Play Palooza – Weston Friendly’s Virtual Theatre Festival Starts Tomorrow

A Christmas Carol at Town Hall, Weston Friendly December 2016

On Friday and Saturday nights this week (June 4 and 5), please join Weston Friendly Society and Acton’s Theatre III for Play Palooza, a virtual theatre festival. Local Playwrights, Directors and Actors have been hard at work creating 10-Minute Virtual Plays. One set of six plays will stream on Friday, June 4th, and another set of seven plays on Saturday, June 5th.

“Play Palooza! brings together two local nonprofit, volunteer-based community theaters – Weston Friendly Society and Theater III in Acton – in production partnership for the first time,” said Mary Beth Keene, executive board member of Weston Friendly. “We were very surprised that our open call brought us an overwhelming number of outstanding original play submissions forcing us to make some difficult choices regarding which plays to include in the program. “

Ultimately, the board decided to expand the planned one-night virtual event to two and chose plays that represented a wide variety of genres from life-reflecting drama to nonsensical comedy. 

“The showcasing of local playwrights is a throwback to earlier times in Weston Friendly’s 136 year history when musicals were written by local residents,” said Ms. Keene. “Like all of us, Westons’ community theater has faced many challenges during the pandemic but the silver lining is that the pandemic has brought together creative local talent – playwrights, directors, and actors –  who likely would not have had the opportunity to collaborate together during “normal” times.”

Photo credit: Weston Friendly Society

For those unfamiliar with Weston Friendly, it is the second oldest theatre group in the United States. Originally it was created as a forum for group readings of classic books, poetry, and the Bible in a small theatre on the estate of Horace Sears. The organization eventually evolved into cabaret-style performances in the Weston Town Hall, a tradition that, barring pandemics, still holds true today. Historically, Society membership was limited to only Weston residents connected with the First Parish Unitarian Church. Today the membership is non-sectarian, and is open to all residents of metro Boston and beyond [source: Weston Friendly website].

The theater at the Horace Sears estate. Photo credit: Weston Historical Society

While past years have been filled with fun musicals for enthusiastic audiences from all over the state, Weston Friendly has had to move to virtual performance until they can be together to rehearse and perform together again. The weekend shows are part of staying close to the community and continuing the theatre tradition.

Both nights begin (on zoom) at 8 pm. For the full list of plays, writers and actors, please see the production list.

Donations are gratefully accepted. Well, for the Owl of course, but mostly for the Weston Friendly Society.

One comment

Leave a Reply