Pair of new plays from Ten Bucks Theatre offer zany touch

This story was published on Oct. 13, 2006 on Page C8 in all editions of the Bangor Daily News

In Putnam Smith’s new play “Stop/Sign,” two construction workers speak to each other by walkie-talkie. “You clear?” Flagger One asks. “Clear,” Flagger Two confirms. “All right, I’m sending ‘em through,” One responds, at which point, Two turns her sign from “stop” to “proceed with caution.” That’s when a pregnant woman in the middle of the stage goes into labor. Is it possible the flaggers are controlling more than traffic?

Talk about proceed with caution.

If you’re a regular attendee of productions by Ten Bucks Theatre Company, you sense something more might be happening here. Hmmm: Is destiny a flagger with a radio? Find out during a night of one acts Ten Bucks is offering 8 p.m. Oct. 13, 14, 20 and 21, and 2 p.m. Oct. 15 and 22 at Brewer Middle School Auditorium.

Smith directs his play, and Tamela Glenn directs “The Audition,” which she wrote. It’s about a group of actors trying to get cast for a TV show.

“The play was a way for me to get out a lot of the things I love and hate about actors,” said Glenn, who lives in Old Town and is an actor herself (she’s in Smith’s play.) “It’s also about my own spiritual stuff with Zen and the energy work I’ve been doing. But it’s also a farce.”

Smith’s too. “The themes are birth, death and directing the flow of traffic,” said the Newburgh resident. “It’s a zanily serious play. It does have four-letter words and mature themes. But there’s no violence or nudity. It’s PG-13, I’d say. It’s a good mix of physical comedy with an intelligent edge that Ten Bucks Theatre enjoys.”

In the spirit of the creepy season, Ten Bucks usually schedules an “offbeat” play this time of year. These two surreal comedies, which were tailored to the company, fit the bill. Plus they have something unusual in common.

“Horses,” the directors answered in unison.

To say more wouldn’t exactly reveal the plots, but even we think some things are better left unexplained.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Call 884-1030 or visit the Web site at www.tenbuckstheatre.com.

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