The Carbon-Schuylkill Community Theatre is gearing up for its Second Annual Evening of Short Plays.

The production will be presented at The Studio in Lansford, 255-257 E. Ridge St., at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 15; and again at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 16. The event will feature six short plays, averaging 10-15 minutes each. Five of the six are comedies.

There is no charge for admission, but Janet Sager, founder of the community theatre group, says donations will be "gratefully accepted."

Last year's Evening of Short Plays was very successful, and this year it's looking to be even better.

Three of the plays have been written by local playwrights.

Jack Phillips penned two, "Just Close Your Door" and "The Curmudgeon Business;" while TIMES NEWS correspondent Al Zagofsky wrote "If Oklahoma Claims Jim Thorpe." Both men reside in Penn Forest Township.

Other plays include "The Playwright's Nightmare," written by Claudia Haas, and directed by Jonathan M. Rodgers; "Stop Rain," written by Patrick Gabridge and directed by Drusilla Laughman; and "Shakespeare Gets An MFA," written by Alexis Kozak and directed by Keith Shelly II.

"Just Close Your Door" is directed by Janet Sager, while Joel Sager directs "The Curmudgeon Business." Gene Connelly is directing "If Oklahoma Claims Jim Thorpe."

Cast members include Ryan Miorelli, Nicholas J. Watt, Nicolai Kabana, Barbara Maloney, Sarah Bednar, Jim Cimms, Gene Connelly, Mark J. Davalos, Renee J. Westgate Davalos, Shirley Rodgers, Drusilla Laughman and Jonathan M. Rodgers, who is a longtime local performer and director.

Rodgers encourages the public to attend the Second Annual Evening of Short Plays and support community theatre.

"I think that this is a great opportunity to see an eclectic mix of some traditional favorites, mixed in with a modern-day twist," says Rodgers.

"It's an opportunity that's cultural and free for high school students and an older crowd, that we don't really don't have an outlet for in this region."

The Second Annual Evening of Short Plays is the first offering of the Carbon-Schuylkill Community Theatre's second full season. According to Sager, it's the perfect opportunity for someone to try out community theatre, and see if they like it.

There is no singing or dancing in these plays, and rehearsal time was limited, as the plays are all very short.

Sager's pleased that the cast includes an even mix of actors and actresses, residing in both Carbon and Schuylkill counties.

"There are several new faces," she adds.

While giving performers an outlet to sample community theatre, the production also gives the public the opportunity to get out and see a live show, and learn more about the theatre group.

"It's a variety of material," says Sager. "If you don't like one of the plays, just wait 10 minutes," she jokes, "and there will be another one soon!"

Sager says this year's collection of short plays is geared toward a more mature audience, and some content may not be suitable for children.

The Carbon-Schuylkill Community Theatre has an ambitious schedule planned for 2010.

A highlight later this summer will be a main stage musical production of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Sorcerer," which will be a collaboration of the theatre group and the Bach and Handel Chorale with Maestro Randall D. Perry.

"This is the first time we will be collaborating with the Bach and Handel Chorale," said Sager. "It will be two different community organizations, trying to work together for the benefit of both. I hope it's fun for them too."

For more information on the community theatre or to become involved, contact Sager at (570) 325-2317.