Last weekend, Tacoma Musical Playhouse hosted the Washington State Community Theater Association’s One Act Play Festival, in which Washington State theatrical groups brought their best work to stage to contest for awards and for the honor of moving up to the next level of competition. For three consecutive nights (March 2 to 4) Tacomans and visitors were treated to one-act plays performed by theatrical groups from all over the state. The top two groups (taken by Tacoma Little Theatre and hosts Tacoma Musical Playhouse) will take their performances to the regional festival in Boise at the end of the month. There, one lucky group will be selected to the National American Association of Community Theatre’s festival, which will be in Rochester, Minn. June 26 through July 1.
After each one-act performance, a trio of adjudicators (accomplished individuals in the world of live theater) gave their critique and assessment of the play. The adjudicators for the weekend’s festival were Brian Freeland, a director and playwright based in New York; Mark Harvey Levine, a prolific writer of short plays that has had his work produced around the world; and Darren R. Schroader, an actor based in Los Angeles. All three were generous in their praise, judicious in their criticism, and generally charming and funny.
The performances were diverse in style and content, but all were so engaging that they breezed by leaving the audience hungry for more. Each group had to fit all of their props and set materials in a 10-foot by 10-foot area backstage. They had 10 minutes to set up, one hour to perform and 10 minutes to take down the set.
Kaleidoscope also included a series of work- shops put on by the adjudi- cators and others involved in the Community Theater scene.