EAST GREENWICH- A group of dedicated actors and actresses are hoping to bring community theater in town back to life, with two performances this weekend put on by the new St. Luke’s Little Theater.
This weekend St. Lukes Little Theater will have its debut with two, one-act plays on Saturday and Sunday, featuring several actors from around the state and East Greenwich. The performances will begin Saturday at 7 p.m. with “Election Day,” followed by a brief intermission where refreshments will be offered and the second performance of “The Restaurant.”
Director of the shows Marie Hennedy says the performances are their way of bringing community theater back to East Greenwich, saying they hope this weekend serves as a “welcome back.”
“Rhode Island has a long history of community theater,” she said. “It’s a great thing when people come together and really enjoy acting, and having a theater right here in our community is awesome.”
Just in time for the election, the first performance of “Election Day,” written by Emily Sargent Lewis, will bring the audience back to a time when women were fighting for their right to vote. The authentic piece of women’s suffrage propaganda originally printed in 1912, and tells the story of Mrs. Gardener, played by Warwick resident Joann Maccarone, and her husband played by East Greenwich resident Bob Mignarri, along with their two children played by Cranston resident Melissa Massaro and East Greenwich resident Tim Cure and how they attempt to learn the value of allowing women to vote.
“It’s interesting to watch the play and see what a difference it made in America when women were allowed to vote,” said Hennedy, who read the play several times with the WB League of Women Voters.
Also featured in “Election Day” is Mrs. Carter, a suffragist played by Cranston’s Dana Borgia and her on-stage fiance Tom Randolph, played by EG’s Ed Cure. In addition, characters including a once enslaved handyman played by Providence’s Maryann Cross, and an Irish laundress Katie Casey, played by Cranston’s Marcia Murphy, will grace the stage during the first St. Luke’s Little Theater performance.
Following “Election Day” and refreshments, a cast of just three will hit the stage for “The Restaurant;” a one-act play written in 1976 by Dan Greenburg, about an American couple in a foreign country. The play, described by Hennedy as a “clever comedy,” features an adventurous woman Alice, played by Cowesett’s Jackie Granja, and her husband Norman, played by Ron Pelletier of Warwick, and their interactions with a waiter played by EG’s Bob Mignarri, as they sit in a restaurant in an undistinguished country.
“It seems like a fantasy really,” said Hennedy. “As you watch them interact with the waiter, the husband and wife become less interested in each other, and the waiter keeps changing so you’re asking yourself, who is this person?”
The performances are produced by George Reed and Bob Mignarri, and other people involved backstage include Ed Cure, Gregor Johnson, Michael Sullivan, Laura Sullivan and Steve Granja among others.
The actors and actresses in the performances come with a variety of acting backgrounds and experience, but they haven one thing in common— the love of acting.
“Working with people with all different levels of experience is awesome,” said Hennedy. “We’re creating a community, and doing something we all enjoy.”
The performances will be this weekend on Saturday Oct. 22 at 7 p.m., and Sunday Oct. 23 at 2p.m., at St. Luke’s Church, 99 Peirce St., East Greenwich. Admission is free; however, donations will be accepted to benefit Loaves & Fishes of RI.