On Friday, May 20 Chicago Street Theatre served as hosts to guests from the American Association of Community Theatres, The Jack K. Ayre & Frank Ayre Lee Theatre Foundation, Dramatics Publishing and playwright, Nedra Pezold Roberts for the World Premiere of Wash, Dry, Fold. The drama was a winner of the 2016 AACT NewPlayFest and CST was chosen as one of seven theaters in the nation to produce a winner from the festival. Audiences delighted with being the first to see a staged production of Roberts' work.
Wash, Dry, Fold tells the heartwarming tale of Trudy and Enola, a pair of bickering siblings that inherit a run down laundromat in New Orleans. In addition to their late mother's business, the duo also gain custody of Uncle Slack, a kind but somewhat off POW vet. Things seem grim until a tattoo artist named , Arlene, enters the sisters' lives bringing with her the possibilities for hope and reconciliation.
Roberts commented that the play has a lot to do with the theme of "reconciliation" in interviews and the Special Saturday Talkback during her visit to Valparaiso. She and her husband, John attended both of the Opening Weekend performances and were impressed by CST's calibre of talent with all aspects of the play. The playwright commented that, aside from experiencing her words brought to life on stage, was the surprise of the set with its working machines.
Nedra also said that she and John felt like they were "treated like celebrities' by the staff and the members of the theatre. Also present for the Opening Night ceremony and fantastic after party at don Quijote were: Carrie Blomquist of Dramatics Publishing; AACT Executive Director, Julie Crawford; and Linda M. Lee of the Ayre Theatre Foundation. Lee presented CST Chairman, Jim Drader with a $4,000 grant from the Foundation during a ceremony preceding the opening night performance.
Dramatics Publishing attended the event since part of the honors for winning the NewPlayFest are to have your work published by the royalty house. Wash, Dry, Fold will be available to produce individually from the company as well as appear in an Anthology with the other AACT award-winning plays. The playwright is the only two-time winner of the NewPlayFest and her first work, The Vanishing Point appears in the 2014 Anthology along with Jim Henry's Jellofish. Nedra told directors, Traci Brant and Jonni Pera that she would be making some slight changes to the script based on their "brilliant' staging of the work.
Overall, it was an exciting weekend for the theatre and their guests as CST gained national attention for this brand new work. Audiences can still catch this award-winning World Premiere show running through June 4 at Chicago Street.