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CSCT short play production opens Friday

Published April 19. 2012 05:01PM

Carbon Schuylkill Community Theater will present its annual Spring Short Play Production this weekend in conjunction with Stonehedge Gardens in Tamaqua.

Entitled "Life in New York City," the production offers six short plays, some of which capture a snippet of life in the big city.

Combining the talent and missions of two local organizations seems to be a natural and practical fit, says Jonathan M. Rodgers, president of the CSCT.

"The Carbon Schuylkill Community Theater has set out to bring local quality entertainment to the stages of both Carbon and Schuylkill counties and this venue seems to be the perfect fit for the annual Spring Short Play Production," says Rodgers.

"The presentation of short plays was originally started by Janet Sager, who founder the CSCT, and is a great way to get local talent involved, who may not always have the time to commit to a full production."

Rodgers says this weekend's production features performers who are as young as 12 years of age through more mature actors and actresses who are young at heart.

The production is set in the "Summer House" at Stonehedge Gardens and will offer a dining opportunity prior to the start of the show.

In keeping with the theme, pizza, hot dogs, soft pretzels and other items often hawked by New York City street vendors, will be available for purchase beginning 45 minutes prior to each show.

Ticket reservations are recommended as seating is limited. Guests are welcome to arrive early and enjoy a self-guided walk through the early spring blossoms in the gardens.

Among the short plays offered will be three penned by local authors, including Jack Phillips, Al Zagofsky and Rodgers.

The Bridge is an original work written by Zagofsky. It is a dark comedy true to the hustle and bustle found in NYC.

"The Bridge is about a washed-up reporter who turns despair into opportunity after befriending three similarly-troubled souls," says Zagofsky, who based the play on a premise used in a vintage camp skit.

"I fleshed out the concept using sympathetic characters that lend believability to the skit," says Zagofsky, "and then wrapped it with a surprise ending."

The Bridge is directed by Marissa Miller. The cast includes Jim Cimms as the homeless man, Dalton Fake as the reporter, Ryan Miorelli as the workman and Miller as the jogger.

Local Angels is an original work by Jack Phillips. Applying observations of some of his students while teaching an adult education program several years ago, Phillips tells the behind-the-scenes story of several women in a department store lunchroom.

Local Angels is directed by Ryan Miorelli. The cast includes Toni Reid as Helen, Marissa Miller as Donna, Constance Cunningham as Julia, and Alexis Pfeifer as Tiffany.

History-Straight Laced is another original play. It was cowritten by Jonathan M. Rodgers and Dr. Travis J. Rodgers.

"This piece is a mix of straight-laced humor and a very important history lesson," explains Jonathan M. Rodgers, who also directs the play. "Be careful of the assignments you give your students!"

The cast of History-Straight Laced includes Lauren Serbel as the little girl, Ryan Miorelli as Hamlet and Neil Armstrong, Dalton Fake as Abe Lincoln and Robin Hood, Peter Sikalias as Brutus and Jim Cimms as Ulysses S. Grant.

Prime Time is a light-hearted comedy about the business end of working in television. Directed by Rodgers, cast members include Keith Shelly as Phil, Jonathan M. Rodgers as Jase, Teah Garrison as Dana, and Karen Kappes as Sabina.

In A New York Minute is a story that depicts how in New York City people have a way of coming together. Directed by Marissa Miller, cast members include Ryan Miorelli as Abbott, Jim Cimms as Theodore, Dalton Fake as Frank, Alexis Pfeifer as Jennifer, Toni Reid as Kyra, and Constance Cunningham as Maritza.

Status Update is a short play that will hit home for those who must have the latest technology. While waiting in line outside Cellular Soul, three strangers bond over the excitement and possibility of being one of the first people to own the 'Me-Fone-666.' The play is directed by Jonathan M. Rodgers. Cast members include Keith Shelly, Marissa Miller and Karen Kappes, as Customers 1, 2 and 3. Lauren Serbel plays the passer-by, while Rodgers plays the store manager.

For more information or to reserve tickets, call (610) 577-6092 or email

Stonehedge Gardens is located three miles south of Tamaqua, off of Route 309 at 51 Dairy Road. For more information about Stonehedge call (570) 386-4276 or visit

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