Theater Info for the Washington DC region

NVTA One Act Festival Night 1

By • Jun 20th, 2009 • Category: Reviews
NVTA One Act Festival
James Lee Community Center Theater, Falls Church, VA
$35 Festival Pass/$14 Session Pass
Playing through June 28th
Attended June 19th, 2009

This is part 1 of ShowBizRadio’s 5 part series covering this year’s NVTA One Act Festival.

The NVTA Festival kicked off in style this year with two published, previously performed one acts from Springfield Community Theatre and Zoon Vader Productions. Both shows were well done, and solidly entertaining. Spoon River Anthology (SCT) was well directed by Adriana Hardy, and there were excellent performances from Mollie Wise, Cal Whitehurst, Don Neal, and a lovely singer in Maria Benzie. Zoon Vader’s Lonestar, a fantastic Texas comedy, was briskly and thoughtfully directed by Frank Pasqualino. He perfectly cast area actors Christopher Guy Thorne and Matthew Hartman as brothers, and their camaraderie and chemistry shone through in each interaction.

There’s a new judging format this year. No longer do the cast and crew of a one act make their way to a small room to face the panel of judges. Instead, after strike is completed, the cast and crew sit in the front row of the theatre, and the judges face them one by one for a five minute public critique. In addition to that, each judge comes in for the evaluation on an individual basis. This leads to less bias, influence, and overlap in their commentary, which is a great idea.

The panel this year is comprised of three professionals: Leonard Hughes, a retired Post staff writer; Don Martin, an area actor and director; and Marge Tischer, a veteran maven who has dabbled in every aspect of the theatre. All three were kind in their remarks, although none were afraid of honest and constructive criticism. They were analyzing each show very closely, often giving the type of critique to be used for future productions. It was interesting to see how their remarks were frequently contradictory, which goes to show that different angles on performances makes a good horse race.

The Festival is in its 28th year, and much effort and planning has gone into it. Producers Deb Crawford and Zina Bleck have done a wonderful job in its coordination for a third straight year…unfortunately, the turnout wasn’t a great one…hopefully in the next three performances (Saturday, June 20, and Friday June 26 and Saturday June 27, with an Awards Ceremony on Sunday, June 28) more support will come…there will be 10 plays in all presented, six published pieces and four originals.

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