Blondell Stages a World Premiere Play

John Blondell, Westmont professor of theatre arts, directs a world premiere, “Platinum Circle: A Play in Three One-Acts,” Feb. 22-23 and 28, and March 1-2, 8 p.m. in Westmont’s Porter Theatre. Tickets are $7 for students and seniors, $10 for adults, and can be purchased online at westmont.edu/tickets or by calling (805) 565-7140.

Randy VanderMey, Westmont professor of English, spent more than a decade crafting the whole three-play sequence, “Cell Division,” “Fleas” and “Bluetooth Paternoster,” which probe the spiritual underside of our obsession with cell phones. “I've hardly made any changes to the initial drafts of any of the three plays,” VanderMey says. “When they came, they all came at white heat.”

The show features an experienced cast, including seniors Jackie Dressler and Shawnee Witt; juniors Paige Tautz, Mak Manson, Lauren White, Chris Wagstaffe and Ben Offringa; and first-year students Laura Shultz and Connor Bush. Most actors appear in one or more shows, and Manson appears in all of them.

“The plays are wild and eccentric — mysterious and quite moving,” Blondell says. “They have a vivid, compelling use of language. We have made a show that’s contemporary, off-center, and also energetic and engaging.”

Blondell is staging one of the three acts utilizing Westmont’s new black-box theater, adjacent to Porter Theatre. The downside is it holds only 45 people, so Blondell recommends audiences get their reservations early.

“I know John’s way of working with plays and actors, and I know better than to meddle,” VanderMey says. “I’m eager to see the play performed in order to learn what a brilliant director and talented actors will do with it.”