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Playfully Prolific

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Zach Lewis (l) and Brad Goertz star in Post, the second act of The Coitus Plays. Photo by Eva LaPorte.

Three different one-acts by playwright Eric James are currently being staged by three different production companies
by Nancy Ford

It’s already been a busy year for Houston playwright Eric James. No less than three of the prolific playwright’s works are currently being staged by three different theatrical production companies.

“I’m enjoying a nice run,” James modestly admits.

Playwright Eric James

James’s work may also be experienced at Drama-rama-thon. Produced by Unhinged Productions, the showcase of short plays by local playwrights includes James’s Stop, Traveler. Written by James in 2008, Stop, Traveler tells the Midwest homecoming story of a gay man. “The turmoil he feels is complicated by the crises facing the people he once knew and loved,” James adds.

NightCap Theatre is a new production group formed by James and Peter Wittenberg Jr. James has penned one of two one-acts for NightCap, presented within The Coitus Plays, which revolves around two men who experience an unexpected turn of events during their one-night stands.

“Doug can’t get it up,” says James, describing the evening’s first play, entitled Pre, written by Wittenberg and directed by Christine Weems. “Is it the writer’s block or something more? And can his friends, ex-lovers, and a porn star help him discover the answer and maybe even find the solution?” James teases.

Post, a one-act authored by James for The Coitus Plays, is directed by Eva Laporte. It focuses on Chris and Dennis immediately following their one-night stand. “When Dennis is ready for Chris to leave, Chris makes a confession,” James explains. “Then he makes another. Then Dennis has to examine himself and question whether he ever should have cruised through Craigslist in the first place.”

James contributes a one-act to Motel Tropicana: A series of Adult No-Tells, currently in production in conjunction with Big Head Productions.

“All plays in Motel Tropicana must take place in the same seedy motel room,” James says. ”I thought it would be perfect for a play about shooting a porno. In it, a straight porn actor shows up to shoot a part in what turns out to be a gay film.

“Hopefully, it’s funny,” James adds.

With a premise like that, how can it not be?

Motel Tropicana: A Series of Adult No-Tells
Through February 4
Big Head Productions at Obsidian Art Space
3522 White Oak Dr.
obsidianartspace.com

Drama-rama-thon
February 2–11
Unhinged Productions at Frenetic Theater
5102 Navigation Blvd.
unhingedproductions.com

The Coitus Plays
February 9–25
NightCap Theatre at Obsidian Art Space
3522 White Oak Dr.
nightcaptheatre.com • obsidianartspace.com.

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