The set-up: Cause for joy, Theatre Southwest celebrates its 17th annual Festival of Originals. Produced by Southwest's artistic director Mimi Holloway, this evening of world premiere short plays is always a must-see for theater junkies. Where else in Houston can one watch five new one-acts, each with it own distinct cast and direction?
The idea is a crap shoot for sure, for you never know exactly how these works, all unproduced and unseen before given a showing at Southwest, will play before an audience. A written script is a very different breed than a live performance, and much can change between page and stage.
Kudos to Holloway for her perseverance. She had to plow through 600 submissions. While none of these five plays will set the theater world afire, there are at least three playwrights whose work intrigues and makes me want to see more from them.
Theatre Southwest's intimate stage space has been scrubbed clean for the festival. Stripped of color, it's been turned into a black box, which means no built pieces for the sets, only rudimentary props, just bare bones. This, of course, lets the plays shine without distraction. This, of course, also lays bare their more obvious faults.