Drive-Through Theater

Troupe plates up lightning-fast scripts for ADD-challenged palates.

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On the average, each of the 11 scripts in Hot From the Oven: À la Carte runs no longer than 10 minutes. And that's just what director Ann Hedger wanted as she pared down a field of more than 200 entries to choose shows to debut in the 12th annual one-act festival. Writers from as far as Australia pimped their pieces for the fest. Among the lucky ones, North Carolina's Don Cook shored up a spot with Worlds Apart, about two neighbors chatting each other up on their rooftops. Claudia Haas of Minnesota is included with The Playwright's Nightmare, in which a drama is rewritten in the middle of rehearsal, right before the author's eyes. Virginia author Brett Hursey has submitted Kung-foolery, about a mother-in-law's dreaded visit to her married daughter's house. In An Embrace of the Afterlife by J.J. Steinfeld of Canada's Prince Edward Island, a stranger changes a man's life as they wait for a traffic light to turn green. Ten Thousand Nights by David Brendan of North Carolina deals with a couple of astrophysicists who make an amazing discovery in space. Fellow North Carolinian Jennifer Hubbard has written In Bed With Mr. Darcy, about sharing visions through the centuries. And Australian writer Alex Broun's Blog pits freedom of speech against public-forum opinions.Gerry Sheridan of New York is in the house with Vacation, about taking an adventurous trip with a spouse. Georgia's Richard Davis Jr. tackles fast-food frustrations in The Venting Machine. Sean David Bennett of Massachusetts pits an argumentative mother against her son while they're in a diner, in Thirst. And Cleveland is represented with Steve Maistros' The Process, about a playwright who asks his characters to help him write dialogue. "It was a difficult process to choose only 11 plays," she says. "There are some very creative playwrights out there." The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays, through Saturday, March 8, at the Fine Arts Association, 38660 Mentor Avenue in Willoughby. Tickets are $18 and $20. Call 440-951-7500 or visit
Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Feb. 22. Continues through March 8, 2008

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