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2004 - 2005 SEASON:
Flush with excitement about heading to our 2nd AACT National Festival, Acme nonetheless had a season full of productions and special events. We opened with the hilarious comedy, Breaking Legs. The production's opening weekend was delayed due to a last minute cast change, but the audiences ate up this play about "family" ties and misunderstandings. In late October, Acme hosted its second Las Vegas Night, however unknowingly, and unfortunately, scheduled the event to coincide with Game 3 of the American League Championship between the Boston Red Sox vs. NY Yankees. Acme's second season offering was Criminal Hearts, a comedy with strong women's roles. Word of mouth got around quickly about this outstanding, darkly funny production, and several performances were completely sold out.
In December 2004, Acme hosted a start-up A Cappella group, None of the Above, for a special weekend holiday performance. It was a treat to host this talented group, and our regular audience warmed to this unique offering. January 2005 was our 4th annual New Works Winter Festival, featuring the best 18 of over 80 short plays submitted. This popular event was produced again during two weekends, with over 80 playwrights, actors, directors, and technicians participating, and every seat was sold out. The coveted audience choice Charlie Awards were awarded to Philana Gnatkowski (a first-time playwright) for The Waiting Room, and Paul Kahn for Ethics of the Profession.
Acme Theater went on a wild ride with its next production, Tomfoolery. Based on the songs and writings of Tom Lehrer, Tomfoolery's Director used an alternative setting for the production by placing the show within the context of the 1960's comedy showcase, Laugh-In. Outstanding musical talent, in bright, groovy colors, far-out hairstyles and costumes, with snappy narrative delivery enabled this political satire to connect with and entertain all of our audience, several of whom returned with friends to see a second performance.
In March 2005 Acme hosted another successful Las Vegas Fundraising Night, utilizing our now talented pool of Blackjack dealers. In April we adjusted our planned season and opened our final production of the year, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged. This hilarious spoof of Shakespeare's classics challenged the three actors to work together to enact a rollicking send-up of Romeo and Juliet, and then simultaneously breeze through all 17 comedies before lampooning The Bard's 20+ tragedies and historical plays. This wacky production represented Acme's first presentation of work (at least originated) by Shakespeare, and was met by disbelief followed by overwhelming audience thunder. The Complete Works… was ultimately selected by EMACT under their DASH recognition program as the Best Play of the Season at their annual Banquet.
In mid-May, Acme Theater brought back by popular demand our 3rd Improv Workshop and Night of Improv. Now becoming an annual event, Acme Improv has become another opportunity to attract diverse talents, and reach out to our audience to present other aspects of live theater in a fun, educational, and entertaining way.
In May 2005, as the winner of the 2004 Festival, Acme Theater Productions hosted the annual EMACT Festival. Acme's now seasoned Festival hosts used the opportunity to promote the "Festival" aspect of this annual competition, encouraging members of the competing groups to meet each other and share ideas. Acme also used the EMACT Festival as a way to raise additional funds for the upcoming AACT Fest in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
In mid-June 2005, 17 members of the Acme troupe traveled from all over the country by plane, car and truck to Kalamazoo, MI to represent New England (Region 1) at the AACTFest 05. This competitive biennial event highlights the best work from community theaters across the United States, within a festival atmosphere of idea-sharing and support for community theater. It is estimated that nearly 2,000 groups compete on some level for one of the 11 Finalist slots. This was Acme's 2nd appearance at AACTFest, and we were delighted to represent our region with honor, and to have an opportunity to perform Lonely Planet once again. The production at the National Festival received many strong comments from the judges and was clearly an audience favorite.