The 2nd Act Players’ 2019 will launch May 2 with the premiere of two, new one-act plays dealing with issues of Women’s Empowerment. Those performances will be followed in November by a production of Playwright Joe Simonelli’s Old Ringers, a whimsical look at how four women in their Golden Years find a novel way to deal with their financial concerns.
“Our one-act festival this May is a follow-on to the #MeToo Play Festival we held in 2018 in which we featured six 10-minute plays dealing with Me Too Movement issues. We wanted to take it a step further to look at ways women are becoming more empowered as a result of the Me Too and Time’s Up movements,” says John N. Frank, 2nd Act cofounder and creative director. Scripts are still be accepting for the one-act script competition from which two winners will be selected for May performances. The entry deadline is March 1.
“Old Ringers will be the first comedy we have ever staged. The play had its Chicago area premiere at the James Downing Theater in Chicago’s Edison Park in 2017. We loved it there and wanted to bring it to the North Shore audience,” explains Frank.
The play has received rave reviews across the country. A sampling:
“A comedy masterpiece! Mr. Simonelli has provided a timely take on how four seniors cope with a shrinking .economy and their shrinking pocketbooks! Go see it now!”
Joe Franklin – Bloomberg Radio
“Go see Old Ringers to experience the lighter side of the economic downturn as told by comic playwright Joe Simonelli. Balancing obscenity with drier subjects like social security checks, keeps the play believable but doesn’t detract from it’s raucous, crowd pleasing comedy!”
Monterey County Weekley
The 2nd Act Players once again will be performing at the theater in Northminster Presbyterian Church in Northwest Evanston. In January, it journeyed to New York City to produce two staged readings of Frank’s play The Institute at Xavier High School in Manhattan. The play, inspired by Frank’s years at Xavier, follows four boys at a Catholic military school on the edge of Greenwich Village during the Vietnam War.
The two shows played to overflow crowds with more than 300 people in attendance over the two nights.
“The opportunity to do a play at the place that inspired it rarely comes along. This was an incredible experience for us all,” says Frank who directed a cast of New York actors in the performances.