LAB experiments: Summer festival has full plate

Summer is upon us, and that means it's time for Live Arts’ Fourth Annual Summer Theater Festival. "We're serving up slices of life– nine different ways– plus other surprises, filling the courtyard with amusement, action, and distraction," says Ronda Hewitt, the theater’s general manager.
Pick among their rotating repertory of nine plays; you can even get a double or triple dose of theatrical fun by seeing two or three shows in one evening. The schedule is designed so that some productions go up early, and there will always be an "after 9pm" round for those late-night theater-goers.
Here's the line-up of shows in the LAB Space: Stephen Getman directs the comedy, The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged), and Marissa Guillen offers a funny, sassy play, Candy and Shelly Go to the Desert, about two friends on a car trip through the desert. Ray Smith leads the hilarious Improvoganza Company, an improv troupe making a return appearance for its fourth year. Audiences are even encouraged to bring old props from home to the performances!
Rob Petres, Kathy Judge, and Grace Jordan each direct a short monologue play for "3 x 3": Maya's Men by Lila Fenton, French Fries by Jane Martin, and From the Diary of  New York Lady, During Days of Horror, Despair, and World Change. Jay Neelley stages This Is Our Youth by Kenneth Lonergan, the story of three post-adolescents from privileged families who lead lives of misguided rebellion. The play contains strong language.
On the Main Stage, Jacquie Harvey and Tracie Steger co-direct Endless Air, Endless Water. They call it "funny, fast-paced, and frank." It's the story of two astronauts, Fred and Ditch, who kiss on national television. Jill Antonishak directs Spinning Into Butter by Rebecca Gilman, a controversial look at a small liberal arts college community and an incident in which someone leaves threatening racist notes on the door of an African-American student. Sean Chandler, who directs Nicky Silver's Raised in Captivity, describes the play as "absurd and intense… Zsa Zsa meets Marilyn Manson."
Rounding out the list is Kevin Kling's Lloyd's Prayer, directed by Gregg Korbon, the story of a boy raised by raccoons then adopted by a con man who exploits him as a sideshow freak.
As usual, the Festival involves the talents of hundreds of actors, technicians, stage hands, and volunteers. You can get in on the action, if you're so inclined. Just call to offer your services as a concessionaire or box office ticket-taker. Or you can just make your plans to spend several evenings at the theater, supporting the last Live Arts Summer Festival before the company moves to new space in the fall.

The Festival runs July 10 through August 2 at Live Arts, 609 E. Market St. Festival passes are $50 and allow you to see any or all of the shows. Individual tickets for the LAB shows are $7. Main Stage shows cost $10. Tickets must be purchased at the box office; no telephone sales or reservations. 977-4177.