How now Fat Cow?
Looking for something new and different onstage? The Fat Cow Theatre Festival, which runs August 11 through 27 at California Stage, will present three original works by young writers from the area. “We’re all UC Davis grads, some with bachelor’s degrees, some with MFAs [Master of Fine Arts degrees], some doing MFAs in other places,” said Dana Snyder, who shares artistic leadership with other members of the festival group. “We’ve been working together for four years and doing a festival every summer,” Snyder said. Last year, most members of the group staged new work as part of the Ghost Light Theatre Festival in Davis. “This is the first summer that we’ve brought shows to Sacramento,” Snyder said. She compared the Fat Cow plays to the sort of ambitious, personal work that grad students often present as a master’s thesis—interesting shows that often get only a single performance in a university setting. Fat Cow should fit right in at California Stage, which likes to push the envelope by staging original work.
The summer’s offerings include American Chippendale by Linda Rentner, which plays on August 11, 19, 20, 24 and 27. “It’s got five characters, two acts, and it’s straightforward, contemporary comedy,” Snyder explained. The story involves three guys hatching a get-rich-quick scheme who learn of an authentic (and very collectible) American Chippendale table. “There’s a crazy auctioneer scene,” Snyder said.
Running concurrently is James Lawrence McKinley by Malinda Sorci (who interned at the Sacramento Theatre Company last season and was assistant director on The Syringa Tree and Five Course Love.) “It’s a one-man show and a multimedia piece using projections and video, mixing scenes from the past with scenes in the present,” Snyder said. The story involves a character reflecting on how his life might have turned out differently if certain choices had been made. James Lawrence McKinley plays on August 12, 18, 21, 26 and 27.
The festival’s third play is After the Falderal by Dana Snyder and Sam Tanng. “It’s along the lines of physical theater,” Snyder explained. “The first half is a play. The second act is dance. It’s basically the story of a couple—the same story, told from two very different perspectives.” See After the Falderal on August 13, 17, 20, 21 and 25.
California Stage is located at 1721 25th Street. Tickets are $9-$11. Visit www.fatcowtheatre.com for more information.