TheatreXP’s Snappy ‘Fresh Ink Shorts’ at Skinner Studio Theatre Review by Lisa Panzer
TheatreXP presents an eclectic mix of 11 short original theatrical pieces unfold in continual motion upon the stage like a kaleidoscopic medley of comedic, mystical, mythical and emotional ethos. Brought to being by 7 gifted players (Sam Gugino, Kathryn Wylde, Johnny Fernandez, Jordan Hunter-Fidalgo, Blair Johnson, Laura Kate Marshall and Craig Storrod), directed by R. T. Bowersox and Melody G. Moore, these shorts range from a very touching tale of ‘fido’ fidelity by Neal Ruchman, entitled ‘Oh, It’s You’ inspired by his wife Melissa’s dog and a writing challenge, to an hilarious entanglement with an opinionated automated supermarket checkout machine, ‘Please Begin Scanning’ written by R.T. Bowersox of QVC’s “In the Kitchen with Box” to an extraordinary ‘One Saturday Night’ set in the north woods by Melody G. Moore. Relationships are full of surprises as dramatically depicted through ‘Another View’ and the augural ‘No Coincidence’ by Stephen Olsen; ‘E-harmonics, and ‘Triangle’ by R.T. Bowersox. Oh, and ‘Thingies’ happen in a porn shop (mature comedy, no nudity, a couple of sex toys are displayed). Altogether, a wonderful 90 minutes of non-stop elucidating entertainment!
Melding scene changes upon the black box stage are efficaciously quick, achieved with light (Kathryn Wylde), utilizing few props or set pieces and covered by sound (Kathryn Wylde) and music so that there is non-stop action. Each play is delineated via a title announcement. Performers quietly fade onto chairs behind the set until needed. A variety of characters - quirky, canine, usual or unusual, become differentiated and accomplished by means of affecting changes in dialect, hair, costuming, physicality changes via the theatrical dexterity of cast and crew – also fun to watch!
Directed by R. T. Bowersox and Melody G. Moore
Remaining performances through Sunday, September 18, at 8pm.
The Skinner Studio Theatre at Plays and Players (1714 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, 19103)
Tickets available at https://fringearts.com/event/fresh-ink-shorts/2022-09-08/
Show runs 90 minutes
Appropriate for ages 13+
Masks must be worn inside theater.