Living and laughing

KAPAA — When Fran Kalb directed Kauai Shorts put on by Women in Theatre last year, she was hooked.

“I got bitten by the bug, and I was inspired to write a play for them,” she said.

It took Kalb about a month to write “Sophomore Girls,” which was inspired by three WIT actors — Jennifer Cullen, Candace Kepley and Mo Sharpe.

“It’s so well-written for us that we don’t have act,” Kepley said.

The comedy is about three women—Katherine Shaw, Anise Garcia and Flo DeLucca, who become friends and realize that life after retirement is a blank page, just waiting to be written.

“Inspired by Jennifer, Candace and Moe from the shorts, I knew I had to write something for the three of them,” Kalb said.

“Sophomore Girls,” which opens today, is Kalb’s debut as a playwright.

“Anything artistic and creative is a part of who I am. I’ve done writing before, but it’s not my main thing,” she said.

“Sophomore Girls”is divided into two acts. It is a staged reading, with few props and costumes.

Because of that, it presents a challenge because actors like the fanfare and drama of a full production, said Nellie Foster, director.

“It’s hard to contain actors because they want props and costumes,” she said. “But the staged reading allows the focus to be on the material, not what’s going on around it.”

Producing staged readings is a way around not having a big performance space, said Romey Curtis, WIT founder.

“We lost our theatre last year, so it’s hard to find a space for production,” she said. “We want to keep WIT alive, and this is a way we can do that.”

It’s part of WIT’s mission to highlight local talent, Curtis said.

“We like to support local authors, which is important to us, being the furthest away from Broadway.”

On Saturday, six of the actors in “Sophomore Girls” met at Foster’s home in Kapaa for their fourth rehearsal. The actors included Patric Knight and Richard Porto, who play two of the three men in the performance.

Sophomore Girls will be presented at the Church of the Pacific in Princeville 7 tonight, 7 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 online and $15 at the door.

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