Writing lessons: Horseshoe Bend Players in new season

“Writing can't be taught… as far as I'm concerned, the university is taking your money under false pretenses." With these words, Ruth Steiner, a crusty and outspoken professor, imparts her first lesson to an eager young pupil. Lisa Morrison is desperate to learn the art of writing– to have the mysteries of creating literature revealed and to find out if she has the "stuff."
Obie award-winning playwright Donald Margulies introduces the audience to the world of fiction writers and the struggles they experience in the pursuit of their art in his two-woman play, Collected Stories, opening this weekend as the first offering in the new season for the Horseshoe Bend Players in Scottsville.  
"The real meat of this drama lies in the developing relationship between mentor and pupil. Spanning a period of six years, we see Lisa evolve from giddy student to able assistant and finally to confidante and peer,” says Dominick Palamenti, who has just taken over as artistic director for the Horseshoe Bend Players. 
Two of the area's best actors bring these characters to life. Karen Wolcott, last seen in The Lesson and The Bald Soprano at the Live Arts Summer Festival, takes on the role of Ruth Steiner, a woman who has achieved notable success as a short story writer. She is a bristly, confident woman with a secret in her past that belies her tough exterior.
Jill Antonishak, last seen in the Live Arts Summer Festival production Private Eyes, plays Lisa Morrison. Inexperienced and desperate to please, Lisa bursts into Ruth's life seeking wisdom and direction. Eventually she finds herself in the role of friend and peer, facing a decision that could irreversibly affect their relationship.
Sea Aviar serves as Palamenti's Assistant Director. You may remember the husband and wife team from their performances in HBP’s four one-acts presentation, Sure Thing. Other HBP regulars are returning to help behind the scenes. Jeannette Kerlin acts as stage manager, and Bill Schneider, a member of the group since its inception, is the set designer.
This show marks the "grand opening" of newly remodeled Victory Hall. "HBP, with the help of the Victory Hall Remodeling Committee, has expanded the theater and seating space and is building a tech booth," Palamenti says. It's an exciting opening weekend for the group, who have plans to create a full season of shows now that they have a new director and a new performance space.
"Theatergoers have a lot to look forward to in the coming HBP season," Palamenti promises.

Take the short drive down Route 20 to Scottsville and catch Collected Stories. It plays November 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, and 23 at 8pm and November 10 and 17 at 2pm. Victory Hall Theater, Valley Street. $10. 286-4785 or hbpvictory@yahoo.com.