By Ann McCreary
Original monologues and skits, as well as scenes from the likes of Shakespeare, are brought together in “SnapShots,” Methow Valley Theater’s annual spring production opening on March 14.
“SnapShots” features six local actors — three in their teens and three over the age of 65 — who present scenes and monologues that offer insight on “the stresses and joys of living a modern life in small town America,” said Nadine Van Hees, a board member of the Methow Valley Theater.
The actors, ranging in age from 14 to 87, portray more than 20 “lighthearted and charming local characters,” Van Hees said. Local audiences will find relevance in performances that provide a humorous look at “what it is like to be a person living here in the Methow in the 21st century,” she said.
Directed by Heidi Steckler, “SnapShots” combines original work and scripted material. For Steckler, the performance has special significance.
“I’m getting a master’s degree in education, and this is a thesis project,” Steckler said. Her thesis looks at “how play — engagement through the arts — can ignite learning across curriculum, particularly right brain education,” she said. “This production means playing in the theater.”
The overall performance is framed around a play within a play, with the six performers playing actors rehearsing a play. Woven into that theme are individual humorous skits and monologues, Steckler said. “It’s a very light and funny show,” she said.
Tani Erickson performs an original work titled “There Are No Single Men in the Methow,” exploring the joys and pitfall s of being single and dating in the Methow Valley. In her monologue, “I Suck at Yoga,” Erickson pokes fun at a body-obsessed culture.
Renda Grim offers humorous portrayals of a difficult customer service worker and a somewhat tipsy host of a cooking show.
Bob Hoffman shares the frustrations and pitfalls of trying to maneuver in today’s fast-paced culture. Bella Chrastina portrays a child care worker who aspires to the big lights.
Stella Gitchos shares the agony and complications of getting a first speeding ticket on Twisp River Road. “It’s an example of how we are drawing on local stories,” Steckler said. Gitchos also performs a monologue about asking a reluctant but alluring potential date to the prom.
The youngest actor of the show, Ilo Curtis, offers two monologues. One is Shakespeare’s “All the World’s a Stage,” and another presents seven contrasting characters in a three-minute performance.
The show is presented March 14, 15, 16, 22 and 23 at the Methow Valley Community Center in Twisp. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $10 at the door for general seating.