After a hard day of sitting at a desk or slaving through a lecture, some people just want to relax. For those at Auburn Area Community Theater, their day has just begun as they step on to the stage for rehearsal in the evening.
"An Evening of Summer Shorts," a casual production, ran Aug. 18th-21st at the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center.
Audience members packed food for the show, and drinks were served throughout the production. The venue was set up to reinforce the causality of the performance, with round tables and group seating.
There were two acts, eight scenes and four directors.
Chris Alonzo, director, said the production was unique because of the multiple directors. The directors collaborated and decided on a theme, then split up to work on their individual shorts.
"We developed [the shorts] on our own and to me that's the most interesting part," Alonzo said. "The pieces all reflect our own tastes and personalities, so you get a really wide range of types of theater."
Alonzo is a single working father who greatly enjoys his time in the theater, despite the exhaustion that sinks in after a long day of work and directing.
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According to Alonzo, both of his shorts are modern and contemporary, which reflects his personality, interests and directing style. Alonzo chose a piece written by a hispanic female playwright.
Alonzo said that white male writers are featured far too often and choosing the shorts he did was intentional and meaningful to him.
Overall, there were more than 20 actors on stage.
Among those 20 actors, was Addison Peacock, an 11th grade student, Erin Reynolds Peacock, Addison's mother and Berkley Peacock, Addison's younger sister.
For the Peacocks, acting has recently become a family engagement. According to Erin, "Picnic", the short segment she and her daughters are featured in does not particularly relate to their life, but was very enjoyable to perform.
For Erin, this was her first acting experience.
Addison has been acting since 2008 and has found her true passion in theatrical arts. According to Addison, the group has been rehearsing since the end of May 2016.
"Being a family and acting together is definitely different," Addison said. "You already have a relationship with them and even though the story doesn't really fit us, it is really interesting.
Addison said theater is a story that "gets you out of your head".
"Theater is magical," Addison said. "Just by being a member of the audience you become a critical part in a great show."
Rich Perkins, director and radio DJ, was a newcomer to directing for the Auburn Area Community Theater.
Perkins has been acting with the community theater for 10 years after taking a lengthy sabbatical from the stage. When the opportunity came up, Perkins said he couldn't resist it.
"Theater is both informative and escapism," Perkins said. "It should not only take you to another world, but it also should captivate something inside you and leave you with a feeling you didn't have before.
Perkins said he hopes that the audience will be able to take their minds off of football games, elections and work.
"I hope each person takes home what I call 'Little Moments of Truth,"' Perkins said. "I think all of these directors have honed in on "Little Moments of Truth" in each of the scenes. The farce and the slapstick is great, but those moments that actually resonate with the audience are what we are all about."
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