Encore Michigan

Crooked Tree Play Festival returns to Milan August 25–26 with free play readings

Preview August 15, 2017 Encore Staff

MILAN—Milan Main Street and Roustabout Theatre Troupe will hold the second Crooked Tree Play Festival, in downtown Milan, Michigan on Friday, August 25 starting at 5:00 pm and Saturday, August 26 starting at 3:00 pm. This is a free admission event. As some of the performances will be outdoors, there are indoor alternative spaces should the weather require it. You can keep up with the events by visiting Milan Main Street and Roustabout Theatre on Facebook, or at Roustabout Theatre’s website at roustabouttheatre.com.

After last year’s inaugural event, the festival is back with more new plays. 

The Crooked Tree Play Festival will present six different play readings by six different Michigan-born or Michigan-resident playwrights! These readings will be performed up and down Main Street, in restaurants, coffee shops, outdoor spaces, and even Milan’s beautiful Tolan Square! Patrons can catch five plays over two days. The sixth play is a new play for young audiences, which will be performed on Saturday afternoon.

The plays selected are as follows:

Eve of Ides, by David Blixt: A historical drama. The night before his assassination at the hands of conspirators, Julius Caesar attended a feast. With him were Brutus, Cassius, and Antony. During the meal, Caesar was asked what he thought was the best way to die. Caesar answered, ‘What does it matter, so long as it’s quick?’ Based on history and the works of Shakespeare, the play reveals the unexplored relationship between the main players of the age – Caesar, Brutus, and Antony.  Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm in Tolan Square.

Making Purple, by Michael Herman: A romantic comedy. When two rival painters are mistakenly double-booked at a prestigious venue, both artists do whatever it takes to claim the spot as their own, including sabotaging each other’s work. Through sarcasm, paint, and ultimately love, these two intellectuals find out exactly what it takes to make purple. Friday and Saturday at 6:00 pm at The Morning Owl.

Shadow Calls, by Megan Richards: A horror play. A weekend camping trip turns sinister for young couple Holly and Thomas, when Holly begins hearing voices calling to her from the forest. Meanwhile, forest rangers Quinn and Harrison are discovering the woods are not as peaceful as they thought, as something in the darkness begins to stir. Friday and Saturday at 6:00 pm at the courtyard behind 36 E. Main Street.

Outa Focus, by Kellie Stonebrook: A romantic comedy. History teacher Phil Swanson is a sweet chunk of nerd who knows a lot of trivia. Gorgeous model Ashley Peters is a genius who knows trivia about trivia. Both, a little broken by life, don’t believe the other could possibly love them. They may be wrong.  Friday and Saturday at 8:00 pm at Don Juan Mexican Bar & Grill.

The Winter Wolf, by Joseph Zettelmaier. A fairy tale. It’s Christmas night in Cora’s house. She’s visited by her beloved grandfather, a man of high spirits and failing health. They sit around the fireplace and she listens to the legend of the Winter Wolf, a strange creature who serves as Time’s hunter, stalking those who are in the winter of their lives. That night, the Winter Wolf comes for Cora’s grandfather, but the young girl manages to trap it. What follows is a magical journey through the mysteries of time, as Cora learns how far one can go for the sake of someone they love. Friday at 6:00 pm and Saturday at 3:00 pm at Marble Memorial United Methodist Church.

For young audiences: Cleo/Lexi, by Markham Byron Isler— The story of a brother and sister. They enjoy playing games in the backyard, testing their mother’s patience, and exploring their imaginations. Their relationship gets tested however by the arrival of their new “friend,” Lexi, and things might never be the same again. Saturday at 3:00 pm at CoMilan.