The Gilbert Theater’s fourth main stage production of the season brings together the works of three local playwrights: Stephen Miles, James Dean and Robyne Parrish in a thought-provoking evening revealing the struggles and unburdening of the soul.
The opening one act play, Grey Zones by Miles explores the relationship between a married couple when many truths are exposed. The role of the husband, a World War II veteran, was written by Miles for Dean. Dean is a favorite with local audiences for his many superb performances with The Gilbert Theater, Cape Fear Regional Theater and other area theaters. Carrie Carroll, also well known to Fayetteville audiences, portrays his wife.
Miles is currently the playwright-in-residence at The Gilbert. He was the founding member and president of Writer’s Ink Guild, a Fayetteville writer’s group, and founder and president of the Professional Writer’s Group, which is comprised of professional playwrights statewide. He taught creative writing at Methodist College and will assist with the Veteran’s Writer Group at Methodist on Feb. 9. He has won many awards for his works including the Sanskrit Award, Thompson Theatre Playwright’s Award, Tar Heel Writer’s Award and was a ﬁnalist in the International Playwrights Festival in 2012. Other notable works by Miles produced at The Gilbert include Yesterday’s News (2008), Clusters (2011) and selections from Deros: A Vietnam Trilogy, which was performed as part of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Ceremonies during Fayetteville’s Heroes Homecoming in November, 2011.
Grey Zones is followed by Dean’s Method Man and Parrish’s GoodBadUgly.
Grey Zones will last about one hour; however, the following two plays by Dean and Parrish are more properly characterized as shorts lasting about 25 and 10 minutes respectively.
Dean’s Method Man is a glimpse into the life of two actors, Stan and Ollie, who have come to an audition to ﬁnd that no one else is in attendance — not even the director and producer. They are thus forced to interact producing some unexpected consequences and hidden agendas. Several other plays by Dean have been presented at The Gilbert including Murder Knocks at the Musical Box (2001) and the winner of a Gilbert playwright contest, Colonel Hollister’s Daughter.
GoodBadUgly is the ﬁrst play to be presented at The Gilbert by Parrish, which she describes as a spiritual transformation. Parrish is the new artistic director at The Gilbert and is in her ﬁ rst season with the theater. This short was originally written for a playwright competition in Pittsburgh, Pa. It was performed as part of the Swan Day Festival with No Name Players at the Hazlett Theatre in Pittsburgh in March 2011. She has also authored several children’s books under the pseudonym, R. M Parrish.During the interview, each playwright was asked to use one word which would best describe their work. The replies in order of performance were “Poetic,” “Edgy” and “Naked”.
This should prove to be an evening that induces thought. As Lynn Pryer, founder of The Gilbert Theater and former artistic director so often said, The Gilbert is where storytelling takes center stage.”
The production runs Jan. 31 – Feb. 10 (preview Jan. 30), Thursday — Saturday at 8 p.m. and matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Naked contains full frontal nudity, strong Language and adult situations and is not recommended for all audiences.