For four days, running from Thursday to Saturday, 16 actors will present eight plays that are 15 to 20 minutes each.
The entire production will last about two hours, with an intermission, at the GOOD Acting Studio off Roswell Street near the corner of Fairground Street.
Michael Good, founder of the studio, said 87 plays were submitted in March.
The works chosen involve conflicts between characters at a particular place and time, with a mix of comedy and sadness running throughout the entire show.
Some stories have realistic settings, like an airport or cruise ship. Others have more mythical characters or a haunting setting.
Good said 75 people, ranging from beginners to experienced actors, auditioned as part of a two-day casting process.
“Seeing it take shape and seeing the show come to life is very exciting,” Good said.
Cast of characters
Joel Coady, who lives in Atlanta, has the lead role in “Talley O’Malley, the Unlucky Leprechaun.”
Coady said rehearsals started at the beginning of June, and the actors dedicate four to six hours a week per play. Coady is in in two plays presented this week.
Coady said the productions is a great opportunity to give new and local playwrights a chance “to have their stuff seen and heard.”
The unlucky leprechaun story was written by Kate Guyton, who lives south of Atlanta. Guyton is a journalist, essayist and poet from Georgia, who will have a play produced for the first time at the festival.
The director of this short play is Karen Howell, a Marietta resident who has been in the theater community for 35 years, including co-directing productions of “The Sanders Family” series at The Strand Theatre on the Square.
Howell said as the director, she guides the actors to develop their characters. She added that new pieces don’t tend to have the limits or finite ideas that often come with well-known plays.
“We are still discovering,” Howell said.
After the performances, there will be an opportunity for audience discussion.
Howell said presenting a piece for the first time is a learning process, and the responses next week will be a chance for the playwrights to gauge reaction and further improve the works.
“One comment can change an entire scene,” Howell said.
Sean Fife, who is 9 years old and attends Murdock Elementary School, only started acting a month ago when he joined the GOOD Acting Studio’s summer camp for kids.
“I just knew I was going to have fun,” Fife said.
The nine-week program, which runs through next week, had 40 kids participate off and on, according to Ursula Kelly, who is an event organizer for GOOD Acting Studio.
Fife said he has learned at camp how to project while on stage and tricks for facing the audience when delivering lines.
Fife will be in the “BLUE, BLUE Moon” production at the festival, where he will play a younger version of the lead male character who is bringing his father’s remains to the woods on a moonlit night.
Fife said he has gotten advice from the older actors on how to react to situations on stage. He added he also has given the seasoned performers advice, like suggestions on blocking.
He said of one of his cast mates: “I thought she needed to spice it up a little more.”
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IF YOU GO
• What: Second annual GOOD Works Theatre Festival
• When: 8 p.m. Thursday – Saturday, with matinees at 3 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday
• Where: 507 Roswell St. in Marietta
• Cost: Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 day of the show. Purchase online at www.goodact ingstudio.com or call (404) 647-2484.