The Frenzie is back on stage in the Greater Brandon area with a "non-musical glimpse at relationships" starring four actors, Pedro Amaral, Justin Batten, Kim Davis and Amber McCollum.
Appropriately titled, "2 Guys, 2 Girls, 1 Stage," the show is a compilation of one-acts that director and Frenzie co-founder Michael Mercer put together for a unique theater experience on the Riverview High School stage.
"The show deals with all kinds of relationships, love relationships, family relationships, some really funny and some are much more serious," said Mercer, who founded The Frenzie Life Theatre, now known as The Frenzie Performance Factory, with his wife, Beverly Mercer, in 2007.
In the show "I wanted to spotlight these four particular actors, all of whom are MONTI award winners," Michael Mercer said, in reference to the annual community theater awards show founded by Carlton Jones. "I love to see actors open up and get to the point where they'll try anything. I think that's special."
The aim, too, is for an intimate theater experience, said Mercer, who himself has won MONTI awards for directing.
Indeed, only about 80 tickets per show will be sold because audience-goers will actually be sitting on the stage with the actors.
"These [high school] auditoriums are so big, we wanted to pull it down, pull it closer," Michael Mercer said, in a break from dress rehearsals March 27. "You lose a lot of what is happening in this play if you're too far away."
The show "explores the nuances of human relationships through a series of self-contained stories about love, loss and the journey in between," as described in the show's program. "It offers a humorous and touching look at the up's and down's of life when it's shared with other people."
Show dates are March 28-30 at Riverivew High School, 11311 Boyette Road. Curtain time all three nights is 8 p.m. For tickets and information, call: 813-655-0789.
About The Frenzie
"The Frenzie, a non-profit community theater based in the Brandon/Valrico area, made its debut in 2008 with Edges: A Song Cycle. Since that inaugural production, The Frenzie has become a staple of the East Hillsborough theater community, having staged over 15 full productions (plays and musicals, large and small scale) over the course of five years. The company is the proud recipient of over 50 MONTI Awards, including two for Best Musical (Reefer Madness, 2009; I Love You Because, 2010) and three for Best Play (Dog Sees God, 2010; Doubt, 2011; and The Children's Hour, 2012)."
From The Director (Michael M. Mercer)
"When I initially sat down to compose these notes, I contemplated expressing my love for Florida sunsets and describing the effect that the sounds of the ocean waves have on my psyche. I thought about trying to appear arty and educated by explaining my reasoning behind tonight's play choices and the symbolism hidden within the text of each one.
"The truth is The Frenzie has not produced anything for the stage since Xanadu in August of 2012 and I felt it was past time we showed our faces again. I also decided to spotlight four of the most loyal, dedicated, and talented actors in the Brandon/Riverview area."
- Stage Direction— Michael M. Mercer
- Assistant Direction— Beverly Mercer
- Scenic Design — Michael M. Mercer, Katrina Ross
- Lighting Design— Chris Benoit
- Sound Board Operator — Jody Roberts
- Set Construction Head— Michael M. Mercer
- Set Construction— Cast and Crew
- Costume and Prop Design— Beverly Mercer
- Stage Manager — Ty Humphrey
- Stage Crew — Emily Braff, Cody Hepner, Cheyenne Reed, Katrina Ross, Tristan White
- Publicity Design— Pedro Amaral
- Photography — Shane Ross
- House Management— Beverly Mercer
- Box Office — Doni Holmes
- Concessions— Susan Weber
- Webmaster — Pedro Amaral