By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

One-act festival offers four plays

Submitted photo##Aubrey Davis and Robby French explore a moment in The Modern Theater s musical production,  The Last Five Years.
Submitted photo##Aubrey Davis and Robby French explore a moment in The Modern Theater's musical production, "The Last Five Years."

The performances will be open to the public, with shows starting at 9 a.m., about 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and about 3:30 p.m. in the theater at Second and Ford streets, downtown McMinnville. Cost is $5 per show.

Theaters from Beaverton, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Spokane and Richland, Wash., will present one-act shows that have already won state-level competitions. The Region IX winner will go on to the national ACCT One-Act Fest in Grand Rapids, Mich.

With Gallery hosting the regional event, McMinnville and Yamhill County residents have a chance to see a broad range of live theater, said Carolyn McCloskey, who started the Oregon One-Act Festival back in 2003. State and regional competitions now are held every odd-numbered year at various community theaters.

“The one-act festivals are great events to be in and to watch,” she said.

It’s also a great way for Gallery to show off its facilities to representatives of other theaters. McCloskey said it always reminds her how nice McMinnville’s community theater is. Not every theater company has such a generous space, lighting and sound boards and other equipment.

“It makes us realize how lucky we are,” she said.

At the one-act competition, each theater must start with everything it needs for its production — sets, props, people — within a 100-square-foot area. At a signal from the official timer, the actors have 10 minutes to set up. Then they have 60 minutes to perform, followed by 10 minutes to put everything away.

The timing is strict, McCloskey said. She once was involved in a one-act production that ran over by 15 seconds and was disqualified.

After each show, three adjudicators give the theater company feedback — a great learning experience, McCloskey said.

The audience gets to watch the whole thing, from set-up through judging.

After all four shows have been presented, the adjudicators will name one the winner and rank the others, as well.

The theater companies presenting Saturday and their shows are:

- 9 a.m. The Modern Theater, Idaho’s representative, with “The Last Five Years,” a musical by Jason Robert Brown.

- About 10:30, Spokane Civic Theatre, with “Orphans,” a new play by Lyle Kessler.

- 2 p.m. Richland Players, “The Turn of the Screw,” based on a story by Henry James adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher.

- About 3:30, Beaverton Civic Theatre, with a cut from “The Dining Room,” by A.R. Gurney. The show features actor Aaron Morrow, whom Gallery audiences will remember as the husband in the recent production of “Sylvia.”

After the shows, one-act fest participants will have time for comparing notes and networking at a dinner at the Willamette Valley Vineyards tasting room.

For more information, call Gallery Theater at 503-687-1263.

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