Playhouse Potentials - 'Community Hearts' / by Dan Baumer

The Playhouse's Cellar Theater was host to another Playhouse Potentials reading last Sunday.  This time, it was for Community Hearts by Jay Brandon and Rebecca McCarty. 

Eric Dorsa read as "Man" and also forwarded the story by reading the narration and show notes.

During her introduction of the show, the host of Playhouse Potentials and The Playhouse's Associate Artistic Director, Meredith Alvarez, made proud mention that this was the most excitement that she's ever seen for a reading at The Playhouse.  "Yes, our goal is to highlight lesser-known works or those by local artist but another point of the program is to get the community excited about the power of the written word and the art of theater.", Alvarez said to the crowd. "I'm so grateful to see all of you here because it shows that San Antonio is excited by and for the performing arts."

Begun late in 2015, Playhouse Potentials has grown into a staple of the San Antonio theater scene with dozens of scripts being submitted or suggested to The Playhouse. Community Hearts was one such submission.

Community Hearts takes place in a local community center food bank and focuses on the regular volunteers who have become friends. Their lives become complicated when same-sex marriage suddenly becomes legal.

The cast included 11 of the area's more well-known faces; Catherine Babbitt as Jill, Grant Bryan as George, Trevor Chauvin as Ben, Eric Dorsa as Man, Robin Early as Jenny, Kimberlyn Kacie Gumm as Emily, Michael Holley as Jack, Tyler Keyes as Dion, Martha Prentiss as Swanee, Gloria Sanchez as Alex and Emily Spicer as Chris. 

Before this public reading, the playwrights said that the script has gone through a series of rewrites and edits based on feedback from earlier readings.  They thought that it's currently as good as it could possibly be but with the extensive artistic, social and technical feedback received from the audience and actors, that certainly may yield enough information to tweak the script a bit more.

Time will tell how the play may evolve ... but that is exactly what Playhouse Potentials is for.

The evening ended with a lively discussion of the topic presented in Community Hearts. Playwrights Jay Brandon and Rebecca McCarty fielded lots of great feedback.

The evening ended with a lively discussion of the topic presented in Community Hearts. Playwrights Jay Brandon and Rebecca McCarty fielded lots of great feedback.

All Playhouse Potentials readings are free of charge but donations are welcome to help defray production costs. Seating for patrons with mobility issues and their companions is available at this and at all Playhouse events. The bar is open during these events. 

The next Playhouse Potentials reading will be of Deborah by Houston playwright Elizabeth A. M. Keel.  It will be on October 30 at 6pm in the Cellar Theater of The Playhouse.

If you are a San Antonio-area playwright and would like your script reviewed for a future reading at Playhouse Potentials, submit a PDF copy via email to Meredith Alvarez at malvarez@theplayhousesa.org