LIHUE — Players will challenge death, deal with Saint Peter’s multitude of computers, and take on airport customs in this weekend’s production of Kauai Shorts.
The 18 plays on tap for the 14th Women In Theater ten-minute pay festival will be Friday and Saturday at the Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center.
Each night will feature nine different plays. Performances start at 7 each evening.
“The group favored comedies a little more this year than other years,” said producer Romey Curtis, a founding member of WIT.
WIT judges reviewed 130 scripts from around the world before making their selections.
“The exciting thing is that three of the plays are by local authors, and the play that won the honorarium award is a local author,” said Fran Kalb, WIT board member and another producer of Kauai Shorts.
Kauai local Morgan Liddell is the author of “Surprise Party,” the Best of Show play.
Kalb is directing three plays in the festival and said she’s been busy ironing out details in her own plays as well as helping coordinate the production process.
“It takes a village, and we’re a community. It’s a fun process,” she said. “It’s nice to get together with people — some that I’ve worked with before and some new people, so that’s exciting.”
Kalb said she is looking forward to seeing Kauai’s talented local players bring the submissions to life.
Both she and Curtis said the plays that were high quality, and choosing the winners of the contest was a tough task.
“It always makes me sad to think of all the playwrights out there that send their plays in, even here as far from Broadway as you can get,” Curtis said. “We get so many and we have to whittle it down.”
Among the plays on tap is a short called “Death and Chocolate,” an ironic comedy centered on a game of chance between a young woman and the character of Death in a restaurant. A seer tells fortunes in an elevator in another short, and a doctor takes up writing obituaries in one.
Each night, Kauai Shorts is set to last about two hours with quick switches in minimal scenery to set the stage for every play.
“We’ll do it in front of the curtain in the performing arts center, so we use the curtain as a backdrop,” Curtis said.
Each of the plays has a cast of between two and seven characters and most actors are doing two different parts. One actor has three roles.
“There are some incredible plays this year,” Kalb said. “Some are serious and are more heartfelt, and others are funny. I think the whole experience is going to be a great evening for everybody.”
Tickets are $20 in advance, or $35 for both performances in advance, available at womenintheatre.org or by leaving a message at 635-3727.
Tickets are $25 at the door. Box office opens at 6 p.m.