Watermelon One-Act Fest to be held in early June


St. Mary’s City, MD - The Watermelon One-Act Festival (WOAF), featuring 15 original one-act plays written and performed by local and out-of-state artists and students, presents its Fifth Annual Festival hosted by St. Mary’s College of Maryland June 3 and 4. Several production teams will be coming from out-of-state from as far away as New York. Some scripts were written by playwrights residing outside of Maryland; one is from Tel Aviv, Israel. This year marks the first children’s play entry, sponsored by the Charles County Arts Alliance in cooperation with Life Journeys Writers Guild and Old Waldorf School Foundation, which will be first in the Saturday schedule at 10 a.m. Several scripts were written by current students, or recent graduates.

Three or four plays will be performed in “blocks” and will be professionally adjudicated during the four sessions on Saturday June 3.  The judges include Brent Englar, the Regional Representative from The Dramatist Guild of America, and SMCM faculty member Mark Rhoda, Ph.D. The top scoring plays (four to six of the one-acts to include the “Wild Card”) will then compete in the finals to be held on Sunday June 4 beginning at 2 pm. The winning script, production/director, ensemble, audience choice, and actors will receive awards during the ceremony following the finals. Audience members have the opportunity to vote for their favorite play during the Saturday sessions and the Sunday finals, to determine the “Wild Card” Finalist – a play that receives high audience votes but does not get selected by the judges on Saturday to advance to the Sunday finals -  and the Audience Choice Award.

Tickets are priced at $12 per Saturday session ($10 for students and seniors), and $20 for the Sunday Finals and the Awards Ceremony ($15 for students and seniors) – the Finals tickets include food and beverages. A Festival pass for both days is available for $55 ($50 for students and seniors). All tickets are sold at the door (only cash and checks will be accepted; no credit cards). Only ticket-holders may vote for their favorite play. No reservations are necessary.

All performances will be held at the Bruce Davis Theatre in SMCM’s Montgomery Hall. (NOTE: Some plays are not suitable for young children). Special thanks go out to St. Mary’s College of Maryland for hosting this event.

This year’s Festival is made possible in part by a grant from the St. Mary’s County Arts Council, awarded by the Maryland State Arts Council. For additional information, you may also visit or you may email Contact person is Dr. Lisa Gregory. Festival Coordinator is Lois Stephenson.

The Saturday schedule of performance blocks is as follows:
10 a.m., The Letter E Leaves the Alphabet, by Martha Lane (child-friendly), directed by Robert K. Rausch. CAST: Martha Lane, Diane Rausch, Robert Wenzinger, Rick Wathen, Trevor Griffioen, Thirzah Griffioen, Emma Ansel, Caitlyn Lynch, Gershawn Mason. Production Assistants: Kavante Reeves, Wayne Vest. Stage Manager: Cornelis Griffioen. Projectionist: Ron Brown. Program/Power Point: Judy Crawford.
Lucky Star, by Gia Myers (child-friendly), directed and stage-managed by J.R. Cook. CAST: Jeanne Louise, Vicki Powalisz, Josh Fuller, Hilton Harrod Jr., Alyshia Bradley, Christopher Lange.
A Carbuncle in the Abyss, by R. DaSilva, directed and stage-managed by Robert K. Rausch. CAST: Curt Dodges, George Johnson, Justin Bose. Production Assistants: Kavante Reeves, Wayne Vest.
Almost Perfect, by Abbey Khan, directed and stage-managed by Eddie Page. CAST:  Rachael Hubbard, Charlene Sloan, Peter Orvetti, Richard Isaacs.
1:30 p.m. - Norma’s Scent, by Yair Packer, directed by Jonathan Berry. CAST: Stephen Fogle, Pamela Berry. Stage Manager: Meg Pugh.
Valentine’s Day, by R.J. Boia, directed by Chip Willett with Assistant Director Becky McCrory. CAST: Jennifer Alexander, J. Purnell Hargove, Caitlin Keller, Mary Beth Bunting. Stage Manager: Emma Hawthorn. Sound/Lights: Raika Boia. Crew: Chris Boia.
Some Soil for the Soul, written and directed by Dominique C. Butler. CAST: Lorenzo Henriquez, Raechelle Floyd. Stage Manager: Kayla McDaniel. Lights: Lady Tatum.
An Abortive Catastrophe, by J.O. Chrystal, directed by Stacey Park. CAST: Michael Sokoloff, Sabrina Martin, Sean Scriber, Kehle Hatch. Stage Manager/Light Operator: Kyle Medlock. Set Construction: Chris Maulden.
4 p.m. - Making Tracks, by Kim Moore Bessler, directed by  Mike Gahan. CAST: Lynne O’Meara, Sheila Hyman, Doug Graupman. Stage Manager: Erica Konklowski, Costumes: Heather LaBelle. Lights: Leslie Wanko. Properties: Kim Bessler. Sound: Jason Konklowski. Set Design: John Merritt.
The Demon and Sheila, by Ronan Colfer, directed and stage-managed by Alasdair Cotter. CAST: Ronan Colfer, Alexandra Bigourdan.
Two Women on a Precipice, by Karin Fazio Littlefield, directed by Roark Littlefield. CAST: Katarina Vizina, Candace Reid, Bryan Enk, Roark Littlefield.
wom’en: revised, written, directed, and stage-managed by Trish Cole. A Raging Hags Production. CAST:  Valarie Spainhower, Gloria Ranta, Mallory Green, Rachel Mehaffey, Greg Rumpf.
8 p.m. - Golden Land, by John A. Adams, directed by Alexander Harrington. CAST: Casey Killoran, Jacob Sharf. Stage Manager: Alexis L. Nalbandian.
Paradise, by Trish Cole, directed and stage-managed by Alse Young. A Raging Hags Production. CAST: Allison McGolrick, Valarie Spainhower, Lewis Beckley, Mallory Green, Gloria Ranta.
Fable Group, by Andrew Martineau, directed and stage-managed by Emma Ansell. CAST: Sean Smith, Sabrina Martin, Kacie Danek, Gershawn Mason, Dakota Baldwin, Kehle Hatch.

Adjudicator Brent Englar is a  playwright from Baltimore where he works as an editor for an educational contest developer.

Mark Rhoda, Ph.D. began his studies at Middlebury College VT, followed by studies at the American Conservatory Theater Summer Training Congress, CA. He is now a visiting associate professor of theater, film, and media studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland where he teaches courses in theater and in film, and directs stage productions.

Festival Coordinator Lois Stephenson is a writer and director on the local scene. 
Producer/Adjudication Chair Lisa Gregory, M.S., Ph.D., is an environmental consultant with Assisted Management Solutions, Inc. and has been involved with theatre on both sides of the curtain for over 25 years.

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