Written by 4:00 am Santa Ana, The Wayward Artist, Theater, Uncategorized

Ju1ce: An Evening of Futuristic 10-minute Plays

PC: Francis Gacad

Written by Zack Johnston

In collaboration with the Orange County Playwright Alliance, JU1CE makes its return to The Wayward Artist for one weekend only, featuring seven original plays, all dealing with themes of what the future might have in store.

Co-directed by Lizzy McCabe and Aung Khine Min, a cast of seven actors play multiple roles, bringing these short one-act plays to life with the help of impressive lighting and sound displays from the production team.

Spike Pulice, Seth Weaver

Fire Crotch by Dana Hammer — 7.9

The evening kicks off with this off-color comedy about two friends returning from a weekend getaway. Spike Pulice and Seth Weaver engage in hilarious physical humor after their characters make a startling discovery and must find a solution. Clever sound design from Jarid McCarthy and lighting design from Roberto Hernandez create a clear mental image of the show’s scenery as the two friends manage through a crisis.

Elisabeth Hunter, Matt Jennings

Milk by Dana Hammer — 7.5

Matt Jennigs and Elisabeth Hunter play a married couple who find themselves in a sudden and shocking moment of role reversal. This dark comedy is filled with gender-based humor and is complete with a dramatic twist ending.

Genevieve Kauper, Kelly Franett

Will’s Last Test by Craig Holland — 6.7

Kelly Franett plays an elderly patient going in for a less-than-routine check-up with a new and strange doctor, played by Genevieve Kauper. While the dark themes of this play feel ideally grounded in the realities of our ailing planet, the humorous actions are somewhat contrived and lacking in follow-through.

Matt Jennings, Sol Joun, Elisabeth Hunter

Her Forbidden Fruits by Fengar Gael — 6.8

A wealthy heiress, played by Sol Joun, makes use of her family’s apple orchard despite some concerns over its pest control, or lack thereof. Each actor is fully engaged in their character and play off the mysterious undertones of the script. While the story is compelling, it might be too brief to build well-established connections to the characters and their outcomes.

Elisabeth Hunter, Genevieve Kauper, Sol Joun

You, Yourself, and Others by Alyssa Ahle — 8.2

Perhaps the most sci-fi of all the evenings plays, Kauper, Joun and Hunter each play rugged space travelers who embark on a mission gone awry. A delicious mix of tension and humor is there throughout the entire performance. The characters perfectly contrast with one another as the drama builds into a full-blown panic.

Spike Pulice, Sol Joun

The Club Obscuro Project by Baylee Shlichtman — 8.7

Pulice and Joun star in this next show, exploring the limits and blurring the lines of the A.I. boom. The play blossoms into an unsuspecting narrative of how human emotion complicates our tech-dominated world. The two actors make great use of the entire space and play beautifully off each other as the scene dramatically progresses.

Kelly Franett, Spike Pulice, Sol Joun, Genevieve Kauper, Seth Weaver, Elisabeth Hunter, Matt Jennings.

The Future Has an Ancient Heart by Eric Eberwein — 8.5

Closing out the evening, the whole cast joins Kauper and Franett to deliver a touching but bleak look at where humanity might be heading with medical advancements. The two leads are a joy to watch and carry the play’s heavy themes with grace and strong characterization. The story poses hard questions about autonomy and responsibility in an increasingly complicated world.

JU1CE runs through Feb. 18 at The Wayward Artist in Downtown Santa Ana.

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Above Average! Feb 15 – 18, 2024.

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