Stow writer one of eight finalists in Weathervane's short play festival

by April Helms Special Products Editor Published:

Is the dragon really a beautiful princess who's been put under a spell by a wicked witch? Or is she just a con artist, trying to fool the prince who's about to slay her?

Should a young man with relationship issues trust a pill-popping therapist who uses a hand puppet as a referee during their sessions?

An estranged married couple meet at the restaurant where they went on their first date. Does it remind them of what they've lost or provide a spark to rekindle it?

These are among the stories that will unfold at The Fourth Annual 8x10 TheatreFest at Weathervane Playhouse. The eight finalists' works, selected from submissions from 150 playwrights, can be seen at Weathervane July 11, 12 and 13.

The contest called for 10-minute plays to be entered. Cash prizes for first, second, and third place will be awarded as determined by audience voting following each performance. After Sunday's 2:30 p.m. matinee, there will be a reception and winners will be announced.

Among the finalists are Brandi Eaton of Stow, who wrote "A Telegram in the World of Smartphones."

Her 10-minute play involves a young couple who are about to be married, when they receive a rather unusual gift, she said.

"It's about a young man and a young woman who find out before they get married that they have been gifted a joint tombstone by the grandmother," Eaton said. "So the young woman sets out to try to have happy memories at their burial site, so when one of them does die, the other will have good memories of the spot."

Eaton said she got the idea when, while walking through a cemetery, she found a tombstone with a wedding picture on it.

"I like cemeteries," she said. "I think they are peaceful. My grandma lived in Seville, and she lived near a cemetery. There are some interesting tombstones there, and that's where the Seville Giants are buried."

Eaton said she entered short plays in both Weathervane's contest and a similar contest sponsored by the Chagrin Valley Little Theatre last year, but wasn't selected.

She said she has been involved in the theater scene since her days at Stow-Munroe Falls High School.

"I like to keep up with what the local theaters are doing," she said.

When not involved in theater, Eaton said she does administrative work for a conglomerate of companies.

Other finalists include:

At The Wall by Bonnie Milne Gardner of Delaware, Ohio

Dear Susan Love Harold by James Walczy of Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Keeper by Joy Gee of Sacramento, Cal.

Love, Theatre, and Damn Yankees by E. Scott Icenhower of Greensboro, N.C.

Table For Two by James Caputo of San Diego, Cal.

The Psycho's Path by Aaron McDavis of Rowlett, Texas

You've Got The Wrong Dragon by Rebecca Gorman O'Neill of Denver, Col.

Times for the TheatreFest are 8 p.m. on July 11 and 12, and 2:30 p.m. July 13. Tickets are $10. Call 330-836-2626 or visit www.weathervaneplayhouse.com/8x10TheatreFest for details.

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