Owners of short attention spans can rejoice.
A smorgasbord of 10-minute plays can take theatergoers “from comedy to horror to drama to farce,” Academy Theatre Artistic Director Robert Drake said.
“People should come to ‘Tapas II: Steady as She Goes’ because the show is a great summer treat,” he said.
The show’s title refers to the Spanish term for appetizers, feeds into a theme of saluting “women who keep the world running,” Drake said, and reprises a show seen at the theater company’s other home in Stockbridge in 2013.
“We’d not had the chance to bring short plays to Hapeville,” he said.
The theater found its scribes by contacting Working Title Playwrights, an Atlanta nonprofit that develops new writers, Drake said, and by reaching out through social media.
Nearly 50 submissions later, the crop was winnowed down to seven.
• “25 Weeks” by Paige Steadman kicks off the evening with a glimpse of life without his loyal office manager for an unusual businessman.
•“Playtime” by Robert O’Connell finds an executive striving to balance fun and political correctness in an age of liability.
• “Poetry, Prose and…Pirates!” by Ken Preuss pits writers at each other’s throats after one of the creatives has done all the heavy lifting.
•“New York Death” by John Patrick Bray puts the spotlight on an unforgettable lost love; strong language makes viewer discretion advised.
•“A Camel Might Step On Your Head” by Scott Mullen gives girl power an edge as an unseen male tries to manipulate the lives of two women.
•“Moonlit” by Everett Robert examines a daughter’s solution to an unsolved celebrity murder.
•“Pumps” by Brett Hursey rounds out the evening with a comical look at accessories given too much power by their owner.
The assortment provides an ideal showcase, Drake said.
“It lets us bring dozens of theater professionals together to make a great show,” he said.
Some play multiple roles on and off stage.
Director and actor Chris Jones has three credits on the program, starring in “25 Weeks” and directing the comedy “Poetry, Prose and…Pirates!” and “Moonlit,” a drama.
“I wanted the actors to move you through the story,” he said about physical humor he added to the comedy’s dialogue.
“Moonlit” began rehearsals with a different approach.
“I had the actors sit in a circle as if around a campfire and tell me the story,” Jones said. “The actors themselves would get goosebumps listening to each other. Once they were immersed, it was that much easier to immerse the audience.”
Both pieces featured actor Jerome Finklea Jr.; Jones acted with him in “25 Weeks” under direction by Retta Bodhaine.
Jones said the transformation to cast member from group leader was a challenge.
“I had to remind myself, I was not the one in charge,” he said.
Director and actor Rob Raissle faced a similar situation appearing in “Playtime” and “Pumps” and directing “A Camel Might Step On Your Head,” all comedies.
Jones said he admired his fellow thespian’s ability.
“He makes it look easy,” Jones said.
The show runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through July 23 at the Hapeville Performing Arts Center, 599 N. Central Ave.
Tickets are $25 at the door, $20 online at http://tapasii.brownpapertickets.com.
Bundle the show with the theater’s improv comedy competition “BattleActs” on July 15 and save. Purchased in advance, both shows would cost $32. At the door, both shows would cost $40. Combo tickets are $23 at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/104339.
Information: 404-474-8332 or www.academytheatre.org