Group's Activities Exposed
Continued From Front Page - Long Island City / July 13, 2009. Alcohol, guns, sex and drugs are some of the themes covered in the White Box Festival series of one act plays currently running at the Secret Theatre in Long Island City. I just returned from watching a dress rehearsal of Program One of the festival at the Secret Theatre in Long Island City. The festival, which starts on Wednesday, July 15th, is comprised of two sets of six one act original plays [see Queens Events section for details - link to be provided below].
White Box Festival - In Long Island City
On this night I saw Program One which is only half of what’s in store for Queens theater goers, should they choose to treat themselves to some really great modern theatre. Maybe it’s just me, but I haven’t seen this kind of theatrical work since Soho was still a warehouse district where actors [henceforth I use this term generically inclusive of actresses] convened to put on dramatic or comedic productions in large spaces that weren’t being used. Admittedly, part of this analogy doesn’t hold up ...
Secret Theatre In Queens
The part of the analogy that doesn’t hold up is the large space. The Secret Theatre probably seats an audience of about fifty. And it really is a well kept secret, as its entrance is via a loading dock for Brasil Coffee along 23rd Street just south of 44th Road [there’s a map link below which includes photos to help you find it]. Where the analogy does hold up is in the originality of the one act plays and the superb quality of the acting.
White Box Festival At Secret Theatre
What follows is a brief description of the six one act plays I saw which are all in program one. Program two is yet to be experienced.
CatFish In The Bedroom - Secret Theatre Comedy
Play One is entitled ‘Catfish In The Bedroom’. In this play we join a teacher and his wife before an impending flood. This is about marital bliss ... not. It’s a fun take on spousal banter in anticipation of a flood.
Office Girl - At Secret Theatre
Play Two is entitled ‘Office Girl’. This play is a insightful look into the alienation in today’s modern factories. I found this to be a rather poignant drama about the boss / subordinate relationship of two single women. It showed the antagonism, connection and loneliness of single women who represent members of ‘the working class’ in today’s corporate factory - the office. Both actresses did a great job but kudos in particular to the lead in the play, the office girl.
The Get Together - In Long Island City
Play Three is entitled ‘The Get Together’. I would pan this one, if I thought I understood it. It’s about a couple that gets together for some kinky sex with two other single partners. Occasionally when I don’t understand things, it later comes to me and they can be really good, instead of not so good. I’ll let you be the judge.
The Pheasant - Theater In Long Island City
Play Four is entitled ‘The Pheasant’. It’s about a young man on his way to the funeral of an important government official. The young man had once had an affair with the official’s wife, and he was anticipating seeing her again. The play explores youthful indiscretions, idealism and romance in an entertaining manner.
Night Motherfucker - Secret Theatre Queens NY
Play Five is entitled ‘night motherfucker’. Like Play Three, I’m not so sure I ‘got’ this one either, but in this case it didn’t matter. The acting scenes and general craziness seemed entertaining enough to carry the piece as both actresses did a fine job. I particularly liked a cameo by the crazy blonde who wanted to be shot. The playwright did a good job of ‘playing with my mind’, twisting reality so that I didn’t know what was what [in the play], but accept my apologies in saying that I have one of those minds that kind of likes confusing plots.
Mr. Winnecker - At Secret Theatre
Play Six is entitled ‘Mr. Winnecker’. I think this was my favorite because it was a philosophical journey into life, using the light, entertaining venue of one’s childhood imaginary friend. While I personally never had an imaginary friend, one of my sisters did, so I have some familiarity with the concept. The play explores the elations and dejections, and the psychological changes and challenges involved in growing up.
Fun Things To Do - Secret Theatre In Queens
All in all it was a great evening of theater. Well written dialogues acted out by accomplished and convincing actors and even the background sound effects which for rehearsal were done off of an ipod, all came off in a convincing and engaging manner. I can’t think of a better way to spend an evening or two over the next three weeks. And in these economically sensitive times you have to love the ticket price - $15 [$5 discount if you mention QueensBuzz.com].
We have been searching for this sort of theater since we first began Queens Buzz over a year ago. And I’m happy to say that we finally found the best kept secret in the theater world. The White Box Festival was a collaboration of the Ampersand Review and the Secret Theatre. Richard Mazda [above left] is the Founder of Secret Theatre and Richard Ferraioli is the Managing Director for Queens Players and one of the directors of the show [below left].
This festival runs for three fast short weeks, so you’d better call and reserve tickets fast because it’s a small 40 - 50 seat theater. As they say in the theatre – “Break A Leg”.
Click here to go to the Queens Events section of the site to view the days the plays will run. Click here to view photos showing the entrance and a map showing the location of the Secret Theatre in Long Island City. Click here for contact information, including telephone number and website url for the Secret Theatre / Queens Players in Queens NY [TBD].