NIF 2012 – cold readings #3 (November 23)

22 people attended night #2 of the cold readings – a mix of actors, playwrights, directors, stage managers.  Tonight we heard two short plays and two long plays.  The long plays will be staged readings in the Festival.

Ganga’s Ganja (written by Radha Menon, to be directed by Pamela Redfern) ran approx. 65 minutes.  38-year old Ganga [pronounced like “gang” with an extra “a” on the end] grows marijuana [aka “ganja” in Jamaican slang] for her MS-stricken sister Mina – it’s the only thing that helps.   When the plants disappear, Ganga strongly suspects their next-door neighbour Vince, a rather creepy ex-con who likes to spout facts about poisonous snakes.

The Man With A Butterfly Hat (written by Donna Langevin, to be directed by Annie MacMillan) ran approx. 10 minutes.  A young female guard at a butterfly park in Florida stops an elderly man from leaving with a butterfly on his hat.  It reminds him of his wife, a piano teacher who died of Alzheimer’s.  The playwright was inspired by a young man who taught piano to her son.

It All Leads To The Lemon Scene (written by Pamela Winfrey, to be directed by Lynn Zeelenberg) ran approx. 30 minutes.   Another 2-hander, this one rather surreal – shades of Six Characters In Search Of An Author, as someone remarked later.  A seemingly crazy older woman, a former actress, pulls a knife on a younger, reality show-obsessed woman in a laundromat  at 3am.  Funnier than the description makes it sound!

Eating Pomegranates Naked (written by Andrea Scott, to be directed by Kimberly Radmacher) ran approx. 1 hr  15 mins.  Set in Toronto, two couples and a single friend meet for dinners, and reproductive issues threaten their relationships.  I found it amusing that the characters were initially described as birds – a peacock, a black swan, a grackle, etc.

This is a grackle. Did YOU know what it looked like?

Also, best word of the night:  “skullet” – used to describe the hairstyle of a balding man with a ponytail!  The writer had never heard this draft read aloud before, so this was a very useful exercise.

Readers tonight included Rae Kolbin, Lavetta Griffin, Brett Haynes, John Rammell, Matthew Kovacs, Frank Robinow, Annie MacMillan, Tina McCulloch, Amy Myers, Supinder Welch.

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Filed under 2011/12 season, New Ideas Festival 2012

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