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Two plays find humor in death
'The Death of Me,' 'Dead Earnest'
'Dead Earnest' and 'The Death of Me'
Produced by Breakaway Theatre Productions
TIMES: 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday through Feb. 23; 3 p.m. Sunday and Feb. 24
WHERE: Art-O-Culture, 419 D St., Marysville
TICKETS: $25 opening night; $15 all other performances
Dark comedies about death don't often come to mind in February, the month usually associated with flowers and romance.
But the individual one-act plays "Dead Earnest and "The Death of Me," written by local residents, are a different way to celebrate Valentine's Day as they open Thursday at Art-O-Culture in Marysville.
Both stories presented by Breakaway Theatre Productions have to do with death, but are not related: "Dead Earnest," written and co-directed by Dan Salamone, follows two detectives as they investigate unusual cases that have a similarity.
"The Death of Me," written and directed by John Trent, is about a man who thinks he has been killed but can't convince his wife or son that he is a ghost.
Some actors perform in both plays and in several roles. Both writers also perform in each other's play.
"The laughs will keep coming one after the other," Salamone said about the plays. The production is recommended for adults only because of content and language.
Joe Moye is co-director of "Dead Earnest."
Scheduled Thursday to Sunday through Feb. 24, the production kicks off with a "death by chocolate" theme at the intermission Thursday, offering special chocolate desserts.
Tickets are $25 for opening night and $15 for all other performances. The show is at 8 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.
"It's a little odd — Valentine's Day and death," said Harold Whitson Jr., playing the kilt-wearing pathologist in "Dead Earnest."
When he read the story, "I loved it and laughed," he said. "It was so funny. It is a little different."
Actor Brian Monette also liked the idea of death and February. "I have a dark sense of humor, so I got a kick out of it."
He plays a major role in "The Death of Me" and two roles in "Dead Earnest."
The casts include, in "Dead Earnest," Shawn Measles as Dave; Chuck Smith as Seth; Carmel Garcia as Mrs. Tucker; Emmanuelle Sainte as Mrs. Diaz; Lisa Kirchner as Mrs. Longfellow; Nathan Brick as Morgue Worker No. 1 and Pathology Assistant; Monette as Morgue Worker No. 2 and Moloch; Whitson as Dr. Lipton; Maria Katanic as Old Lady; Dana Trent as Security Guard and Daughter; Wade Kirchner as Jay Bean; and John Trent as Lucifer.
"The Death Of Me" includes Monette as Blake; Dana Trent as Carol; Ethyn Fox as Josh; Brick as Man; and Salamone as Minister.
The actors also help with set changes.
"This is community theater," Garcia said, who plays Mrs. Tucker in "Dead Earnest." Though she worked in the Renaissance Fair in Novato every weekend from August to September for 10 years before taking some time off from performing, this is her first scripted role.
"This has been fun. We can do anything."
CONTACT Leticia Gutierrez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4722.