Culture Park’s short game marathon is back on stage in New Bedford

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NEW BEDFORD — After a two-year hiatus, the Culture Park Short Plays Marathon is back. The 18th Short Plays Marathon will take place on Saturday, November 12 at the Cook Memorial Theater at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

Viewers can take part in new short plays from the comfort of the Cook Memorial Theatre. The event is structured so that the audience can come and go between plays and presentations.

Programming will include staged readings of new plays by local and regional writers, and a “solo stage” featuring original storytelling and monologues, as well as other surprises throughout the day. The co-directors of the marathon are Rebecca Schade and Patricia Thomas.

Featured plays and playwrights include “Compounding Interest” by Patricia Gomes; “How We Got Religion” by Gerald FitzGerald; “Fern”, by Harvey Ussach; “Memory of a Severed Head” by Ray Veary; “Poetic Clutter” by James E. Marlow; “No Green Bananas” by Michele Mastroianni-Darche; “How to Live After Covid” by Russ Ramos; “Great New Bedford and DA DNA,” by Barbara Schweitzer; “The Chirping Aunt” by James English; “In the bleachers” by Martha Douglas-Odsmundson; “Cross” by Kay Bullard; and “Cheer Up” by Monica Staaf of Providence; and “Niggling Questions” by Jeffrey B. Fuerst of Hastings on Hudson, NY; and “Al’s Pal’s” by Allison Fradken of Chicago.

Kicking off at 4 p.m., this year’s marathon will feature a solo stage, with new stories, fictional and otherwise. The solo stage will include works by Sylvia Soares – whose story is told from the perspective of an elderly Cape Verdean woman; Fred Cabral, who will read a chapter of “Fesuados”, a work of fiction set in the Azores and New Bedford; Baha Sadra, who will provide a perspective on current events in Iran; Mirko Lopes will deliver poetry; and others. At 4:30 p.m., two artists from New Bedford, Gerardo Beltran and Rhonda Fazio, will present “Love Letters to New Bedford”. Gerardo Beltran is a video and film artist from Chile, and Rhonda Fazio, a textile artist and storyteller at Dyermaker Studio in New Bedford.

Cast includes Alyn Carlson, Nancy Leary, Lorraine Lucciola, Jim Sullivan, Fred Cabral, Ray Veary, Harvey Ussach, Elie Martins, Grace Mastroianni, Maxwell Mastroianni, Michele Mastroianni-Darche, Micole Conlon-McCabe, Tim McCabe, Liam McCabe, Hillary Parker, Chuck Smiler and Liz Rapoza, Patricia Thomas and Kris O’brien, among others.

The 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. schedule for short plays and performances will be published on www.culturepark.org.Admission is $20 for the entire event, or $10 for 1/2 day. Tickets can be purchased at the door/day or reserved at culturepark.ed@earthlink.net.

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