Main Street Theater Presents

A Festival of One-Act Plays


By Protais Asseng

by Susan Glaspell

By Dario Fo

Main Street Theater
2540 Times Boulevard
March 12 through April 5, 1998

The three works in MST's Festival of One Act Plays provide an exposure to international theater: an absurdist French-language comedy from Cameroon, an American mystery, and a satirical Italian farce. Each play deals with domestic issues in a broad sense, and each distinctively reflects the culture it represents: the comedic absurdity of lonesco reinvented in an African setting, the psychological realism of American domesticity, and the unabashed celebration of anarchism which has colored Italian comedy since the ancient Romans.


by Protais Asseng

Directed by Stephen Jackson

(L-R)Andrew Dawson, Vincent Kyle Victoria, and Michelle Milton

Bakony, husband to Bissabey.............................Vincent Kyle Victoria
Bissabey, wife to Bakony...............................................Michelle Milton
Dr. Assiko, gynecologist..............................................Andrew Dawson
Manga-Mbo, a sorcerer................................................Andrew Dawson

PROTAIS ASSENG was born in Nanga-Eboko, Cameroon, in 1946. He was studying engineering in Paris in 1978 when he wrote Enough is Enough, a satire in which Asseng blends contemporary French comedy with African storytelling to make an effective argument for family planning. Winner of the 1978 Prix des Auditeurs du Coucours Interafricain, Enough is Enough was first produced in Asseng's native Cameroon in 1979; it was translated into English by Alex Gross for Ubu Repertory Theater in 1985.


by Susan Glaspell

Directed by Stephen Jackson

(L-R)Zona Meyer as Mrs. Hale and Jean Ann Hutsell as Mrs. Peters in Trifles

Henry Peters, Sheriff......................................................Mark J. Roberts
George Henderson, County Attorney................................John Kaiser
Lewis Hale, a neighboring farmer................................Andrew Dawson
Mrs. Hale.......................................................................Zona Jane Meyer
Mrs. Peters....................................................................Jean Ann Hutsell
The setting is the kitchen of the now abandoned farmhouse of John Wright

SUSAN GLASPELL is a founding member of the Provincetown Playhouse; along with Eugene O'Neill, she is considered one of the group's two major "discoveries." Like her Pulitzer-prize winning Alison's House, Trifles investigates issues crucial to women. In Trifles, Glaspell looks to the minute details of a lonely woman's life as a means of unraveling a puzzling murder. Minnie Wright, accused of killing her unloving husband, remains unseen throughout the show; the "trifles of her life become the key element in solving the mystery. In a sense, Minnie is all women trapped in loveless marriages. With wit, economy, and understated dialogue, Glaspell takes a distinctively American look at domestic life.


By Dario Fo

Directed by Steve Garfinkel

(L-R)Martha Mazeika as one of the wives and Mark J. Roberts as The Virtuous Burglar

Burglar...........................................................Mark J. Roberts
Burglar's Wife...............................................Ellen Suits
Man................................................................Jef Johnson
Woman...........................................................Martha Mazeika
Anna...............................................................Elizabeth Byrd
Antonio..........................................................John Kaiser
2nd Burglar....................................................Andrew Dawson

DARIO FO is a major Italian playwright, the winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Literature. The Virtuous Burglar is a classic farce which focuses on the misadventures of a would-be thief, whose criminal pursuits are twice interrupted - first by his wife (who calls mid-burgle), then by the homeowners, a husband and wife who return at separate moments to commit illicit affairs of their own. Though not at politically savage as his brilliant Accidental Death of an Anarchist, The Virtuous Burglar is a marvelous introduction to Fo's brutal and unsparing comedy.



Interview with Michelle Milton
Wife Bissabey in Enough is Enough

by Theresa Hyde

Michelle Milton as Bissabey is checking on her pregnant husband

Michelle Milton plays Bissabey, the wife of a very pregnant Bakony in Protais Asseng's play Enough is Enough at Main Street Theater. Elsewhere, she has appeared with Free Range Arts Foundation (Salome) and Olington Smith Playhouse (The Miser, Psyche Games); for St. Elmo Theatre she directed Comin' Home. Her work in film and television includes appearances on B.E.T. / T.S.U. industrial films and radio and television commercials. Ms. Milton studied at Texas Southern University, where she worked with T.S.U. Theatre as an actress, stage manager, costume designer, and lighting technician.

THYDE: Tell us about the part that you're playing......
MMILTON: I play the part of Bissabey, who is a woman who's had enough. She has given birth to 12 children, they are in excellent health, and her husband decides he wants another one for very selfish reasons. And she decides that she's had enough and she's gonna teach him a lesson. At the same time, there's a little bit of political business to it as well.

THYDE: Why did you choose to become a part of this play?
MMILTON: Actually, I've been involved with Main Street Theater in the past. They've done excellent shows and they're just a really great theatre to work for. So, when they got the opportunity to call me and said would you like to be in the show.........I said, sure!

THYDE: Oh, you didn't audition for the part?
MMILTON: No, I did not audition.

THYDE: Tell us about your past background.......
MMILTON: I studied Theatre at the University of Arizona and at Texas A&M University. At TSU, I won Best Actress for a show called Psyche Games, in which I played another woman who plays with someone's mind. I've done Theatre in Houston for Main Street, The Ensemble Theatre. I've done stuff for The Encore Theatre and for a lot of other individual people.

THYDE: How did you originally come to Main Street Theater?
MMILTON: Originally, I came to Main Street as a box-office manager, of all things. And then it went from there to being onstage. Actually doing some off-site things, there's a play called the Flu Bug that I did. It's another production with Main Street actors and directors, and that was a lot of fun.

THYDE: Who are your most favorite actors?
MMILTON: Without a doubt, my favorite actor is Ruby Dee. And I consider Actors, male or female. But to me, Ruby Dee, her style and her comfort onstage and on film, to me, is the epitome of what an actress should be.

The expecting couple make a trip to the gynecologist

THYDE: What qualities do you look for in an actor?
MMILTON: I look for someone who's very comfortable with the part that they're playing. Someone who can understand the character that they're portraying. They're not just going onstage and doing the lines, and doing what they've been told. They understand why this particular character behaves this way, or says certain things
and they can be honest and true to that character.


Interview with Andrew Dawson, the human chameleon
Production Manager for Main Street Theater

by Theresa Hyde

Andrew Dawson as the sorcerer, Manga-Mbo

Aside from being the Properties Design Manager for Main Street Theater, he plays at least one part in each one of the Festival of One-Act Plays. He plays two roles in the first one, Enough is Enough. He first appears as the gynecologist and friend of the family Dr. Assiko, and then as Manga Mbo, the sorcerer. He then re-appears as Mr. Hale in Susan Glaspell's Trifles, and then as the second burglar in Dario Fo's The Virtuous Burglar. In previous Main Street productions, he has appeared in the recent Ibsen Classic, An Enemy of the People, Joined At The Head, Arcadia, An Ideal Husband, Uncle Vanya, and The Quadroon Ball. Elsewhere, he has appeared with Art Park Players (Talley's Folly, Deathtrap, Love Letters, Cabaret), Actors Workshop (Out of Order), Stages (Closets), Channing Players (Barretts of Wimpole Street), and Rice University (The Normal Heart). He also appeared in productions of Anything Goes and Bye Bye, Birdie at Walt Disney World. Mr. Dawson studied at Trinity University, the University of Houston, and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.

THYDE: Tell us about.....oh.....gosh, you play six......or four.......
ADAWSON: I play four parts in the three shows.......

THYDE: Tell us about the parts that you're playing.....
ADAWSON: Well, two of them are in the piece, Enough is Enough, which is from Cameroon Africa. Kind of an absurdist piece. I play both a very outgoing, gregarious gynecologist who does an examination on his friend who thinks he's pregnant. And I also play a charlatan wise man, a sorcerer. So it's interesting that the two roles is cast as one actor because they're both medicine men of certain types. And they're both kinda charlatans as well, in
their own ways. So it's kinda fun to do both.

Then, in the second play, Trifles, I play a very different character, Mr. Hale the farmer. He's the one who's discovered this crime that has happened. And he's a simple soul who, when he gets an opportunity to talk and be the center of attention, he relishes it. Because he doesn't get that opportunity very often. And then in the third one, I just have a tiny walk-on at the end, where I play the second burglar.

Andrew Dawson as the farmer, Lewis Hale in Trifles

THYDE: How do you manage to change into all these different characters?
ADAWSON: Well, the first thing is not to think too much about trying to make the characters too different. Part of the rehearsal process is letting the characters come out on their own. With the dialogue, with the action, and with the way that one character reacts to another character onstage, that is what makes good Acting. If you try to make something that's not, then it's not real, it's not truthful. Everyone knows, you can see that a mile away.

THYDE: Why did you choose to become a part of this play?
ADAWSON: Well, I'm on staff here on Main Street, for one thing. I am the Production Manager, and I'm responsible for overseeing the different elements of production. You know, lining up the designers and working with the directors, the designers and the actors. We're such a small operation here, you know everyone does everything. We do the contracts for all the personnel, payroll, as it pertains to the production end of it. I enjoy One-Act Plays. Plus, I'm in a good number of shows a year here, you know.

As the gynecologist in Enough is Enough

THYDE: You were in An Enemy Of The People......
ADAWSON: I was Mr. Aslasken in Enemy Of The People, who was the printer. Kind of the rebel-rouser, he's a very moderate gentleman who was always on the right side, no matter what side that was. That was a lot of fun.
I was also in The Quadroon Ball.

THYDE: How long have you been with Main Street?
ADAWSON: I've been production manager just this season, since September. Last year, I worked pretty steadily over here as an actor. I was in Arcadia, An Ideal Husband, Uncle Vanya. The first show I did here was actually three years ago, the Twentieth Anniversary Show called Joined At The Head. Interestingly enough, that was another play where I play 3 or 4 different characters. It was a single play, it wasn't a one-act, it was ensemble Acting. So I've been associated with the theater on and off for 3 or 4 years.

THYDE: Why did you choose to become an Actor?
ADAWSON: I don't really know. I mean, I was always fascinated by it, I was always interested in it as a kid. We lived in New York, we had all the theatre there so I was exposed at a very young age. My parents went to the theatre a lot, so, it was always something to do on a Saturday afternoon, and they would always take us to the theatre.
I was always fascinated by it. I remember as a kid, they used to have the New York Backstage Tours, where in all the Broadway houses, you could wait till after the show, and for two bucks, you could take a tour of the
backstage. And I remember, seeing Hello Dolly, with Ginger Rogers, she was a replacement for Carol Channing and.......(pause), no. No, it was George M, with Joel Grey. That was the play that we saw and we had a backstage tour, and I remember how taken I was. It was the Palace Theatre. I was so amazed at how everything looked close up, how shabby the sets looked when you really got close to them and everything. And ever since then, I was kind of taken by it all.

THYDE: And that was Broadway........
ADAWSON: Yes, George M with Joel Grey and Bernadette Peters. It's like 1966, or '67.

The charlatan sorcerer

THYDE: It is amazing, it's like magic.......the way things come about......
ADAWSON: So I was attracted to that, and then I was involved in Junior High, High School, and College, just always part of what I did.

THYDE: Have you directed?
ADAWSON: Yes I have. And I enjoy directing. There's a part of directing that I enjoy even more than Acting. There's a different kind of satisfaction in Directing than there is in Acting. I really enjoy it, I'd like to direct more. I'm directing the children's show here. The thing about directing is that you could see the finished product, you can see your stamp on it. In Acting, you can't ever see it, you don't know what it really looks like. Even if you see a video tape or whatever, that's not really what it looks like. So, there's a satisfaction and a sense of control in Directing. The best directors I've ever worked with are Directors who've Acted. They know how to Act, they know how the process is, and they're the ones who let the Actors have their input, but they have a vision for it, themselves.

THYDE: Who are your most favorite Actors? or Directors?
ADAWSON: For film, I think Mike Nichols is a great Director. There's a lot of actors I really like, contemporary actors like Merryl Streep, she's a very good actress. Ralph Fiennes is a great actor. I like Patrick Stewart, I think he's good. I mostly enjoy the actors that seem to be able to move from Stage to Screen easily. I'm less impressed with screen actors.

The chameleon

THYDE: What qualities do you look for in an Actor?
ADAWSON: One word, Truth. People who can really tell the truth. That's what it's all about. If you can't be truthful, then who cares? You know?

THYDE: Who influenced you as an Artist?
ADAWSON: I was influenced by going to the movies, and as I said, going to the Theatre as a kid and watching that. I'm not sure that there was a single person that influenced me. I was influenced more through some of my teachers, both in school, in College, as well as some of the Directors that I've worked with. I think those people had a bigger influence on my own development process, rather than celebrities or movie stars. We're all influenced by that stuff in the beginning because that's what it's supposed to do. Mass Media is supposed to influence us. So, it's hard to say if that really influences your Acting or it influences you as a spectator.

THYDE: What would you like to say to the Houston Theatre-going audience?
ADAWSON: Support the Theatre here in Houston. We need people to come out. There are a lot of people in Houston and if everyone came out to the Theatre instead of going to a movie, once every six months, we would all be rolling in the dough (laughs).


Interview with Vincent Kyle Victoria
Husband Bakoney in Enough is Enough

by Theresa Hyde

Vincent Kyle Victoria as Bakoney

Vincent Kyle Victoria designed the sound for MST's production of The Drums of Sweetwater. Elsewhere, he has worked with Express Theatre (The Yellow Boat, African Delight), Stages (Rikki Tikki Tavi), and Encore Theatre (Shout Hallelujah). Mr. Victoria just returned from a production of Once On This Island staged in Aruba. During the interview, he was in full costume, as a big-bellied pregnant man.

THERESA: Hello, you look a lot different after you changed into your costume. You wore glasses when you walked in.........oh, and that's right, you're pregnant now............
VINCENT: (laughs) It's time for me to deliver, almost.........

THERESA: Tell us about the part that you're playing.....
VINCENT: I play the part of Bakoney, and he wants a gold medal, but the only way he can get this gold medal is for him to have a thirteenth child. The government just passed a law, and he wants the gold medal so badly, and the only he could have it is by his wife, but she's not willing to comply. So she played the trick on him that makes him think that he's gonna have the thirteenth child himself!!

THERESA: Why did you choose to become a part of this play?
VINCENT: Well, actually, Main Street called me. I've been out of the country for about three months in another show. And when I got back in town, there was a message on my machine asking me if I would do the part. I had to learn the part within two weeks from rehearsal.......

THERESA: Wow! You had the most lines......a lot of lines......
VINCENT: I know it. I know it.

THERESA: I mean, you had to memorize all two weeks?
VINCENT: That's part of an Actor's job, though. He has to be able to do that.

THERESA: What were you doing prior to this show?
VINCENT: I was in Aruba doing a show called Once On This Island, a musical. We started rehearsing in October and it just ended in February. I was anxious to get back to work, but I didn't know it'd be this soon.

THERESA: How did you get that job in Aruba?
VINCENT: It was a new production company called Global Harmony Productions, and they produced this show. They started the company in Houston, but they took the show to Aruba, and they performed there in Hotels for about two months.

THERESA: And you sing?
VINCENT: Yes, sing and dance. It's a musical about a poor peasant girl who falls in love with a rich hotel owner's son. And I play her father.

THERESA: Tell us about your Acting background.....
VINCENT: Well, I've been acting professionally around Houston for about seven years. I've worked at Stages, The Ensemble Theatre. I'm also doing another show, a Children's show right now and just came from rehearsal, Express Theatre. I've done a lot of work for them. The shows that I'm doing for of the directors of these shows (MST), Steve Garfinkel wrote the Express show that I'm in.

THERESA: Who are your most favorite actors?
VINCENT: I like actors from the old school, from the past. I like a lot of silent screen actors, I like Rudolph Valentino. Those guys really had to act, no words, no dialogue. That was really acting! I like Bette Davis is one of my favorite actors because of her intensity.

THERESA: What qualities do you look for in an actor?
VINCENT: Charisma. Presence on stage. And Humour. An Actor has to be funny. Even if the situation may be sad, you must find humor in a situation also.

THERESA: Who influenced you as an Artist?
VINCENT: As an artist, Diana Ross influenced me. Because she had glamour and style and charisma onstage. When she's ON, when she smiles, she wants everybody to have a good time with her. That's why I became a performer because I wanted people to have a good time while I was onstage.

THERESA: What would you like the audience to gain from watching this play?
VINCENT: Do not take your spouse for granted, basically. Don't take anyone for granted. Because he's so into what he wants, he doesn't take into consideration what the other person wants so we always have to be
considerate of the other person.