Strong female protagonists rule the day in Kick@&$ Plays for Women. The four short works by Jane Shepard are challenging, in-your-face plays. In the drama Friends of the Deceased, directed by Lisa Connolly, a widow (Roz Turner) finds a young woman (Johanna Fernandez) at her husband’s grave. Suspecting that the woman was one of her late husband’s mistresses, the widow digs for a confession. She even attempts to bribe the young woman into admitting the truth, only to discover something that’s much more startling than she bargained for. “The widow sits in wait after the funeral,” says Connolly. “She’s hoping that one of the women will show up so that she can really lay into her, since she didn’t get to do that with her husband. But that’s not what happens. Instead, these two women bond as they realize that both of them suffered at the hands of this man; it’s really rather poignant.” Commencing finds its protagonist in an equally trying but far more comedic situation; on a blind date, she discovers that her suitor is another woman. In the drama Nine, two imprisoned women fight for survival, while in the dark comedy The Last Nickel, two sisters cope with an unexpected death in the family. “All of these characters, all have a camaraderie; they support each other as women, even when they’re not on the same side of things,” says Connolly. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 2 p.m. Sunday. Katy Visual and Performing Arts Center. 2501 South Mason Road. For information, call 281-829-2787 or visit www.kvpac.org. $12 to $18.
July 27-29, 8 p.m.; Sat., July 28, 8 p.m.; Sun., July 29, 2 p.m., 2012