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A San Miguel Playwright’s Journey

Photo by Lou Barranti

By Marthe Fraser

In the mid-eighties, I was captivated with the San Miguel Playreaders. It’s a wonderful group for many reasons but especially because they considered me young at the ripe old age of 40. There I was being cast in roles of young 20s! So the bug bit me, and I adored being thought of as young and cute and an actor. Then somewhere along the line, I was reminded that I was having way too much fun, I needed to pay some dues, and I was strongly urged to become a director. I had some great teachers: Fran Rowe Robbins, Gerry Wodin, and Lois Read. But most especially, the queen of SMA theater, Lola Smith, took me under her wing and showed me the ropes.

Divided by Four
Jan 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17
Wed, Fri, Sat, 7pm
Thrifty Thu 3pm (150 pesos)
Sun 3pm and 6pm
San Miguel Playhouse
Avenida Independencia 82
200 pesos

So for years I’ve been acting and directing in the SMA Playreaders. I’ve also been writing all my life—nothing to speak of really—articles, short stories, romance, funny bits, my journals. One day I thought to myself, “Self, why don’t you write a play?” So I did. A one-act play, mostly about women. My sister Marie, who is good at everything she does, acted as my critic and listened to me read it aloud about a hundred times. Then Lola said, “I want to read it!” Fearfully, I gave her a copy and waited. It was only one act, but it seemed to take her a week to read it! Finally, she looked up and said, “This is good, Marty. Why don’t you have a read through?” And so we did. And then she said, “Marty, you need to put it on.”

So fair readers, I am putting Divided by Four, my one-act comedy, out there for you. I hope you all, men and women alike, will at least come to see it. I hope you all will enjoy it and laugh and cry with the characters.

Divided by Four has the best actors and crew anyone could ever ask for. Ken Albanese, Dick Avery, Anne Campbell, Pamela Cordero, Clara Dunham, Phoebe Greyson, BC May, and Susan Rushton will captivate, charm, and delight you. Dic Simandl is our stage manager; YaYa Silva is our light and sound tech person and fellow producer. The lovely and comfortable San Miguel Playhouse is our venue. Debra Bigge is our costumer, Adrian Ross designed the set, and Lois Read is assistant director. Lola Smith is my theater adviser; Mark Saunders is my teacher and marketing adviser (along with Phoebe Greyson). It truly does take a village, and I am the luckiest person in the entire world to have these folks, this village, helping me.

January 13 to 17, one week only, six performances, reserved seating. Tickets go on sale January 4 at Galería Ensueños, Mesones 57A, from 10am to 2pm or at the San Miguel Playhouse an hour before showtime. They are 200 pesos, except for Thrifty Thursday, when they are 150 pesos.


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