WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP —On a recent Tuesday evening, it looked as if Angel Berlane Mulcahy, of Wilkes-Barre, and Mollie Dooley, of Kingston, might come to blows over a little pink purse, shaped like a pig.
In a garage.
Actually, as Gaslight Theatre began to rehearse the fifth offering in its annual Playroom series, the women were acting — of course — and the pig purse was standing in for a pivotal prop.
“We’re going to use a music box or snow globe with a twirling ballerina,” said David Parmelee, of Shavertown, who is directing “It’s Enough,” one of eight one-act plays, crafted by local playwrights and all set in a garage.
Previous offerings in Gaslight Theatre’s Playroom series have taken audiences into the kitchen, bathroom, attic and bedroom. This year’s presentation, set for July 14 to 24 in Gaslight’s newly rented digs on Heinz Drive in Wilkes-Barre Township, explores the space where people tend to keep much more than cars.
“I have my baton from high school,” actress Cindy Thomas of Jackson Township admitted, thinking of her own garage at home.
“I have three pink bikes hanging in my tool shed, which is like a garage,” said Parmelee.
The character Thomas portrays has a garage filled with her daughter’s paraphernalia, including a keepsake that symbolizes how much the younger woman wanted to become a dancer.
But who is the daughter? When audiences see Mulcahy as “Barbara,” Dooley as “Barb” and 11-year-old Flynn Little as “Barbie,” perhaps they will decide for themselves.
In addition to “It’s Enough” by Rachel Luann Strayer, the evening of one-acts will showcase “The Czar of the Bizarre Sideshow” written by Jennifer Hill and directed by Matthew S. Hinton; “Domino” written by B. Garret Rogan and directed by David M. Reynolds; “Love, Of Course” written by Emily Halbing and directed by Jason Alfano; “Oil Pandango” written and directed by Hinton; “Potato Blossoms” written by Okla Elliott and directed by Jason Alfano; “Tabula in Aeternum” written by Lukas R. Tomassacci and directed by Brandi George and “Velvet Underground,” written by Lori M. Myers and directed by David Parmelee.
“Velvet Underground” shows a couple dealing with the memories of their daughter’s suicide, which took place in a garage.
“It really hits close to home,” said Billy Joe Herbert, who plays the father. “My best friend from kindergarten had cystic fibrosis back in the day when the life expectancy was only 25, and he died the same way.”
“I think we all know somebody,” Thomas said softly.
Herbert’s character is not handling his daughter’s death well, the actor noted.
Serious as some of the subjects are, the one-acts also will include more light-hearted situations, including some aided and abetted by a flexible group of “Russians” whimsically named Vlad, Ermine, Narcolepsy and Wildebeest.
“They can bend themselves into an acrobatic pretzel shape,” said Molly Dooley, who appears with them in “The Czar of the Bizarre Sideshow.”
Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT
IF YOU GO
What: ‘Playroom: Garage,’ an evening of one-acts
Who: Gaslight Theatre
When: July 14 to 24 with performances 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays
Where: 200 East End Centre, Heinz Road, Wilkes-Barre Township.
Tickets: $15, $12 students and seniors