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LALT shorts offer mix of emotions

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By Heather Hughes

Nov. 8 was opening night for the Los Alamos Little Theatre production, “8x10.” Eric Bjorklund and John Gustafson are co- producers of the “8x10” production.
“8x10” was created in a creative format where there are eight 10-minute plays performed one after the other in total. There is a 10-minute intermission after the first four 10-minute productions.
“The 8x10 format is ideal for getting new people involved in theatre, and for community theatre, that is our life blood. Full productions can be a huge time investment. A short 10-minute play is a good way for people to get experience directing, acting, or even writing,” Gustafson said.
The first short production, “Love Rules,” written by Robert Benjamin, opens to a speed dating scene with an awkward man with the name of Arthur, played by Eric Bjorklund, and stern women with the name of Ruby, played by Pat Beck, who are trying to engage in a conversation. The story turns emotional where the characters begin to relate over their own personal grieving.
Next comes “Shadows,” written by Gustafson, where an elderly woman named Frances, played by Jody Shepherd, is heard calling the police due to an intruder being in the house. A young police man named Charles, played by Brent Nye, comes to help the woman who is obviously lonely after becoming a widow only one year prior. The story takes an unexpected twist at the end.
Third is “Putting the Fun in Funeral,” written by Fred Berl, set in a restaurant. A middle-aged couple played by TK Berl and Richard Parker, discuss plans for their bodies after their deaths. The rude waiter, played by Eric Bjorklund, adds to the humor of the story.
The fourth and final production before intermission is “The Philadelphia,” written by David Ives. This story addresses life situations and how one could perceive the issues they are dealing with. The production is full of energy, as the cast of Warren Houghteling. Tumpa Arcefin and Sequoyah Adams-Rice make take the story to the next level.
The next half consisted of more emotional stories that touched more controversial issues.
“Woman with a Gun,” written by Dale Dunn, is brilliantly performed by Marcie Long, who successfully portrays the fears of an abused woman, and how she acts when he boyfriend gives her a gun for her own protection. This dark story is full of emotion and keeps the audience in suspense until the end.
“The Phoenix and the Dove,” continues the on the controversial trend with a young girl named Jamie, played by Katlyn Skeen, and a rock star named Jonas Dove, played by Richard Parker, who discuss suicide. This story is about sadness, loneliness, youth, hope and forgiveness.
The second-to-last story is “Kubler-Ross Comes to Dinner,” a more enlightening piece that adds lots of humor to the evening with risqué jokes and highly-relatable content. The neighbors are expected to dinner, invited by Veronica, played by Gwen Lewis. However, her husband Joe, played by Larry Gibbons, hates the fact that he has to dedicate his evening to entertaining people he does not like. This is a great production that many couples will relate to.
Finally, the night ends with “Shimmer,” written by Tess Light, which tells the story about how a mayfly best approaches their last minutes on Earth. Creative yellow costumes, and cute situations leave the audience with a warm, comforting feeling as Marie, played by TK Berl, Anthony, played by Richard Parker, and the waiter, played by Eric Bjorklund, entertain with perfection.
“The fact that we have so many new people who have been drawn into LALT by this show is really cool, and I hope they all have a great experience and get involved in more shows,” Gustafson said.
“8X10” runs until Saturday, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at CB Fox or at the door for $12 general admission and $10 for senior citizens.

-Heather Hughes