Moreland Theatre Company has partnered with Winston Macadamia Smith of Winston’s Academy for Nurtured Creativity (WANC) to present A Short Course in Short Theatre: six short plays in a range of styles. The course is likely to best suit those partial to entertainment of the vigorous kind.
The idea of having Winston (Keiran Bullock) give some information on various theatre styles between the short pieces is a good way of linking the disparate offerings together while the set is changed. However, the patter could use some tightening as certain segments did feel like padding, and some of the descriptions didn’t always relate to what we were about to see.
More subtle performances and variation in directorial style may have provided more variety as big performances, which at the extreme attempted to reproduce a Jerry Springer show experience, seemed more interested in caricature rather than giving us characters or ideas to care about.
Favourites included Therese Cloonan’s The Gentleman in Room 7, a piece on family relationships performed by Lauren Bailey, although it would be useful to add some framing to explain why the character is before us delivering a monologue, and Speaking Hypothetically, the final piece, which doesn’t have much new to say about how young children affect their parents’ lives, but it is an effective vehicle for Teresa Noble and Genelle Lentini to show their potential as a physical comedy duo.
A Short Course in Short Theatre provides an accessible short course for those wanting to graduate to an intermediate level of theatre appreciation, but it could use a little more development from WANC’s curriculum committee to smooth out some rough edges.