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REVIEW: Five Times in One Night

by Melissa Yeaw

It takes a few of the one-act plays to figure out what the title of this play is all about. Actually, maybe it takes all five of the plays. And the title could be interpreted a few ways. Just the basic: five one-act plays, perhaps. Or maybe five times the same story told, differently. (Both of these are applicable.) But there’s something else that happens five times… in one night, in this play.

Each of the vignettes focus on a heterosexual couple. In each of the stories, the couple struggles with their relationship, and in each of the stories, the couples have sex, mostly off stage. This very contemporary play, written by Chiara Atik in 2015, and directed by RJ Tolan, features stories that span centuries. The first one-act features Mel and Djuna, the only two survivors of a post-apocalyptic nuclear disaster. They have been scavenging and existing for months, and Mel wants to “check in” and talk. He thinks they should have sex, to propagate the species. Djuna is reluctant, obviously not attracted to Mel. In the end they fantasize about lawn mowers in suburbia and the lights dim as they do their best to continue the human species. In the second play, Kacy and Stephen are in a relationship gone bad, but Kacy is pregnant, and still loves Stephen. It’s the night before her abortion, and Kacy wants one more time with Stephen. The final play features Adam and Eve discovering sex. It’s funny and a bit wild.

The play is performed by only two actors, Lacy Allen and Drew Lewis. In an interesting feature of the set, between each vignette, the actors retreat to each side of the stage and change their clothes, while the stage hands arrange the set for the next play. At first this is distracting, as they undress a bit, but in fact this gives the audience a chance to breathe, it keeps us entertained as they fix the set, and it also works to set the scene for the next story. We wonder why Lewis is donning a friar’s brown frock, for instance. The acting is wonderful, both actors switching into their new parts with aplomb, and there is real chemistry between them. They check in with each other, meeting each other’s eyes, making sure each are ready, before beginning the next romp. The writing is subtle and smart, snappy in places and funny. With very few clues, we figure out pretty quickly what is going on and what has already happened between the two characters. It builds beautifully; by the time they are chewing on each other in the Adam and Eve story, we are ready for the culmination of the play.

Five Times in One Night is performed at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, 2357 Rte. 6, Wellfleet, Tuesdays – Saturdays through July 20 at 8 p.m. For tickets ($25 – $39) and information, go to the box office, call 508.349.9428, or visit

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Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

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