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Performing Art
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018 9 months ago

Theatre Odyssey takes short plays 'On the Road'

The second annual tour will kick off with an open formal dress rehearsal on Feb. 25.
by: Katie Johns Community Editor

No mother-child relationship is the same.

While usually wrapped in love, some of those relationships are knit with annoyance, stubbornness and hilarity.

It’s these relationships that will be explored in most of this year’s “On the Road” short plays.

On Feb. 25, Theatre Odyssey will kick off its second “On the Road” tour, which was designed to reach audiences who might not be able to see the plays otherwise, Director Bob Trisolini says, whether that be for medical reasons or driving reasons.

On Sunday, Feb. 25, the tour will host an open formal dress rehearsal at The Starlite Room to kick off the week. Then, on Monday, Feb. 26, the first official performance will be at Temple Beth Israel on Longboat Key. The tour continues on Wednesday at the Sarasota Bay Club, Thursday at Glenridge on Palmer Ranch and Saturday at Aviva — A Campus for Senior Life.

In total, there are five plays in the lineup, though some locations will only show four of the plays. The five plays were written by three local playwrights; Arthur Keyser, Marvin Albert and Ron Pantello.

Keyser wrote both “Mother’s Day” and “In Whom we Trust.” “Mother’s Day” is about an aging mother who lives in an assisted-living facility. Her daughter misses certain visitation days, so the mother threatens to move in with the daughter and her family.

“In Whom We Trust” follows a conversation between former President Richard Nixon, John Dean, John Mitchell and G. Gordon Liddy after the Watergate break in.

“What Was I Thinking,” which follows the inner thoughts about a couple on a blind date, and “Molly’s Will,” which follows a mother who wants to use Facebook to create her will and control her daughter, were both written by Albert.

Pantello wrote “I’m Dead When I Said I’m Dead,” which follows a son being haunted by his mother after he takes her urn home with him following her funeral.

Trisolini says all of these plays were popular in the company’s Student Ten-minute Playwriting Festival.

Kathryn Chesley as the mom Mitcheal Pearl as the son in "I'm Dead When I Said I'm Dead" by Ron Pantello. Photo courtesy of Odyssey Theatre.

For most of the playwrights, their ideas just come to them, they say. However, writing short plays can sometimes be more difficult than writing full-length ones.

“Short plays would certainly seem to be a lot easier to write, and a lot of people I know will only write a short play,” Keyser says. “But, in a sense, the short play is very hard to write because you have to get everything in 10 to 11 pages.”

The playwrights say they hope audiences find enjoyment and humor in their work.

“Some playwrights want to change the world and have a mission, a political mission or a mission about race relations. A lot of my plays ... I just want an audience to come in, whether it’s for 10 minutes or an hour and a half, and I want them to leave [thinking] they had a really good time, got close to the character and they would do it again,” Pantello says.


I’m Katie. I’m the Longboat Observer community editor, which means I cover all people, places and things pertaining to Longboat Key. I graduated from the University of Missouri in 2016 with degrees in journalism and Spanish. Reach me at 941-366-3468 ext. 364.

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