During “,” a festival of short plays presented by The Temple Players, audiences will be treated to the fourth installment of a series created by Mary Jane Schaefer of Rowayton.
“Uncle Murray Does Some Acting” follows up on a character she introduced four years ago via The Temple Players.
“I started out with a play titled ‘Such a Wedding,’ which was about a Jewish woman who was marrying outside of her faith,” Schaefer says. “Uncle Murray was referred to in that story but he was not a character in the play.”
However, in her second Temple Players submission, Schaefer brought Uncle Murray to life in a tale that took him to a wedding during a time that he and his wife were separated. Her next play told the story of Uncle Murray attending a bar mitzvah.
“Uncle Murray is an old school Jewish man who has a great big heart,” explains the playwright. “He started off as a nudge but has developed into a warm, intellectually vibrant character.”
During the upcoming shows, which will take place June 23 and June 26 at , audiences will see the character’s newest adventure as he takes a personal interest in a Shakespearian play.
Schaefer credits Straford-based SquareWrights, a playwriting group, for helping her hone her talents.
“One of the best things that has happened to me professionally is getting involved with SquareWrights,” she said. “I have written a few short plays that were produced by the Darien Players, and one that was selected by the New England Actors Theater, and one that won a prize from the first Havemeyer Festival in Greenwich, but I wasn't putting in enough time on the writing. It was very hit and miss.”
"SquareWrights has given me entry into a whole new world of creativity and introduced me to a wonderful, supportive group of people,” Schaefer says.
The group also kindled her interest in Shakespeare. “My monologue, ‘The Great Will Shakespeare Speaks,’ was performed at the as well as the outdoor Festival Stratford,” she states.
Another play by Schaefer, "Shakespeare in the Dark," was performed at and will be performed again this August during Festival Stratford.
Editor's note: This is the fourth in a series of features on the "Tribal 5 Humor" festival. A new installment will be published at 10 a.m. each weekday leading up the event.