Local Theater Returns to the Stage, Zoomless but not Maskless

WCT’s Julie Griffin and Maggie Kramer

Diners, Dives & Dreamers, a festival of original one-act plays, will mark Westchester Collaborative Theater (WCT)’s return to in-person performances on Friday, Dec. 3, running for two weekends, through Sunday, Dec. 12. The festival’s writers, directors, actors, and stage crew include many River Towns residents.

Among the cast is River Journal North’s own Christian Larson. In addition to being Editor-at-Large for River Journal, Christian is a manager at Story Screen theater in Beacon. He hosts events throughout the area as “Cap’n Goodtimes.”

Christian has performed and written as part of the “Wacky Hijinks” sketch comedy troupe, and has written and directed the courtroom parody “The Unsinkable Chad Moskowitz” as well as a stage adaptation of the cult film “The Room.” He lives in Peekskill with wife Alissa and their French Bulldog Carmela.

He appears in two of the festival’s five plays. Sight Unseen, by Lori Myers of Irvington, is about an insecure metrosexual who discovers that love truly IS blind.

In The Hereafter Café, by Joe Carlisle of Croton-on-Hudson, an actor who buys the farm meets up with an angel with some afterlife advice. Appearing with Larson in the play is another Peekskill resident, Brian Bagot.

Joe Carlisle ‘s plays have been staged in Manhattan theatrical houses, as well as The Depot Theatre in Garrison Landing. Two of his plays were runners-up for the William Faulkner Literary Award. He is at work on a cycle of end-of-the-world plays that focus on the threat posed by climate change.

The River Towns are well represented in other festival offerings.

If I Loved You, written and directed by Albi Gorn of Hastings-on-Hudson, features

Julie Griffin and Maggie Kramer, both of Ossining. It looks at how the choices we don’t make actually are choices we do make.

Griffin also is in Ode to Flannery, written by Evelyn Mertens of Briarcliff Manor.

It’s about truths we try to ignore that come from unlikely messengers. Briarcliff Manor’s Gisela O’Brien is assistant stage manager for the production.

Ossining resident Susan Ward directed Full Effect by Robert McEvily of the Bronx.

Visitors to a mysterious installation in a modern art gallery confront their insecurities in unexpected ways.

Also from Ossining is WCT house manager Jeff Ramsey.

WCT Executive Director Alan Lutwin notes WCT is fully complying with New York State Covid protocols, has upgraded its HVAC ventilation and filtration systems, and will have limited seating for all shows. Cast and crew members are fully vaccinated; audience members need to show vaccination cards upon entry and remain masked throughout the performance.

General admission tickets are $30; $25 for seniors, students, WCT members and veterans. Performances are in the renovated WCT Black Box Theater, 23 Water Street in Ossining, New York. Tickets > eventbrite.com/e/diners-dives-dreamers-tickets-205711748377. Info > wcttheater.org.

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