Saturday, January 31, 2015

review PANDORA FESTIVAL - Arizona Women's Theatre Company

"Three short plays, staged readings of works in progress by women playwrights, are the centerpiece of Arizona Women's Theatre Company's Eighth Annual Pandora Festival ~ a rich and much-needed opportunity to channel their creative voices.  Vegetal Salvaje (transl. Wild Vegetables), written by Bernadette LaMazza and directed by Deborah Lee Hall, is an over-the-top spoof on a madcap telenovela, rooted in a sexy, vegetarian, romantic cooking show and featuring a wildly engaging cast of bravado characters, each a celebrity in his/her own mind.   Hira Ismail's Minute Decisions, directed by Bryanna Patrick, is a delicately balanced dialogue between the prospective partners in an arranged marriage. Maira (Corina Guerrero) and Imran (Matthew Contreras) have twenty minutes in which to probe the questions that are at the heart of enduring relationships ~ the questions that, in the normal course of typical courtships are rarely asked and may not, until much later in the game, ever be asked.
Wrapping up the trio of plays is The Interview, written by Mary Caroline Rogers and directed by Carolyn McBurney. The dramedy is a painfully honest profile of an applicant for an administrative position being callously and dismissively assaulted with a barrage of questions clearly designed to be discriminatory and exclusionary. To too many this is too familiar a protocol. This important set of offerings continues its Festival run at the Phoenix Center for the Arts (Third Street Theatre) through February 1st." - Herbert Paine, Broadway World (click here to read the complete review.)

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