‘Car Plays’ to Drive into SB’s 1st Thursday

Diana Small performs "Lady in Waiting" in the 2006 "Car Plays Project" at Westmont

Diana Small performs "Lady in Waiting" in the 2006 "Car Plays Project" at Westmont

Several Westmont alumnae and a current student have created and will perform three, 10-minute, original plays simultaneously inside three parked vehicles Thursday, June 7, from 5-8 p.m. in the plaza directly behind the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. “Double Feature/Double Parked” is sponsored by the museum as part of its current art exhibition, “Behind the Wheel,” and is part of the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization’s 1st Thursday. The production is free, but audience seating inside the vehicles is limited. Reservations will be accepted in person at the museum that evening.

In January 2007, after a wildly successful two-week run on Westmont’s campus, the “Car Plays Project” pulled into the same parking lot for the inaugural 1st Thursday, promoting art and culture in downtown Santa Barbara.

Alumna Diana Small, recently admitted fellow of the James Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin, has written one of the three plays, “We’re Still Kids.” Alumna Joyelle Ball directed the production, which stars alumna Stephanie Farnum and current student Chris Wagstaffe. Alumna Marie Ponce stars as a waitress in each of the three plays.

The other two plays are “Can I Take Your Order?” written by Alison Tatlock and directed and acted by Jeff Mills, UC Santa Barbara theater department lecturer, and “Be Quiet,” written and directed by Michael Bernard with performances by Bernard and Anne Torsiglieri, UCSB theater professor.

Small wrote two plays and acted in one as part of the “Car Plays Project” at Westmont in 2006. “The fun thing is there is no fourth wall,” Small says. “There are no rules about the space, the actor and audience. The actors are sitting in seats in the car with audience members a foot away. They have the option of acknowledging the audience or not and possibly even making members of the audience characters. It creates a suspenseful theatrical atmosphere — you don’t know what the rules are.”