The 2nd Act Players have selected two one-act play winners from more than 60 submitted for its first-ever one-act script competition. The plays, Falling Into Macy by Richard Lyons Conlon, and The Last Days of Wonder by Tess Light, will be staged by the 2nd Act Players in March and April, 2017, during their one-act play festival at the 2nd Act Players Theater at Northminster Presbyterian in Evanston.
“Our mission is to showcase emerging talent and focus on second acts in people’s lives and these two winners do just that. We’re very excited to bring them both to the Chicago stage,” says John N. Frank, 2nd Act co-founder and artistic director.
Both plays look at human relationships and the drama, comedy and tragedy that they can produce. “These are stories audiences will readily relate to,” explains Frank. “Falling Into Macy looks at the eternal struggles of the male-female relationship while The Last Days of Wonder looks at the vexing challenges of the mother-daughter relationship.”
The Last Days of Wonder also will represent the first all-female cast play to be done by the 2nd Act Players.
Playwright Conlon has been a two-term resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and has written more than thirty plays and screenplays. He has worked with a variety of local theatres, including Victory Gardens, The Raven, Theater Wit, Beacon Street Theatre, The Poor Theatre, Temporary Theatre, and the Next Act Theatre in Milwaukee.
His play, No Time at All, was named a Finalist for the 2016 Reva Shiner Comedy Award, while another of his works, Send Forth Thy Mercies, was a Selection for the 2016 William Inge New Play Festival. His dramedy One Time took the Gold Prize in the 2015 Beverly Hills Stage Play Competition. His one-act monologue, Emotional Affair, was the winner at Voices 2014 in Liverpool, England.
Light, author of The Last Days of Wonder, was a Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference semi-finalist in 2015 and a 2012 Theater Conspiracy winner. Most recently, her drama To Conceive Gods was workshopped at the Last Frontier Theater Conference in Valdez, Alaska, and her comedy, The Supper Hour in Hell, premiered at the Overtime Theater in San Antonio, Texas. She’s had short plays produced as far afield as Australia and Ireland. In Chicago, she’s had a 10-minute sci-fi comedy produced as part of the Paragon Festival put on by Otherworld Theatre Company.
Light was born in Chicago and lived here until age 9. She now resides in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Light came to writing in her mid-30s, so she is in her 2nd Act and exactly the type of talent 2nd Act Players seeks to promote.
“We will produce both of these outstanding plays each night for four weeks as the finale of our 2016-2017 season,” Frank explains. The season begins Oct. 21 with the debut of Frank’s own play, The Institute, Coming of Age during the Vietnam War. The two-act play looks at the moral dilemmas faced by four boys in military school during the height of the war from 1967 to 1971.
In addition to performances of the play from October 21 through November 13, the 2nd Act Players will be sponsoring or cosponsoring a number of events to focus attention on veterans’ issues throughout September and October. Those begin with a panel discussion (and silent auction fundraiser) on the turbulent 1960s on Sept. 10, 5-7 p.m, at Creative Coworking in downtown Evanston.