|Scene from "The Unfortunate Teller"|
An interfering parent; a scientist creating the “perfect” human who then thinks she’s too good for him; planning a shopping spree with great precision; diner staff who fall asleep in their scrambled eggs; and a cunning way to break up – these are among the stories in 10 new short comedies presented by Northern Virginia’s Infinity Stage at the Epicure Café in Fairfax.
“I wanted to showcase fresh, new writing talent,” says Infinity Stage artistic director Steven Rodgers. “We love shows from the past as much as anyone, but there’s something undeniably fresh and vibrant about seeing new work. There is such a wealth of great material out there, but no one ever sees it.”
“The idea of a short play festival has always appealed to me. I like the variety and, if one play isn’t someone’s cup of tea, there’s another one right around the corner,” Rodgers says.. “I wanted to concentrate on light comedies this time around, and there were plenty to choose from.”
He helped read the 350 short plays that were submitted from places as far away as England and New Zealand. Rodgers’ major regret is having to pass on a number of well-written manuscripts. “I’ve seen enough good material to put up three festivals, and I’d still have a lot of wonderful plays to work with.”
Given the nature of short-length plays, the technical requirements must be minimal. There will be set pieces to suggest a particular environment, but mostly patrons can rely on the written word and high-quality acting and directing, he says.
Play titles give some sense of what audiences can expect. “Face Time” and “I Got You Babe” are simultaneously funny and tragic, says Ruben Vellekoop, who is directing both. “These two plays address loneliness and codependency—whether it be in technology or love—and how we tend to lose sight of ourselves in the process of trying to connect.”
Comedies in the festival include “The Surprise,” “Just That Sort of Day,” “Bard Beyond Belief,” “Bench,” “Black Friday,” “The Unfortunate Teller,” “Bridge and Tunnel,” and “Regifting.”
Rodgers compares the Infinity Stage Comedy Play Festival to coming home after a hard day’s work. “You can grab a beer, have dinner if you’d like, then settle down and watch some fun shows,” he says. “This is humor that will leave you smiling.”
Where and When: Infinity Stage presents the 10 x 10 Infinity Short Comedy Play Festival at Epicure Café, 11104 Lee Highway, Fairfax. Performances are Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21, 8 p.m. both nights. There is a preshow mixer at 7. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online at or at the door. Seating is limited.
This article is based on a piece by David Siegel in The Connection.