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One Act Plays open this Weekend

Jason Marr, who has been with the Players since 2010, will be directing his original one-act play as part of the new show opening at the Center for the Arts this weekend. Photo by Carol Broeder

It started out as a contest. A challenge to would-be script writers. 

Launched in June, the contest hosted by the Copper Cities Community Players invited would-be script writers to submit original one-act plays which would then be performed by the Players in a future show.  

Nearly a dozen scripts came in and from those just four were selected to perform in the upcoming show at the Center for the Arts.  The plays represent scripts submitted by both local writers and one as far away as New York. 

JoNellBrantley, who serves as the president of the Copper Community Players, hopes this will become an annual contest, and one that opens up the theater to new talent.

“We want to involve as many people as we can with the Center,” says Brantley.

She explains that productions put on by the Players – typically, three a year – spring, fall and Christmas, often attract more people who want to be in a play or production than there are roles to go around. 

The new format allows them to expand the opportunities to get involved with the Players. 

“We want to encourage writers to submit their plays because that’s part of the arts, too,” she said. “We also want to train and cultivate new directors and backstage help.”

As for this weekend’s performance, the writers from Globe, Superior and Mesa are Cecil Anthony Valdez-Hernandez V, Laura Stennerson and Jason Marr. The fourth writer is Donald Luftus from New York City.

Marr, Stennerson and Valdez-Hernandez V will each direct their own plays, while Brantley and husband Willie will direct the one penned by Luftus.

“We wanted the writers to be involved with the direction as part of the creative process,” she said.

Jason Marr is one of the writers chosen for this year’s show.  Marr, who has been a part of the Players since 2010, has been in dozens of productions over the last nine years and has served as stage hand, actor, and director.  The dedication and commitment among his fellow Players is one aspect that Marr says he appreciates. “We all volunteer. We all are committed to doing whatever it takes to make sure the show goes on.” 

This September will be the first time he has tried his had at writing and directing his own script,.

The play, called The Blunder is about three aspiring criminals who attempt to rob an East Coast bank in the 1930s. Without giving too much away, Marr promises an unexpected turn at the end.

He is also the first one to encourage others to try their hand at theater. 

“Anyone interested in writing or who has anything written should think about submitting it in next years contest,” Marr says, adding,  “We are always looking for new blood and fresh ideas,” 

Brantley says these one-act plays have allowed the Players to bring in a wider range of plays. While Players are known for their comedies, she says, the new format, has opened the door to drama, and she points to the one-act play by New York writer, Luftus, who wrote a poignant play dealing with a problem in today’s society. 

The new show by the Players will involve four one-act plays, each less than 30 minutes long making each show approximately 2 hours in length. 

Audiences will be invited to vote for their favorite play and the winning playwright will be recognized with bragging rights and perhaps a traveling plaque. 

Tickets are $10 and may be purchased through the Center by calling 928-425-0884.




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