A Trio In the RAW

Kate Savage and Alma DeLeon star In a Pickle as part of the RAW Summer Festival.

Ross Alternative Works opened their new summer festival with three new short plays in full production, Thursday, August 18, 2011.  RAW is under the umbrella of Ross Valley Players which has a long history of supporting original theatrical work.  In 2004, RAW was formed and this is their sixth season.
A Trio In the RAW

Janice, Shelley and Jo opened this year's festival.  This play was written and directed by well known Bay Area Pacific Sun Drama Critic Lee Brady and Director Andrea Gordon. This was a particularly difficult play to direct because of the combination of past and present occurrences.  Two sisters, Janice, 24 (Amber Crane) and Shelley, 18 (Saige Hilton) meet for the first time. They both share memories of their mother, Jo, brilliantly played by Ellen Brooks. We have three generations of women when Granny Berger (delightfully played by Anne Ripley) enters the scene.  Other well known actors James Colgan plays Keenan, the father of the girls and Kate Savage plays Abby, a mysterious woman. This is a memory play which succeeds on many levels.

After the first intermission, Come Again, Another Day was performed by Cary Pepper and directed by well known Director Hal Gelb.  This dark comedy takes place in the New York City apartment of Ivan Foley (Burl Lampert) who returns home from a frustrating day of job hunting to find Martin (Ron Dritz), a hired killer waiting in his living room. The playwright's style is reminiscent of Harold Pinter. Both actors give excellent performances.  

After a second intermission, the final play of the evening, In a Pickle by Karen Harline was presented.  This play was directed by another well known director, Alex Kuskulis.  In a Pickle features Joy (in a standout performance by Kate Savage) who is tired of her life and ready to end it all but lacking the guts to follow through.  A masked thug, Cliff (played by Alma DeLeon with expert comic timing) threatens to do it for her when his identity is revealed as coming from a well known gangster family. Both concoct a plan to make them famous and give them recognition.

This RAW Festival premiered Thursday, August 18. Friday and Saturday shows, August 19-20 are at 8 p.m. with a special Sunday matinee, August 21 at 2 p.m. A special talk back session with the individual playwrights follows the Sunday matinee. Go to www.rossvalleyplayers.com/raw to find out more.  These plays are being presented at the Ross Valley Players Barn Theatre, Marin Art and Garden Center, 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. in Ross, CA.  

Coming up next at Ross Valley Players will be Don't Dress for Dinner by Marc Camoletti and directed by Richard Ryan, September 16-October 16, 2011.

Flora Lynn Isaacson