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FAMILY: Ventura County | FOR THE KIDS

Short Intro to Drama

One-act plays at Ventura College help youths get a feel for the theater scene.


If the kids in your family have never been to a live theater performance, this weekend's One-Act Play Festival at Ventura College may be a way to introduce them to the art form. They may even find themselves caught up in a drama, performed by actors close enough to touch, which has nary a car crash, bomb blast or recorded laugh track.

Judy Garey, the college's faculty advisor for this annual student-performed event, thinks that one play in particular, Shakespeare's "Pyramus and Thisbe," will be a "fun one." It's a short piece--actually the play within a play performed in "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

This little romantic comedy appears just before the intermission. So if you've brought preteens along, you can slip out and make it home for bedtime.

The complete two-hour program begins with a play on the Vietnam War. Entitled "Peace in Our Time," the one-act, written by Larry Cadman, explores the conflicting opinions of two young men--one who went to fight and one who didn't.

Then, following the Shakespeare piece and an intermission, there will be a reading of "New Beginnings" by Ventura College student Staci Dalrymple. The one-act, about AIDS, was written for a local playwriting contest.

Kids not raised on live theater don't know about the excitement and high risk inherent in the medium. In the "Pyramid Effect," the cast finds itself in a shaky situation. Written by Marcia Dixcy, the six characters attempt to build a human pyramid in an effort to beat a Guinness World Record.

The final drama is probably not for kids. No, not because of sex, violence or swearing--but because it's about graduate school. "The Whole Shebang," by Rick Orloff, explores the agonies of verbally defending a master's thesis before an academic panel.


Student One-Act Play Festival, Ventura College Theater, 4667 Telegraph Road, Ventura. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; March 14-15, 8 p.m.; March 16, 3 p.m. $5, $3 students and seniors. (805) 654-6397.

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