“Pandemic Stories: 7 tales of love, life and loss” debuts online April 23, runs through May 2

The Evanston 2nd Act Players spring 2021 production, Pandemic Stories: 7 tales of love, life and loss will open online Friday, April 23, with shows running Friday, Saturday and Sundays through May 2.  

The production features seven 10-minute plays, the winners of the 2nd Act Players spring 2021 new script competition, which examine the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on people’s lives.

“Some of these are very poignant, serious looks at the impact the pandemic is having on people’s lives. Others find the humor and the hope for the future that people must find to survive difficult times,” explains 2nd Act Players’ Artistic Director and Cofounder John N. Frank. “These winners were selected from nearly 200 entries we received from playwrights around the globe,”

Performances of the plays will take place online April 23, 24, 25, 30, May 1, 2. Friday and Saturday shows will begin at 7 p.m, Sunday shows will begin at 2 p.m. The shows also will be available for viewing on-demand by groups and individual ticket buyers for 30 days after their initial online streaming. Tickets for the shows will go on sale on the 2nd Act Players’ website, http://evanston2ndactplayers.com,  starting April 3.

The winners of the 2nd Act Players spring new script competition include award-winning playwrights, returning 2nd Act Players’ competition winners, and the first winner of a 2nd Act Players’ new script competition who resides outside the United States.

The winning scripts, with brief descriptions of each, are:

Lunch Lady by Donna Latham

An essential worker experiences her own food insecurity while ensuring hungry kids eat lunch at home and at school.

Second Acts, Second Helpings by John Mabey

An adventurous married couple is determined to make a friend of 2021 without making an enemy of each other.

What Good Did We See Today? by Cathrine Goldstein

The story of George, an elderly man entering into dementia, and Carina, his grown, part-time caretaker daughter, who try to navigate their lives through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Love in the Time of Covid-19 by Germaine Shames

A compulsive free spirit quarantined in tight quarters with an equally compulsive spouse falls smitten with a cold-blooded roommate—who just happens to be a lizard.

 [Brackets] by Craig Gustafson

An elderly newspaper editor and his daughter clash over his censoring his wife’s last words.

The Birds Are Feeding Me by Rex McGregor

A banker, working at home in his apartment, wants to stop a neighbor from feeding sparrows on her balcony.

To the Zoom and Back by Cindi Sansone-Braff

Two lonely, lively, senior citizens meet during the pandemic on The Forever Young Dating Site and decide to try a virtual date via Zoom.

“The 2nd Act Players always strives to find new plays with subject matter ripped from the day’s headlines and these certainly fit that description,” says Frank. “In years past, we have done a #MeToo Play Festival, a Women’s Empowerment Festival, plays that look at the Black Lives Matter movement and at the myriad challenges facing older individuals.

“This spring’s festival continues our tradition of finding plays that will not only entertain our audiences but get them to think more deeply about a major issue they face.”

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