Love takes center stage

Alexi Leonard confronts Fernando Moreno during a rehearsal of “Big Love (The Bigfoot Play)” on Monday at Blue Mountain Community College.

Love is in the air — and beginning Thursday at 7:30 p.m., with a “pay-what-you-can” night — will take center stage at Bob Clapp Theatre at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton.

“To Have and to Hold: An Evening of One-Act Plays” is a collage of seven plays that explore love and relationships from first contact to the many facets of marriage.

Theater instructor Craig McIntosh said it was merely happenstance that all the plays chosen intertwined around that thing we call love.

After McIntosh identified directors for the spring performances of the College Community Theatre, each was tasked with choosing a play.

“We have this wonderful arc from first contact to a wedding and honeymoons and a married couple in their twilight years,” he said.

With two new directors to the College Community Theatre stage, McIntosh said having them choose their own play gives them a connection to it.

Paula Martin said starting out with a one-act play has made the transition from acting to directing seem less daunting. In fact, Martin became comfortable enough with the process that when one of the directors had to bow out, she took on a second one-act to direct.

“I’m fortunate to have great people to work with,” she said.

Crystal Munoz-Tesch chose a play written by former classmate at the University of Idaho. In addition, she acts in one of the plays.

“I did have to make room in my head because they are vastly different,” she said.

Directing his third production at BMCC, Josh King said participating in the one-acts has been an enjoyable experience.

The collection of performances offers some variety.

“There’s comedy, there’s drama and there’s a little bit of action in one of them,” King said.

Jacki Penny, who graduated from the Pendleton High School stage in 2009, said the plays bring real life to the stage.

“They all are so funny, because they are so true,” she said.

McIntosh said most moments are light-hearted and fun; however, he said, there are some poignant moments.

Rounding out the director’s duties are McIntosh, who will direct a pair of the plays, and Shannon McClellan.

Additional performances are May 13-14 and 19-21 at 7:30 p.m. and May 15 and 22 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and children over 3. They can be purchased at the theater, or reserve by calling 541-278-5953.

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