love-themed plays to
entice and thrill audiences!
Tickets can be purchased here. The festival takes place at the Players Theatre:
115 MacDougal Street, 3rd Floor
Week 3 Plays, February 23 – 25 at 7pm, February 26 at 3pm.
“Forever?” written by Mike Teverbaugh and directed by Linda Teverbaugh.
Starring Carolyn Fleishman, Gary Dooley, Jamie Ragusa, and Pat Swearingen.
“The Local 7 to Bliss Street” written by Charlie Finesilver and directed by Ken
Wolf. Starring Chelsea Clarke and Nathan Cusson.
“The Muse” written by Matthew William Carpenito and directed by Presley Cole.
Starring Matthew William Carpenito and Noah Landon Stewart.
“She’s Got His Number” written by Rex McGregor and directed by Victoria
Freedman. Starring Mark Cunningham and Katherine Elliot.
“Love Potion 69” written by Andrea Woodbridge and directed by Joseph Fusco.
Starring Joseph Fusco, Charlie Lockwood, Sara Santucci, Andrea Woodbridge, and Perri Yaniv.