For most of humanity, it’s a safe bet that getting up on stage and acting before a room full of people ranks right up on the fear ladder with things like swimming in shark infested waters.
So the folks behind the Walking Fish Theatre on Frankford Avenue didn’t really know what to expect when they held a raffle where the prize was a part in their current festival of short plays.
Luckily for them, the winner was Brian Soy, a barista from Oreland, Pa. and an all around good sport who’s been involved with community theater since middle school. A friend put his name in the drawing at the recent Lehigh Avenue Arts Festival.
“I wasn’t too surprised that my friend did this because she does things like this all the time, but I was pleasantly surprised when I got the call telling me I’d won the raffle,” said Soy.
He was one of about 25 entrants — not a huge pool, but not bad considering the prize.
Still, the experiment did have a positive influence on the current roster of short plays, said Michelle Pauls, an actress, director and Walking Fish co-founder.
“We try to get some buzz going and get new people involved however we can,” said Pauls. “And that’s how we came up with this sort of harebrained scheme.”
The show kicked off last Thursday, but Soy will make his appearance on Oct. 13. The show runs through Oct. 23.
Now in its third year, their short play festival — Hella Fresh Fish 3.0 — features eight compact plays ranging from seven to 13 minutes each.
Pauls said the packed together productions cover everything from comedy to drama and futuristic fantasy. Soy will have a small role in each, and got a chance to see the plays in action last week.
“It was spectacular,” said Soy.
In all, the production will involve 15 different actors, six directors and “lots of short-attention span shows.”
Pauls is in three of the plays, including Porn For Women, a play that has three women fighting over a greasy cheeseburger.
Since Soy hasn’t had much time to rehearse for the play festival, Pauls said he’ll mostly have bit parts — “There’s a scene on bus, so he could be a passenger or something along those lines,” she offered.
At the end of Karman Line, a piece by Seth Simons and directed by her husband and partner, Stan Heleva, Soy gets evaporated by an exploding sun.
“They’re small parts, but it has been fun and he’s even giving us new ideas,” Pauls said of her new actor.
“For us, this is a way to connect with the community and to bring in a new audience,” said Pauls. “People want to be involved and be a part of this.”
Walking Fish Theatre is located at 2509 Frankford Ave.
For more information, call 215–427–9255 or write to email@example.com. Tickets are $20 for a single show. Special prices available.••
Reporter Brian Rademaekers can be reached at 215 354 3039 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Show times for Hella Fresh Fish 3.0
Thursday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. — with a Special Guest Star!
Friday, Oct. 14 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 16 at 4:30 p.m. — Talk Back after the show!
Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. — Pay-what-you-can
Thursday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 22 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 23 at 4:30 p.m.