Feuding couples, Irish teenagers and Florida romance are among the subjects taking the stage in Tampa Bay area theaters.
The Straz Center for the Performing Arts still offers students on-stage spectacles such as comedian Lewis Black, who was once a playwright, Thursday.
Yet, at least one local theater is thriving too, with American Stage announcing Monday that its play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” was the best-selling production in the theater’s 32-year history with 5,278 tickets sold.
The Oracle looks at four local plays currently running or coming soon.
Silver Meteor Gallery – “Disco Pigs”
Students may have noticed East Sixth Avenue and railroad tracks while walking down Ybor City’s main street before, but they may not have noticed the Silver Meteor Gallery at 2213 E. Sixth Ave.
The space is currently hosting a production of “Disco Pigs,” Irish playwright Enda Walsh’s tale of the dance music-loving teenagers Pig and Runt.
The play follows Pig (played by Nic Carter) and Runt (Dahlia Legault) who have been inseparable nearly their whole lives, until 17-year-old Runt starts distancing herself from Pig’s antics. Carter, Legault and director Megan Lamasney are all USF alumni.
Walsh’s screenplay was used for the 2001 movie starring Elaine Cassady and Cillian Murphy, who credited the play’s initial run for his future fame in film.
Silver Meteor Gallery’s production includes a program glossary for the pair’s shorthand and Irish slang – “bob” means money, “pox” means sucks – in a show that costs $12 for students.
Gorilla Theatre – “Sweet Storm”
Gorilla Theatre’s newest play offers a love story that takes place in the Florida locale Lithia Springs during 1960.
Chris Jackson and Heather Atkinson star as young preacher Bo and the possibly polio-stricken Ruthie, respectively, as the newlyweds stay in a tree house during Hurricane Donna.
Scott Hudson wrote the play, which was read during the theater’s 2008 Gorilla Reading Series and then performed off-Broadway in New York in 2009.
The production received praise from the New York Times and Variety, and some critical marks from the Village Voice.
Tickets cost students $15 Thursday and $20 on weekends, with a pay-what-you-can night available Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
American Stage – “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
St. Petersburg’s American Stage, a theater that has hosted “The Room” screenings and comedy shows, turns now to the 48-year-old domestic drama, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
The play follows history professor George and his wife Martha, as they invite a young couple to their house and see their relationship slowly disintegrate over the course of three hours and several alcoholic drinks.
Christine Decker from American Stage’s production of “Doubt” portrays Martha in a four-piece cast that also includes Betty-Jane Parks from “A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant.”
Previews for the adaptation start today and Thursday’s show has already sold out.
The theater offers pay-what-you-can nights March 29 and April 19, and the show offers $10 student tickets for purchase 30 minutes before the show starts.
Jobsite Theater – “Yellowman”
Jobsite Theater, the Straz Center’s independent venue, opens Thursday with a production of Dael Orlandersmith’s racially charged play “Yellowman.”
The story focuses on Alma, a black woman, and Eugene, a light-skinned black man, in South Carolina and New York vignettes as they fall in love and deal with issues of color.
Alma is played by Fanni Green, a USF assistant professor and actress who also directed last semester’s “What the Heart Remembers: The Women and Children of Darfur.”
Director Karla Hartley said she had talked about the play with Green for five or six years, and worked with Orlandersmith when she visited Tampa with her one-woman show “Beauty’s Daughter.”
The show runs until March 27, and the theater offers a student rush discount.