As a full moon rose on Friday the 13th, the Eden Prairie Players drew a crowd to the Riley-Jacques Barn for the debut of the 15th annual One Acts.
"What better luck could we have for a show?" asked Liz Michaelson, the theater company's producer, the afternoon of the performance.
All superstitions aside, the One Acts have lived under a lucky star since the first show in 2005. The show, which now consists solely of previously-unpublished plays by playwrights who submit their work to the Players, began as a show full of well-known and familiar plays, Michaelson said. In 2010, with assistance from the Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, the theater group began soliciting plays from the public to give the show a fresh flavor, and by the mid-2010s it had switched completely to original works.
"I think our audience members appreciate new things on stage," Michaelson said. "That takes a lot of work throughout the year."
The Players accepted 250 submissions this year, and each of them is read by at least one person on the selection committee, Michaelson explained. As the plays get narrowed down, they're judged on a variety of qualities, including whether the Players would be able to produce it at the Riley-Jacques Barn and if the script repeats themes from earlier shows. One of the plays selected this year was written by Ken Levine, an Emmy Award-winning screenwriter who wrote for "M*A*S*H" and "Frasier," among other shows, and Eden Prairie's own Kayla Hambek wrote another winner, titled "Just Another Monday."
The seven plays are:
- "Karma" by Anne Flanagan, directed by Glen Stone
- "The Thing With Feathers" by Susan M. Steadman, directed by Tim Williams
- "Just Another Monday" by Kayla Hambek, directed by Justin Cervantes
- "When Romcoms Go Bad" by Ken Levine, directed by Chad Giefer
- "The Salty Part of the Animal" by Erin Mallon, directed by Carey Morrison
- "Collateral Damage" by George J. Bryjak, directed by Steven Ramirez and Thomas Branham
- "Making It Up As We Go Along" by Mark Harvey Levine, directed by Lori Alsdurf
With one weekend of performances done, there's still a chance to catch the show. There will be performances Sept. 19-21 at 7:30 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on Sept. 22, according to the Eden Prairie Players' website. Tickets are $15-20. The Sept. 20 show is pay-what-you-can if you purchase at the door.
The Riley-Jacques Barn is at 9180 Riley Lake Road. Run-time is just over 2 hours, Michaelson said. Attendees can bring their own alcoholic beverages. A Collection of One-Acts is intended for a mature audience.