Community Hearts
by Playhouse San Antonio

Aug. 28, 2016
Sunday

 

(www.communityheartsplay.com)Regular volunteers at the community center food bank who have become friends, find their lives complicated when same­sex marriage suddenly becomes legal.

Long­time lovers George and Ben are ready to jump in feet first. Long­time partners Jill and Alex(andra), on the other hand, find they have very different views on marriage. Jack and Jenny, married for years, find themselves on the outside and a little bewildered. The director of the center, Chris, find this a non­issue, since she doesn't have a girlfriend at the moment, and bisexual player Dion thinks the whole idea is laughable.

Meanwhile, there are those homeless people to be fed....

 

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 Once a month, The Playhouse presents a reading of one of the scripts submitted to them by the San Antonio community. Some of the pieces are well­known scripts from established authors but by and large, the more recent submissions have been all­original works by local playwrights. Meredith Alvarez, the COO and Associate Artistic Director of The Playhouse selected ‘Community Hearts’ from dozens of submitted scripts and said that this one leapt out at her because it had a writing team behind it. “I have a great appreciation for the difficulty and effort that goes into writing any script but the cohesion needed to create a script together with a partner is enviable and potentially much more difficult”.

 

“As I read further into the script,” Alvarez said, “I quickly saw that this was one of the first and best local submissions that dug deeply into the topic of same­sex relationships and marriage. It’s a very relevant and timely issue for San Antonio and the nation. It’s a humorous and light­hearted script but it covers a weighty topic that affects so many of our friends and community members.”

 

 

“Though ‘Community Hearts’ has yet to be presented in a full production, it has survived the early workshop phase of development and already has plenty of community interest with our local actors. That, “ Alvarez said, “helped it to become a very attractive piece for us to present.”

 

Jay Brandon and Rebecca McCarty (photo by Daniel D. Baumer)Rebecca McCarty and Jay Brandon have been members of the theatrical and artistic communities since their days together at San Antonio’s Robert E. Lee High School. Jay, a local attorney, is a well­established author with seventeen published novels. For his most recent release, ‘Shadow Knight’s Mate’, it’s described that “he takes a story about world­threatening acts of terror and makes it both funny and sexy” . Rebecca McCarty is an award­winning writer of short fiction, a former actress, producer and previously, she has worked as a ghostwriter, speechwriter and copywriter.

 

 

"'Community Hearts' is essentially a comedy, but with a serious subject at its core," said Brandon. "Becky and I were following the same­sex marriage debate as it became legal state by state. We knew this was going to affect the lives of many people we know and love. It turned out, as same­sex marriage became legal, some long­time couples discovered they had very different views on the subject. One of us said, 'Someone's going to write a great play about this,' and the other one said, "Why not us?'"

 

What was produced was a script that is without a definitive geography and not based on actual friends, but it deals with the experiences of their friends and is set in a situation that could be seen anywhere in the nation. All done with humorous style and intent, too.

                 _______________________________________________

JACK: After all, George, it’s just a piece of paper.

GEORGE: Just a piece of paper. Easy for you to say when you have one. Just a piece of paper. Just a ring. Just a symbol. So, we could go ahead with our little faux wedding, and our make­believe marriage, and our pretend anniversaries. But then, when we meet people, and I introduce Ben as my husband, everyone will hear “fake, make­believe husband.”

JILL: So you have to keep thinking of creative things to call the love of your life. Here’s my . . . CHRIS: Girlfriend.
ALEX: Partner.
DION: Lover—if you’re brave enough to say it.

CHRIS: And if they’re really clueless, “roommate.”

JILL: And if you’re lucky enough the family lets you be together at the end, and you’re not completely left out of the obituary, you’ll be called the “longtime companion.”

ALEX: Oh. And those family gatherings. Your siblings will be introduced as, “This is my son Bob and his wife Betty.” and “This is my daughter Linda and her husband Leo. Oh, and this is my other daughter Alex and her . . .”

CHRIS: . . . Special friend.
ALEX, JILL, DION, GEORGE: (disgusted chorus) My special friend.

                    _______________________________________________

 

(via www.communityheartsplay.com)

The script has gone through a series of rewrites and edits based on feedback from earlier readings and Rebecca and Jay think that it’s currently as good as it could possibly be. The cast of the reading is made of many of their close friends but all are accomplished and well­known local faces in the San Antonio arts scene.

Cast:

Jill ­ -  Catherine Babbitt

George ­ - Grant Bryan

Ben ­ - Trevor Chauvin

Man ­ - Eric Dors

Jenny ­ - Robin Early

Emily ­ - Kimberlyn Kacie Gumm

Jack ­ - Michael Holley

Dion ­ - Tyler Keyes

Swanee ­ - Martha Prentiss

Alex ­ - Gloria Sanchez

Chris ­ - Emily Spicer 


Community Hearts
by Rebecca McCarty and Jay Brandon
Playhouse San Antonio

Sunday,
August 28, 2016
Cellar Theatre, The Public Theater, San Antonio
San Pedro Park
800 W Ashby Place
San Antonio, TX, 78212

 

Table reading on August 28, 2016, 6 pm at The Cellar Theater at The Playhouse San Antonio, 800 West Ashby Place, San Antonio, TX 78212

BOX OFFICE :
210.733.7258 or ThePlayhouseSA.org 

 

All Playhouse Potentials readings are free of charge but donations are welcome to help defray production costs.

Future Playhouse Potentials Events

October 30:
Deborah by Houston playwright Elizabeth A. M. Keel

November 20:
Dylan by Sidney Michaels

December 18:
When Everyone Leaves by local playwright Lindsey Van de Kirk

Playhouse Potentials is meant to engage and broaden our San Antonio community of theater artists (actors, directors, designers, playwrights, and patrons) by introducing newer and lesser­known scripts for a one­night­only reading. Each month, scripts will be selected from open community submissions, cast with local actors, and read in front of a live audience. A post­reading discussion will follow, where each show will be assessed on it thematic merits, production opportunities and challenges, and timeliness.

The Playhouse will look to select future season productions from Playhouse Potentials readings. 

 

Seating for patrons with mobility issues and their companions is available at this and at all Playhouse events. The bar is open during these events. You can find out more about future Playhouse Potentials and even submit your own script by visiting their website at theplayhousesa.org/playhouse­potentials.