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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy Photo Pearl Brick, Miranda Smith, Justine Ryan, Elise Buchman and Maricarmen Rose rehearse "Until The Earth Breaks Open," directed by Kenn Woodard as part of "Multiverse: Seven Micro-Plays, Seven World Premieres."

"The audience around here knows that we tend to be on the less conventional side of community theater," says Ann Hopkins, one of the founders of the Eureka Springs Five and Dime Drama Collective, "a synergistic relationship between writers and performers that originated with Eureka Springs' Writer's Colony at Dairy Hollow." Like the Fall Performance Series in 2017, this month's "Multiverse" offerings -- described as seven micro-plays, seven world premieres "and the spaces in between" -- feature a "profound, thought-provoking twist."

"The plays have a variety of themes -- we try to do something for everyone," she adds. "If you're not crazy about one or two of them, just wait a few minutes for the next one."



WHEN — 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11-13 & 2 p.m Oct. 14

WHERE — Main Stage Creative Community Center, 67 N. Main St. in Eureka Springs

COST — $15-$35



The Plays

“Accountability” — By Neil Anderith of Ethiopia, “Accountability” explores the Three Fates – Birth, Life and Death – who taunt humanity until forced to face the emotional repercussions of being human. Directed by MacKenzie Doss. Cast: Janet Alexander, Liz Hawkins, Maggie Mae, Courtney Sturm.

“Until the Earth Breaks Open” — Lindsay Partain’s lyrical metaphor is a timeless and relevant paean to women of all cultures whose children have been taken from them. Directed by Kenn Woodard. Cast: Pearl Brick, Elise Buchman, Maricarmen Rose, Justine Ryan, Miranda Smith.

“Two Martinis” — Written by Ashley Arai, “Two Martinis” navigates the hilarious partnership of two women who, in the face of a ballistic missile heading for Honolulu, confront the challenge of what to do with their last 10 minutes. Directed by Elise Buchman. Cast: Carmen Caldwell, Liz Kimberlin, Chuck Landis.

“The Combustibles” — Written by local author MacKenzie Doss, directed by Michael Carey, “The Combustibles” dangles in the world of spontaneous human combustion and questions the fragility of our over-saturated media psyche. Cast: Jim Holt and Heather Huber.

“Angels of the Mansions of the Moon” — In a poetically charged play written by Randy Gross and directed by Justine Ryan, a lunar cosmic force signals Raquiel, the angel of harmony and redemption, to visit the homes of two women fighting for normalcy with their war-ravaged husbands. Cast: Gail Medley Booker, Caia Clare, Matt Draper, Liz Hawkins, Maggie Mae, Courtney Sturm, Kenn Woodard, Matthew C. Taylor.

“Pulse & Power” — Playwright Amy Tofte exposes the “in-your-face” rawness of three characters caught in their own world of inner struggle and outer survival. Directed by Matthew Taylor. Cast: Jocelyn Morelli, Steve “Yip” Vorbeck, Michael Carey.

“Bonkers” — Local playwright Michael Carey and director Chris Ritthaler tickle the audience’s collective funny bone with “Bonkers,” about a man who must deal with his roommate’s annoying imaginary friend. Cast: Michael Carey, Justine Ryan, Courtney Sturm.

The "fearless leader" of the "Multiverse" project, Kenn Woodard, described by Hopkins as "a very experienced professional producer, director and actor [whose] vision and creative energy will take Five & Dime to a whole new level," answered these questions for What's Up! in advance of the performances.

Q. What brought you to Arkansas and specifically to Eureka Springs?

A. Born in Magnolia, Arkansas, I came to Eureka Springs to help a friend whose mom was dying. I fell in love with the city, people and talent here.

Q. What are the goals of your theater company?

A. Five & Dime Drama Collective was originally established to bring original, new performance art to the stage in Eureka Springs. Our mission is to provide opportunities for emerging performance authors to present their new works to live audiences and to receive the feedback needed to further develop their artistic vision. We are committed to cultivating the fertile ground of creativity in Eureka Springs by involving local talent, including authors, actors, directors and production crew. We have expanded our horizons by seeking scripts from around the world. Further, we are building a sustainable organization by drawing in regional theater lovers with the skill sets needed to successfully manage the details behind the scenes.

Q. How did the idea for this event come about?

A. I was involved with last year's Fall Performance Series as an actor and actor mentor for the 2017 production. The inspiration for "Multiverse" came after reading the 360 plays and choosing the top seven. I was inspired by the metaphysical elements of each piece chosen, and challenged by the opportunity to nurture a community, artistically, and encouraged by our participation in a global dialogue.

-- Becca Martin-Brown

NAN What's Up on 10/07/2018

Print Headline: Three Minutes, Three Questions Kenn Woodard Five and Dime Drama Collective

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