Kentwood Players, a nonprofit theatre group dedicated to enriching, educating and entertaining our community through the transformative power of live theatre while creating an environment for inspiring human potential, was ready to continue celebrating its 70th year of producing quality entertainment in 2020 when the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of all live theater around the world.
While taking this “long intermission” without public gatherings indoors as the perfect time to work on much-needed renovations to their sixty-year-old Westchester Playhouse, Kentwood Players is continuing its Virtual Theater Series in 2021, as well as seeking new plays for the series to be presented on Zoom in the future.
Organized by Harold Dershimer, Chair of the Plays Committee, the Kentwood Players Virtual Theater Series is continuing to accept submissions of new, unpublished one-act plays to be presented in the Zoom online format. After being selected by the Kentwood Players Board of Directors, each new Virtual Theater Series play has a sneak preview performance following the group’s monthly Zoom membership meeting on the third Wednesday of each month.
Each short play is then recorded and streamed on the Kentwood Players YouTube channel at https://youtube.com/kentwoodplayers at no charge to viewers until another play premieres a month later.
Ending Feb. 21 is the comedy “Three Syllables of Shame” by Rom Watson, directed by Catherine Rahm. This short play is about a young couple, Angela and Charlie Doth (played by real-life couple and Kentwood Players members, Lyndsay and Jeremy Palmer) who are facing a major life change. They are nervous about their ability to handle it, and distract themselves with a word game while trying to figure out how they will deal with their new future.
“Surf’s Up” by Ken Levine and directed by Alison Boole runs Feb. 21 to March 21, 2021. The story centers around Peter (Chris Morrison) who announces to his Millennial daughter, Wendy (Glory Bamubile Tshimanga) that he has quit his job and is going on an “endless summer” to surf around the world. And he invites her to shake up her button-down life and join him.
“State of Independence” by Paul Koster and directed by Susan Weisbarth runs March 21 to April 25, 2021. At its center is Joel (Jack Maatita), a typical teenage boy wrestling with his better angels (Jessica Plotin and Michael Hovance) as he struggles to find out who he is and where he fits into the world.
“Happy and Gay” by Mary Steelsmith, adapted for Zoom and directed by Susan Stangl, runs April 25 to May 23, 2021. In it, two long-time Church Ladies, Veronica (Valerie Sullivan) and Betty (Sarilee Kahn), have seen it all – until today as they work together from their own homes to prepare for a “gay wedding” reception.
But adjusting to the new Zoom technology proves to be a bit of a challenge! Hilarity and social commentary abound as the two discuss proper procedures and wonder what their congregation will say about their preacher’s radical decision to use the church for these kinds of affairs.
New and short (30 minutes or less) virtual theater plays written by and for artists all ethnicities, genders, faiths, identities, ages and orientations are being accepted in Zoom format, as are directors interested in helming additional titles already approved. For more information and guidelines on new play submissions and director candidates, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find more information by visiting Kentwood Players pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.
And don’t forget to tune in to KP Live for interviews conducted by Samantha Barrios and Sam Gianfala with directors, designers, actors, backers and crew from Kentwood Players productions as well as theaters across the country. All new episodes premiere on Sunday nights at 7pm Pacific, and then continue streaming on the Kentwood Players You Tube channel at https://youtube.com/kentwoodplayers.
Calling all artists! Would you like to be a part of Kentwood Players history? The Kentwood Players Marketing Committee is excited to announce that they are in search of a new logo for the theatre company. The winning original design will be used to update their website, social media, marketing/publicity materials and eventually the new marquee.
The winner will receive two Season Subscriptions to be used once the Westchester Playhouse is back in full operation.
To submit your simple, creative, original and eye-catching logo design in digital format, or for more information and guideline specifics, please email email@example.com. Deadline for logo submission is March 17.