Jury Prize Winner
"Ginny" by Anna Fox, Los Angeles, CA
Choice Award Winner
"A Disapearing" by Mark Wyss, Milwaukee, WI
"The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" by
Kathleen Cahill, Salt Lake City, UT
"The Secret Keeper" by David Meyers, Fort
"The Starfire Dance" by Deborah Yarchun,
"Timmy Perlmutter Goes Flying" by Paul Lewis,
Bainbridge Island, WA
"Battling the Ghost of Max Schmeling" by
Thomas Atkinson, Anderson Township, OH
"A Disappearing" by Mark Wyss, Milwaukee,
William Arbery--Evanston, IL
Thomas Atkinson--Anderson Township, OH
Dan Berkowitz--West Hollywood, CA
Alex Broun--New South Wales, Australia
Ron Burch--Los Angeles, CA
Kathleen Cahill--Salt Lake City, UT
Nelson Clark--Phoenix, AZ
Mark Cornell--Chapel Hill, NC (2 works)
Stephanie Joy Del Rosso--Brooklyn, NY
Louis Felder--Studio City, CA
Anna Fox--Los Angeles, CA
Ken Kaissar--Yardley, PA
Paul Lewis, Bainbridge Island, WA
David Meyers, Ft. Lee, NJ
Mark Wyss, Milwaukee, WI
Deborah Yarchun, Minneapolis, MN
Seven runs for two weekends only and
All entries to FUSION's "The Seven" short
works contest are read "blind" (all identifying
information withheld from the judges), ensuring a
level playing field for all. The script quality was
excellent this year necessitating tough choices with
these, our additional...
With 2014's Winners
1) How did you hear about The
2) What was the impetus/basis/inspiration for writing the piece?
3) Is this play representational of your writing style? Is it similar to or
different from your other plays?
4) What is the role of the short work in your playwriting career?
5) What is your favorite play? Who is your favorite playwright?
6) What is your next playwriting venture?
7) Is there anything you would like to add?
on a playwright's photo to read his/her response!
a Perennial Contributor to Samuel French Festival!
Since the inception of The
Seven: New Works, FUSION Theatre Company
has been honored to be represented regularly at
the nation's premiere
short works celebration, Samuel French's
Off Off Broadway Festival. Whether it works
we've premiered or entire productions airlifted to
NYC, FUSION is
a regular, key contributor. This years' Festival
details are available at the OOB
web site. If your travel plans take
you to Manhattan this July, we hope to see you
click to play a YouTube slideshow of "The Seven:Tangled Webs" New
The Seven, the 6th annual New
Works Festival from FUSION Theatre Company, featured
seven short plays from around the country. This
year's theme, "Tangled Webs," provided
the audience with complex, often ironic, psychological
dramas. Short one-acts, ten to fifteen minutes
long, are hard to write and sometimes hard to
watch, as a bevy of characters, plots, styles
and themes burst one after another—the
whole is not always greater than the sum of the
parts. I'm happy to say that this year's festival
was thoroughly enjoyable, often brilliant, theatre.
Fusion@The Cell did a fine job of creating an
organic production that delved into our collective
American psyche, past and present.
Kudos to the production staff—including Dennis
Gromelski as Coordinator, Maria Lee Schmidt as Stage
Manager, and Richard K. Hogle, Set & Lighting
Design—for establishing complete environments
with great efficiency and maximum metaphoric value
for the diverse subject matter. The seven directors
established foregrounding rhythms and a masterful
sense of rising and falling action within each brief
time frame. The cast, several of whom played multiple
roles, showed remarkable fluidity as well. The following
gives a snapshot of each play.
Jamie Pachino's Status Update played
with our obsessions about social media, particularly
Facebook. A couple's relationship pivots 180 degrees
over the issue of whether or not to "publish" their
changed status online after they've slept together.
The play, directed by Josh Klein, puts the dilemma
of what is public vs. what private literally center
stage. In a summer where the sexual peccadilloes
of politicians occupy the headlines, the play ironically
sends up our cravings to be special in the internet
Water/A Shot in the Dark, written
by Christopher Kent, is a story of war buddies in
an episode of friendly fire. The play hinges on the
revelation that one soldier has accidentally (or
not) shot the other. Director Laurie Thomas did a
fine job of keeping the action taut, but the predictable
outcome of the play is a weak point in the script.
Playing with Fire, by the New
Mexican playwright Lyn Kidder, has the import of
history behind it. Set in Los Alamos at the end of
WWII, the play explores the impact of the development
of the atomic bomb on one couple. The man (played
with quiet tension by Ryan Jason Cook) is one of
the physicists working on the bomb with Oppenheimer.
His pregnant wife, well played by Kate Costello,
symbolizes the simple patriotism and belief in the
nation's integrity that characterized the times.
Sound design (by Brent Stevens) and direction (Robb
Sisneros) added much to this intriguing play.
The fourth play, And What a Damn Fine Morning
It Is, is a hilarious send-up of consumerism
in a neighborhood where aspiration is gospel. There
were excellent comic turns by Paul Blott and Bruce
Holmes as they escalate their oneupmanship, and
director Aaron Worley's timing matched theirs.
Playwright Trace Crawford has his mischievous hand
on our mercantile pulse here.
The second act, opening with Two Minutes
of Heroism, juxtaposes the desires and
motives of a small community of people who are
all affected by a convenience store shooting. Nicely
choreographed by director Jacqueline Reid, the
play's idea is more profound than the limited interactions
allow. Playwright Matt Hanf is hampered here by
the requirement of brevity. It would be satisfying
if this concept could be developed at greater length
where the characterizations could reach beyond
Brian Walker's Neighborly Do's & Don'ts is
utterly original and madly comic as a woman kidnaps
a man who has stolen her girl scout cookies for three
years running. The thief, played by Neil Faulconbridge
with masterful cunning and wonderful self-deprecation,
reveals that his addiction to the cookies developed
during a childhood of helping his sister sell the
most cookies in their town. Jen Grigg as the over-the-top
neighbor seeking vengeance and the economic direction
of Bruce Holmes made this short play a crowd pleaser.
Ending the sequence of plays was a dark story of
family dysfunction, Formaldehyde,
the jury [and Bob and Gail Bosser Audience Favorite]
prize winner in the festival. The longest play featured
and the most complexly drawn, this story of an anger-addicted
husband, a desperate but passive wife, and a gutsy
daughter constantly took new and unexpected turns.
The cast—Bruce Holmes, Wendy Scott, and Lauren
Myers—were inspired in this unpredictable drama
well-directed by Jen Grigg.
The Seven played June 9-12, 2011
at The Cell Theater at 700 1st St. NW in Albuquerque,
NM. For more information on this excellent company
with a history of polished, professional productions,
go to www.fusionabq.org.
Marissa Greenberg, review, June 21, 2008 (on-line), Albuquerque
In Jen Silverman’s The Education of Macoloco, Anessa
teaches her son bizarre trivia and the so-called “facts of life.” But
Anessa withholds the truth of Macoloco’s paternity and, until the play’s
conclusion, of her inner life. Such silences befit the winner of the Jury Prize
of The Seven: Something Left Unsaid, FUSION Theatre Company’s
New Works Festival.
Now in its third year, the festival received 417
short works from 41 states and 6 countries. The jury
reads submissions “blind” and chooses
7 for performance. This year’s winners suggest
a bright future for the international stage. In particular,
expect to hear again from Silverman. Silverman, who
graduated from Brown University in 2006 and begins
the MFA program at Iowa Playwrights Workshop this
fall, had 2 plays in the festival.
Like Macoloco, Silverman’s Notes
on Drowning (For the Man Who Cannot Make the Journey) withholds
essential information until the end. The final
revelation belittles mundane suffering yet proves
oddly life affirming. Strong direction (Jen Grigg
and Elizabeth Huffman) and solid performances energize
Silverman’s learned, witty and affective
scripts. Laurie Thomas gives an especially impressive
performance as Anessa, a physically and emotionally
Other plays invite the audience to deduce what is
left unsaid. The title of Craig Abernethy’s That
Day refers to September 11, 2001. Kirsten
and Toby (compellingly performed by Ravenna Fahey
and Michael Finnegan) never specify the date, but
as they describe an exhibition of photos taken in
the tragedy’s aftermath, the audience can fill
in the blank. Despite its intentional evasions, That
Day is rawly honest. Like the exhibited
photos, it demonstrates that art can render reality “too
Perhaps the most amusing play, Teddy Knows
Too Much by Matt Hanf (Jacqueline Reid
directs), also includes a profoundly disturbing
silence. A mustached and uproarious John Hardman
stars as 3-year-old Billy, who surreptitiously
torments his family in order to secure his parents’ attention.
Mom and Dad (Lou Clark and Bruce Holmes are hilarious)
look for simple solutions to Billy’s behavior.
First they give him a stuffed teddy bear who becomes
privy to all Billy’s secrets and therefore
must be silenced. Teddy’s flushing is followed
by medication. In a final tableau, Hanf’s
implicit commentary on parenting in America ceases
to evoke laughter.
What ought not go unsaid is that The Seven is
With the inception in 2006 of our The Seven:
New Works Fest, FUSION Theatre Company
has been pleased to host a wonderful new way to
fulfill our mission of presenting fresh, new works
of extraordinary merit.
To view our previous "Seven" productions, click
With an annual theme selected
by our patrons via on-line voting, FUSION Theatre
Company has seen exponential interest from talented
playwrights the world over. Our inaugural festival
in 2006, with the theme Games People Play,
drew over 70 submissions, from which the top seven
were selected by our artistic staff. They are always
professionally produced, acted and directed and
enthusiastically received by full houses.