NAUGATUCK — The Phoenix Stage Company wants patrons to laugh and cry their way through a myriad of plays one act at a time.
The Rubber Avenue theater is hosting a One Act Festival Thursday through Sunday.
Ed Bassett, the stage company’s managing director, said this is the first time theater has held such a festival.
A few months ago, the theater issued a request for playwrights to submit scripts of one act plays.
“We just decided to give it a shot and see how many entries we would get,” Bassett said.
Once they entries started coming, they did not stop. The stage company received 621 one-act plays in total, Bassett said.
“It was crazy. They were from all over. Uzbekistan, France, Japan,” Bassett said. “It was pretty insane that we got that many.”
There are also plays from playwrights who live in Connecticut, Bassett said.
Out of all of the plays that the stage company was sent, a reading committee narrowed it down to 15 plays, Bassett said, ranging in times from 10 minutes to 30 minutes.
Once the plays were chosen, the stage company put out a call for directors.
“Some have worked in the theater, some haven’t. For some, this is their first time as director,” Bassett said. “A one-act play is a great place to start to get your feet wet with that.”
The festival kicks off this coming Thursday with six plays. At the end of each evening there will be a question and answer session with the playwrights who are able to attend the showing of their plays.
“This is a great opportunity to see work from playwrights around country and world,” Bassett said. “There are comedies that will make you laugh until you cry and drama pieces that will make you tear up.”
Bassett said each night is scheduled to begin and end with a comedy so that people can feel good when they leave.
While this is the first time the stage company is holding such a festival, it will not be the last.
Bassett said so many plays were submitted it is already making plans to host a second one-act festival in November. The festival falls in line with what the theater is all about, Bassett said.
“We are pretty much dedicated to promoting new works and playwrights,” Bassett said. “We have a new full length play in each season.”
The One Act Festival will be held at 8 p.m. May 16, 17, and 18 and 2 p.m. May 19. Tickets are $15 per night or $40 for all four nights. Tickets can be purchased by calling the theater at (203) 632-8546. For a full list the plays, visit www.phoenixstagecompany.org.