Romance, drama, hexes, heartbreak and the afterlife — Bakersfield Community Theatre has a little bit of everything this weekend with the return of its 32nd annual One-Act Festival.

Held annually, the show featuring local writers or those with local ties has allowed BCT to endure as one of the longest-running community theaters in the state even with truncated seasons.

This festival features six shows focusing on relationships in their varying forms.

JJ Diaz, who wrote one of the scenes as well as oversaw the festival, said she wants audiences to connect with the material, however the stories may diverge from their lives.

"The One-Acts are an opportunity for actors and directors of all experience levels to bring stories to life, and our company has done amazingly with these diverse yet universal stories," she wrote in her director's notes. "We look forward to entertaining you, but also you seeing yourself in one or some of these characters."

Scenes are:

"The Agnostic" (written by Tyler Herzog, directed by Deva Wiloth): When Lana, an Agnostic, dies in a car accident, she must decide which afterlife she wants to spend eternity in; much to the chagrin of the person in charge at the Department of Afterlife Assignment. Starring Sydney Brunsell, Jan Hefner, April Reed and Tamara Traynor.

"Hotel Paper" (written and directed by JJ Diaz): Childhood friends, played by Conner Campbell and Jenna Joy Fernandez, reach a crossroad when they realize what their relationship really could've been.

"Raynell's Heart" (written by Lucy Brown, directed by Xian Fredericksen): A woman (Natalie Underwood) has to explain her wounds to another person (played by Tamara Traynor) after having her heart broken.

"Liquid Courage" (written by Kelsey Gaines, directed by Carlos Contreras): While attending an engagement party, friends muse on relationships and ultimately discover their feelings for each other. Starring Stephanie Borges, Kyle Brock, Joey Campbell and Josh Carruthers.

"Nuptial Agreement" (written and directed by Adam Matthew Fernandez): After a man (Shaquille Hill) proposes to his girlfriend (Faith Hall) he soon finds he must adjust his plans.

"Bubble, Bubble" (written by Tom Coash, directed by Faith Hall): Blaire (Heather McCarthy) and Cassandra (Alissa Morrow) spend Valentine's Day planning spellbinding revenge on their exes while discovering an unlikely ally in Cat (Natalie Underwood).

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.

(1) comment

LaurieJones

JJ Diaz is a VERY talented friend of my family and also a WOMAN!!! 😂

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