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Tuesday, July 5, 2022


Two acclaimed contemporary one-act dramas with elements of the absurd get an airing Saturday and Sunday (July 31 and Aug. 1) in performances by senior members of the Reichhold's Youth Theatre repertory company.
There are shows at 3 and 7 p.m. both days in the Little Theatre at the University of the Virgin Islands.
Five teenagers — Ashley Moolenaar, George Silcott Jr., Michelle Wiltshire, Darryl Dore and Nina Farrell — appear in the productions of Edna St. Vincent Millay's "Aria da Capo" and Christopher Durang's "The Actor's Nightmare."
The plays, written for adult audiences, have comic elements but deal with serious issues. While last weekend's RYT production, "We're Working on It," was aimed at kids, director Andrew Heller says the one-acts are suited for those 12 and older.
"Aria Da Capo" involves a play within a play. Two characters converse in surreal superficiality at the beginning and end. Two others, in the middle portion, act out a scenario of greed and distrust. (In case you're wondering, the title has nothing to do with the Mafia. It's a musical term for an operatic aria of three parts — the first and third the same with a contrasting middle segment.)
"The Actor's Nightmare" is about a character recognized by everyone else as a well- known actor but who is sure, himself, that he's someone else. Nonetheless, he's obliged to go onstage and perform in everything from Shakespeare's "Hamlet" to Noel Coward's "Private Lives."
Moolenaar, Silcott, Dore and Wiltshire have been involved in all four of the RYT young people's productions to date. Moolenaar also had a lead role in UVI's spring Little Theatre production of "Leocadia," with Silcott in a supporting part, and Silcott was featured in the three-character drama "My Children! My Africa!" last fall. Farrell joined the troupe in the spring and was involved in last weekend's show.
Reichhold's Youth Theatre was created a year ago as a summer program to give students exposure not just to acting but to all aspects of play production, from scriptwriting and set design to backstage operations. It continued as an afterschool program during the school year then resumed as a summer program — but this time with a separate, additional acting class for the older students. The results of this class are what audiences see this weekend — with younger RYT company members helping behind the scenes.
Tickets to all shows are $5 and they're available at the door.

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