The performances start at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The scene selections of comedy, drama, music and reader's theater include the work of seven directors, 19 actors and two original works by Dearborn writers.
DATA, which is presenting this evening of variety of scenes with the Dearborn Community Fund and Dearborn Recreation and Parks, decided to present “Random Acts of Theatre” for the first time “because they kind of thought they would be offering something different,” DCF executive Director EmmaJean Woodyard said. She added that similar productions have been gaining momentum across the country.
“We're giving different directors the opportunity to show what they can do, different actors,” Woodyard said. “It was a challenge, like herding cats, to have seven directors and seven casts of two or three people doing a lot of rehearsals, logistics, and communication.
“Karen Pritchard is our executive producer who's been herding the cats,” Woodyard said.
Woodyard added that she believes this will be first time ever at the Michael A. Guido Theater will have onstage seating for the audience
“It will be such an intimate environment, that every seat's a good seat,” she said.
Tickets are $15 ($12 for seniors and students), and are on sale at the theater box office, or can be ordered by calling (313) 943-2354, or online at www.dearborntheater.com. Proceeds from the ticket sales will benefit scholarships for high school seniors involved in community theater.
Two different scenes in “Random Acts of Theatre” examine the impact of what an author writes. Director Marc Walentowicz says Bruce Kane's comedy “Caught in the Act” gives life to characters “that we as creators take for granted. What happens if they revolt?” Pritchard feels that Jon Robin Bates “Other Desert Cities” is very relevant to today's merciless media glare on personal lives, when it looks at whether publishing a memoir might destroy a family.
Dianne Bernick will direct two Reader's Theatre pieces, and there will be selections from two musicals “Kismet & Chess.” Romance and relationships are looked at in other offerings, such as Tennessee Williams' humorous play “The Case of the Crushed Petunias,” which director Nina Young selected for its “cleverly written” message that any audience would enjoy and relate to. There is a similar crisis in Nicholas Pappas' comedy “The Ballad of 423 & 424,” based on Shakespeare's Sonnet #23, described by director Pritchard as “Think Friends meets The Big Bang Theory.”
Dearborn writer/director Collette Cullen draws on the life of Annie Sullivan, teacher of Helen Keller, in her original play “Annie Speaks.” Cullen said the scene from her play celebrates the teaching profession, and inspires listeners to focus on the emotional and spiritual needs of children. Director Cynthia Frabutt will bookend the evening with scenes from “Soul Mates,” in which Dearborn writer Kirsten Kniesly examines how the past affects the future.
DATA is an alliance of all the city's community and high school theater groups, a 501c3 organization dedicated to promoting and encouraging community and scholastic theater. It presents the PAGE awards in May, and is kicking off tits 2014 season to raise money for its theater scholarships.