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Published August 4th, 2021
Live-ish theater returns to Orinda
From left: Ken Sollazo, Al Guaraglia, Carson Campbell, Alicia Rydman and standing is the director Suzan Lorraine. Geotty and Susie Chappel are also cast in this show but were not present for this first read through of the Mini 10 Minute Play Festival. Photo Sora O'Doherty

The Orinda Starlight Village Players are delighted to be back providing live entertainment in Orinda's Community Park, starting Aug. 6. Although the events will be in person, the plays won't be fully produced but will be read by actors from scripts. This is a first step toward returning to the group's normal season, after not being able to have any events at all last year owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The troupe will be performing without sets, but will have costumes, lights and sound. The productions will feature professional actors and directors, but the actors will carry scripts in their hands.
Mainly because of the uncertainty connected with the COVID-19 situation, OSVP didn't want to put in the tremendous hours of work to build sets and memorize lines, perhaps only to have their season canceled again, as it was last year. It takes months of work to produce a full season of plays. Normally OSVP builds its sets in April. But even without sets, the troupe guarantees that the season's performances will be "very entertaining."
Performances will be on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. and on Sundays at 4 p.m. The plays will run from one and a half to two hours. There will be an intermission, and prepackaged items will be for sale, such as bottled water and candy.
OVSP's Stories by Starlight season will run through Oct. 3, with the exception of Labor Day weekend when the theater will be dark. The summer schedule is as follows:
"Tartuffe" by Molière Adapted By Patrick Cleary, Director Amy Cook, Aug. 6-8; "Two Left Feet" by P.G. Wodehouse, and "The Town in the Library, the Library in the Town" by Edith Nesbit, Director Eddie Peabody, Aug. 13-15; "Mini 10 Minute Play Festival" by Bill Chessman, Director Suzan Lorraine, Aug. 20-22; A Triple Tryst of Terror including "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe, "The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs, and "The Open Window" by Saki (H.H. Monroe), Director Malcolm Cowler, Aug. 27-29; "Don Quixote, A Play" by Matthew Garlin, based on the novel by Miguel Cervantes, Director Amy Cook, Sept. 10-12; "Seven Keys to Baldpate Inn" by George M. Cohan, Director Suzan Lorraine, Sept. 17-19; "A Familiar Visage" by Eddie Peabody, Director by Eddie Peabody, Sept. 24-26; and lastly, "Carmilla" by Sheridan Le Fanu, Director Malcolm Cowler, Oct. 1-3.
OSVP president Geotty Chapple explains on the website that no one involved with OSVP is paid and they do not receive any civic funding. "We do this for the love of community theater and for YOUR enjoyment!" He explains that Orinda parks and rec charges for the use of the stage and publishers/agents charge between $75 and $100 per performance. In normal years, the cost of lumber, fasteners and paint run well over $1,000. Used furniture, necessary props and costumes, etc., all add up quickly. Ticket sales, program ads, and concessions are OSVP's only revenue, so donations of cash or materials help tremendously.
A GoFundMe fundraiser for the theater group can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/Orinda-Starlight-Village-Players

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