Riant Theatre's Strawberry One-Act Festival Announces 20 Semi-Finalists One-Act Plays Competing on Sunday, August 16 at the Tato Laviera Theatre in New York City

Audiences Vote for Strawberry One-Act Festival Finalists in the Theatre and On Demand Online. Special Matinee on August 16 of “One Drop: A Period Piece” Drama with Music by Andrea J. Fulton about African Americans and Passing for White in the South in 1800s.

New York, NY, August 16, 2015 --(PR.com)-- The Riant Theatre has announced the 20 semi-finalists in the 28th Strawberry One-Act Festival competition, who will be presenting performances on Sunday, August 16 from 3:00pm – 11:00pm at the Tato Laviera Theatre, 240 East 123rd Street. There is a ticket give-away on Facebook. The 28th Strawberry One-Act Festival is taking place at the Tato Laviera Theatre through August 23.

In addition, there will be a special presentation at 1:00pm of the full length play “One Drop: A Period Piece” with book, lyrics and music by Andrea J. Fulton. It’s a story about an African American man in the 1800s living in Louisiana who could “pass” for white, but does not.

“The audiences coming to see the semi-finals this Sunday are going to have a hard time picking a best play because they are all so good. The playwrights have really stepped up to the plate this season, pushing the envelope, tackling subjects that some people wouldn't dream of touching,” said Van Dirk Fisher, founder and director of Riant Theatre and Strawberry One-Act Festival. “Check out the plays in the theatre and cast your votes. Follow the conversation on twitter at #StrawberryOneActFestival. Also, like our Strawberry One-Act Festival Facebook page and four people will win a pair of tickets to the semi-finals.”

Semi Finals #1 Sunday, August 16th at 3:00 pm
“Ben & Jess” written by Maria Concha and directed Mercedes Ilarraza—Jess is obsessed with finding the killer who murdered her young sister, whose spirit is watching. “Onward Upward” written by Freddy Valle and directed by Katherine Guanche and Freddy Valle---Charlie must venture through the game that is life in order to save his dearly beloved, Valarie. “The Unsalable Thing” written by Mark D. Tjarks and directed by Lacy Reily--Three contestants are in a bidding war for a mysterious storage locker. “It is Wrong to Eat People” written by Faith Sanders and directed By Faith Sanders & Marcela Biven ---Song, poetry and movement are performed in this tale about a post-apocalyptic world. I am so so so lonely, or, the omegle play written by Philip Anastassiou and directed by Eric Wimer--In the world of internet dating, random strangers are connected for anonymous conversations.

Semi Finals #2 Sunday, August 16th at 5:00 pm
“Book Wench” written by Pat Hart and directed by Dennis Gleason--A young man bursts into Margie’s home on a during a winter storm. “Deadline Daters” written by Nikki Pope & Nicole Raviv and directed by Dominic DiFelice--Two undercover journalists are assigned the job of writing an article about the realities of dating in New York City. “The Old Gang” written and directed by Kyle Gille--A group of old friends revel in their worst traits while holding their ideals of the hipster culture. “Forgive Me, Brother” written by Barry Slater and directed by Dennis Gleason--A small time gambler dying of cancer asked his alienated brother, a priest, to help him die. “Closure” written & directed by Vic Cuenca--A Facebook reconnection with an old love show Daniel and Sarah that bitterness is brutal.

Semi Finals #3 – Sunday, August 16th at 7:00 pm
“The Prophet” written by Lewis Payton Jr. and directed by Laurence Schwartz--In 1831 Virginia, Nat Turner, America’s most famous insurrectionists, killed over 60 white citizens in slave revolt talks with attorney Thomas R. Gray in his prison cell. “Poor, Poor Eleanor” written & directed by Armando Santana with Stage Manager: Freddy Valle--Horror faces poor Eleanor as she sits down to dinner with her husband. “Angel on the Yellow Couch” written by K.K. Gordon and directed by John Schugard-- Moving day with a couch, a crush, mischief and a little magic. “Whale” written by Ali Keller and directed by Jennifer Curfman--When Bobby agreed to be the subject of Maggie’s senior thesis, he did not agree to public humiliation. “Same Time, Same Bench” written and directed by Joseph Lizardi---Susan’s battle with breast cancer left her no choice but to have a double mastectomy.

Semi Finals #4 – Sunday, August 16th at 9:00pm
"Haram” written by Regine Mont-Louis and directed by Christopher James Welhert--Aminah, a young Muslim Iranian woman exchange student, returns home to Iran from London and confronts crisis situations. “Casper the Not So Friendly Ghost” written by Domenic Servidlo and directed by Christopher Ferrer -This comedy is about a misunderstood spirit that’s haunting a home recently purchased by a newlywed couple. “Veal Cutlet and Pinot Noir” written and directed by Emma Marks--Sara and Michelle are an interracial lesbian couple living in New York City fighting to save their relationship. “CECI N’EST PAS UN MÉTAPHORE” written by Shannon McDavid and directed by Emma Skorepa--Art is fragile: A gallery-goer and a might-be artist have a tete-a-tete. “Mr. Invincible Explains it to the World” written & directed by Michael Hauschild--Harvey may seem like your typical high school punching bag, but below the surface he is much more than he seems.

The audiences in the theatre and On Demand will be voting for favorites. There will be one winner for each performance schedule. The four finalists will compete on August 20. The winners of the Strawberry One-Act Festival Awards will be announced at a special ceremony on Monday, August 24 at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street. The Riant Theatre's Awards Ceremony & Performance for the Strawberry One-Act Festival will feature performances from the four best plays from the festival and present awards for Best Play, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Short Film.

Tickets are $25.00 - $35.00. For more information on the Strawberry One-Act Festival’s 28th Season, please check out the website at www.therianttheatre.com.
Riant Theatre
Fern Gillespie
646-623- 3488