The ballots have been counted, and the winners have been announced for this year’s Fourth Annual West Coast Players One Act Play Festival at West Coast Players in Clearwater, Fl.
It was honestly a difficult choice. If you were lucky enough to see the plays, then you likely agree that all the plays were amazing. The Festival features 10 original playwrights (these plays have NEVER been produced elsewhere before) who entered the annual contest. Several of the playwrights were local from as close as Dunedin, while others were from other parts of Florida and the country like New York and Maine and even Hawaii. The chosen 10 plays were then brought to full production. Each play is only about 10 minutes or so in length.
The audience was included in the final selection process and each person got to vote for his or her top three choices. Rick Kastel, the Producer of the festival, spent most of the evening at the end of the Festival tallying the votes along with an assistant or two. He meticulously counted each and every vote making sure that it was a fair process.
So here it is. The top three plays for the 2013 Festival are:
- 1. 1. Romantically Challenged. This play was written by Philip Schene of Tampa, Florida. It was directed by Mike Cote. The actors included Victor Carr as a Waiter, Patricia Coyle as Ann. Mike Bruno as Joe and Rick Kastel as the Maitre’d.
- 2 2. Why Is This So Hard To Write. This play was written by Victor Carr of Largo, Florida. It was directed by Leo Salerno. The actors included Graham as Dave.
- 3. 3. How About Cannons. This play was written by David Vazdauskas of Brunswick, Maine. It was directed by Ira Wolf. The actors included George Bowen as Peter Tchaikovsky and Andy McEwen as Anatoloy Tchaikovsky.
All of the plays were winners. Each and every one of them had some very important things to share and the writers should be very proud to have them produced.
One of the favorites that addressed a very sensitive and heart wrenching subject was named Drancy Station. It was set in France during WWII telling a story that seldom gets told. Instead of fighting the Germans during WWII, France handed its Jews over to the Germans. One of the survivors of the camps tells his story to his grandchildren on his 92nd birthday. The grandchildren aren’t actually on the stage. It’s only an old man and the persona of him when he was 17 at Drancy Station in France.
The Old Marrix is played by George Kolitsas. The Young Marrix is played by Tae West. The performance was superb. It was difficult not to cry as the Old Marrix reflected on the day that was his birthday so many years ago.
At first, Young Marrix is just a typical disgruntled teenager in an uncomfortable situation. He and his family have been literally removed from their house by force and are at the train station being transported to a German camp. Young Marrix is with a good friend, but has been separated from his family. Tae West, Young Marrix immersed the audience into that very traumatic day and after his performance there likely wasn’t a dry eye in the audience.
If you missed this year’s festival, you should mark your calendar for next year’s festival. It really is a “don’t miss” experience. Tell your friends and come on out and support local theatre.