Kentwood Players Go to Zoom; A Whole New Style of Theater

Kentwood Players, the community theater group based at the Westchester Playhouse, was ready to continue celebrating its 70th year of producing quality entertainment when the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of all live theater around the world. While taking this “long intermission” without public gatherings indoors as the perfect time to work on much-needed renovations to the sixty-year old Playhouse, the Kentwood Players Board of Directors has been organizing a new Virtual Theater Series by seeking new plays to be presented on Zoom.

Organized by Harold Dershimer, Chair of the Plays Committee, the Kentwood Players Virtual Theater Series has been accepting submissions of new, unpublished one-act plays to be presented in the Zoom online format. After receiving hundreds of submissions, the Board of Directors agreed upon several to be presented through the end of 2020.

To launch the new Virtual Theater Series, a sneak preview is scheduled on Wednesday, September 16 following the group’s monthly membership meeting, now being held on Zoom. Being presented that evening will be Zoom Date, written and directed by Stanley Brown, featuring Gail Bernardi and Dave Parke as Virginia and Stuart, two single seniors attempting to navigate the mysterious new world of Zoom online dating while living in isolation. The full play will be recorded to be presented on Zoom by the end of September.

After the October 21 Zoom membership meeting, the Kentwood Players October Music Hall: Social Distancing Edition will be presented featuring Kentwood members and/or cast members from the 2019-2020 season of five productions, directed by Roy Okida. Each pre-recorded number will go along with our “Social Distancing” theme, featuring songs which describe what each performer’s life has been like since the lockdown, while making light of this challenging situation to keep the evening filled with fun and laughter. Some examples of songs you might hear are “Don’t Stand so Close to me,” “Wouldn’t it be Loverly,” “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” “Alone Again, Naturally,” “In My Own Little Corner,” “On My Own,” “All By Myself.” And of course, song parodies performed to familiar tunes just might be included.

Two new Zoom plays will round out the Kentwood Players Virtual Theater Series in 2020. In November, the play Recipe written by Robert Weibezahl and directed by Sam Gianfala, will be presented. Together, Apart written by Cassidy Kepp, is the December selection.

New play submissions are still being accepted to [email protected]. For more information and guidelines, please visit www.kentwoodplayers.org/VTS.aspx. You can also find Kentwood Players information on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and You Tube.

www.culvercitysymphony.org

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