By Sarah Henning
Anchorage Daily News
“To be able to go play with the big boys in New York City is a big deal to all of us,” said Erin Dagon Mitchell, associate director of TBA Theatre Company, which will stage the plays in New York next weekend.
Dagon Mitchell said if the playwrights win a prize in New York, their work will be published. The actors will gain a New York credit for their resumes. And for TBA, this will mark the company’s first time performing outside Alaska.
Locals can get a sneak peak of the New York program at a pay-as-you-can benefit performance Tuesday at Cyrano's Off Center Playhouse.
The Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival started in 1975 and is Manhattan’s oldest short play festival. Samuel French has published more than 160 plays submitted to its short play festival so far.
TBA Theatre submitted 11 locally written scripts to the festival and two were selected: Jones’s “Grand Central & 42nd” and Mitchell’s “The Resurrection of Humpty Dumpty.”
Jones, who works at her family’s butcher shop and teaches creative writing classes at UAA, said “Grand Central” is about regrets. Her main character dies in an accident, and complains to the Shadow of Death that his watch was set three minutes ahead, so he tries to get those three minutes back.
Mitchell, TBA’s artistic director, has acted on nearly every stage in town. His play, about a lost cell phone, is a metaphor for a spiritual search.
Both works debuted at Alaska Overnighters, where plays are created from scratch and performed within 24 hours.
Jones said the selection of her play is confirmation she’s on the right track. A published poet, she’s relatively green at writing for theater. “You just write these things and think it’s pretty impossible you’ll ever get noticed,” she said. “I don’t feel I have the right to call myself a playwright yet. But that might be changing.”
If you go
“Grand Central & 42nd” and “The Resurrection of Humpty Dumpty” will be performed by TBA Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Cyrano's Off Center Playhouse, 413 D St. The evening is a pay-what-you-can fundraiser for the company’s upcoming trip to the Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Short Play Festival in New York City. Call 677-7529 or go here.