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An LVLT play explores office secrets, while another skewers the faithful

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From left, Francis Stallings, Dave Pomeroy, Bridget Carlvin and Chase Dowden in /’Se-krits/.
Photo: Kris M. Mayshiro / KM2 Creative / Courtesy

For its 10th-annual New Works Competition, Las Vegas Little Theatre’s committee chose /’Se-krits/ by Robb Willoughby from more than 150 submitted manuscripts, largely due to how it depicts what’s said—and what’s not—between the cubicle walls.

“For me as a committee member, it was good writing, strong characters and good humor,” says Las Vegas Little Theatre board vice president Gillen Brey. “We really liked that it was an office comedy, since so many audience members could relate to that world.”

The story centers around a day in an office manager’s life as he discovers that he and his employees harbor sensitive information. “I wanted to write a play with a small amount of characters that could be contained on one set,” says Willoughby, who also works in a brewery tap room in Yellowsprings, Ohio. “I wanted to explore this backpack full of secrets that we all carry around with us everyday. [In the play] secrets are exposed, some profound and some ridiculous.”

Willoughby chose the phonetic spelling of the word “secrets” for the title because it would allude to a dictionary entry. “The play is an exploration of definition of secrets, so I thought it was apropos,” he says. In addition to avoid overlapping with previous plays of the same name, Willoughby “thought it looked really good on a T-shirt.”

And does the playwright carry any secrets of his own? “Of course, yes,” Willoughby says. “I believe we all do, although my personal secrets are not the same as [those of] the characters in the play. Since I wrote it, there is a little part of me in each of the characters. … I hope [the audience] leaves wondering what secret the person they came with to the play is holding.”

Meanwhile, on the LVLT main stage ... The New York Times describes the irreverent comedy An Act of God as “a gut-busting-funny riff on the never-ending folly of mankind’s attempts to fathom God’s wishes through the words of the Bible and use them to their own ends.” It has delighted Broadway-goers for the past few years, with the title character played by sitcom stars like Sean Hayes (Will & Grace) and Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory).

In its Las Vegas production, the characters—archangels Michael and Gabriel join God—will be played by a rotating cast (Glenn Heath, Kade Cox and April Sauline). This means that all three actors had to learn all three roles. “It’s a pleasant struggle,” director Max Lardent says. “You don’t get to do that with most theatrical experiences.”

The payoff is that each cast revolution offers a new experience for the audience. “The interpretation from the three actors are very different.” Lardent says. “If you are able to, try to see more than one God.”

/’Se-krits/ May 10-13, times vary, $14-15.

AN ACT OF GOD May 10-13, 17-20, times vary, $21-24. Las Vegas Little Theatre, 702-362-7996.

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