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Seven great acts, all free

PARK HILLS — Kelly Rushing and Elena Brown have spent a lot of time lately taking turns playing director and actress.

Each are directing one of the seven one-act plays that will be offered free to the public April 23-24 at the Mineral Area College Threatre. Three will be run April 23 and four will take the stage April 24.

Six of the plays are comedies. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the plays start at 7:30 p.m. and end about 10 p.m.

Brown of Washington State is directing, “Wedding Duet,” a one-act play about a bride and groom getting ready to go into their hotel room.

The groom drops her on the threshold and “all hell breaks loose,” said Rushing, of Ironton. She plays the bride. The bride snaps and the whole play centers around the threshold and the symbolism.

Rushing is directing, “Blueberry Hill Accord,” which is about two girls talking at a diner. One is more reserved and the other is more bold, in-your-face. She said the shy one gets fed up and decides not to be friends. They make a list of things they will and won’t do when they are not friends.

Rushing said it can be difficult taking turns being director. “It’s starting to get really annoying,” she said with a smile. “We’re starting to pick at things the other wouldn’t think to pick at. It’s not affecting our friendship or the direction of the play. It’s been a really cool process.”

Their plays will be April 24, along with plays directed by Adam Sanchez and John Lampe, both of Arcadia Valley.

Sanchez is directing and is one of the six acting in “Sorry, Wrong Number,” a play about an elderly lady who breaks in on a conversation and overhears a murder taking place.

“There’s a twist at the end,” he said.

Lampe’s play is from the 60s and it’s called, “Diversion.” He said the title explains it all. It starts with a man who is going to commit suicide. People come out to help him and instead, a police officer ends up falling to his death.

“It’s nothing but humor,” he said.

The day before, there are plays directed by Kristina Gowen of Desloge, Justin Robinson of Bonne Terre and Holli Wallace of Potosi.

Gowen directs a play called “Outsourced” which is about a man who is desperate and lonely for money and love. He talks to an electronic voice.

Wallace is directing, “Check Please.”

“It’s about two really bad blind dates that keep getting worse and worse,” she said.

Robinson is the only one directing a serious play. It’s also the longest play of the night.

“No Exit” is about three people who arrive in hell. There’s no fire, only three people stuck in one room. He said each one is the torturer to the other and they find out what hell really is.

Theater Instructor Rick Giles said this is the second time the theater department has offered one-act plays free to the public. They did it two years ago. It’s part of the directing class.

“It’s been really fun,” Wallace said. She said but now she realizes how much work goes into getting props and putting the programs together.

Gowen said it has been a little stressful and she has a new appreciation for Giles’ job.

Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 179 or at

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