Review: “You’ll Laugh, You’ll Cry” at the 10×10 Upstreet New Play Festival [Berkshire on Stage]

Peggy Pharr Wilson as Gertrude Stein in “There’s No Here Here”. . Photo by Scott Barrow.
Peggy Pharr Wilson as Gertrude Stein in “There’s No Here Here”. . Photo by Scott Barrow.

Much to the delight of us hardy New Englanders, this is the second year that Barrington Stage Company has co-produced the 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival in Pittsfield, MA. It’s where we get treated to ten new plays, ten minutes each, performed ten times between February 14 and March 3. Ten different playwrights are represented, and their new works are directed by four of the Berkshire’s best directors, and an ensemble of eight actors plays all the roles.

Let’s take the plays one by one, in the order they were performed.

There’s No More Here Here
by Craig Pospisil, directed by Christopher Innvar with Emily Taplin Boyd as Juliette, Peggy Pharr Wilson as Gertrude Stein, Scott Drummond as Jean Luc and Dustin Charles as Lance. At a Parisian café, a writer confronts his girlfriend when an unexpected guest butts into their conversation

Larry Murray: This was a fine opener, a bit of theatre of the absurd to start us off, complete with breaking that fourth wall between actors and audience. It skewered all of our usual cliches about dating, the French, Gertrude Stein and a waiter rising up to claim his own personality. There were both plenty of sight gags and meaningful metaphors making two parts of my brain work at the same time.

Gail Burns: I just felt like I had heard this story before. In fact, as a young writer, I think I wrote it more than once. Three characters in search of an author – except the author’s right there on stage with them. Ho hum…

Click to read the rest at Berkhire on Stage.

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