Wordsmyth Reading Theater: Reading of The One with Olives by Sam Havens

Playwright Sam Havens isn't being coy when he says his play The One with Olives isn't easily defined as a comedy or a drama. ''There's a lot of comedy in it, but there's a lot of drama, too. It's the story of [Danny], a young artist who's granted a summer internship…with a revered artist named Mina Davenport,'' Havens tells us. ''Mina is a thorny person; she's brilliant and he's trying to learn from her, but it doesn't go as he expected. During the summer, his secrets are revealed, her secrets are revealed and both of them are transformed.''

Today's Reading of The One with Olives by Sam Havens, the latest installment in the Wordsmyth 2012-2013 Reading Series, is a bare-bones presentation. Even so, the production has hit a few bumps. The original actor playing Danny dropped out a few days before the show, and Cole Ryden stepped in as his replacement. Longtime Houston actress Barbara Lasater plays Mina Davenport.

''I wrote this about two years ago, and I was thinking about a young man just out of college who looks for a mentor to learn from, what kind of sparks would that set off. That's how this started. Then I began to hear Mina's voice in my head, to hear this difficult, crabby woman in my head. And then I began to hear Danny. What works for me as a playwright is, once I begin to hear the characters' voices in my head, then I'm onto something.'' Havens has written several plays before One with Olives. ''I've never counted them, but I'm going to guess this is number 22 or 23. That sounds about right.''
Mon., March 11, 7 p.m., 2013


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