By Denny Patterson
City Theatre and Island City Stage’s much anticipated event is back, and it’s bigger and better than ever. Shorts Gone Wild, the hottest LGBT+ themed short play festival, will be held August 2-26,2018. Entering its sixth year, Shorts Gone Wild takes seven short plays, six playwrights, four directors, six versatile actors, and a team of designers, and combines them all together. The result is a hysterical, provocative, and surprising theatrical production that will certainly entertain all audiences. Shorts Gone Wild features new ten-minute plays by local and national playwrights. Selling out every season, it is expected to do the same this year. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at www.IslandCityStage.org. I had the pleasure of chatting with Daniel Llaca, one of the actors in this year’s festival.
Can you tell me about some of the characters you will be playing?
Shorts Gone Wild 6 is bringing characters from the LGBTQ community to the stage in a fun, provocative, and at times, heartwarming way. Many of the characters I play reflect that, with characters that are gay, trans, or relating to someone who is.
Why did you try out for Shorts Gone Wild?
I auditioned for Shorts Gone Wild because of the reputation that Island City Theatre has for bringing such colorful short plays to life in a way that always seems to leave audiences laughing and smiling.
What is your favorite theatre memory?
It’s that element of theater that brings back powerful fond memories. I can think back to a time when both my parents and I were shaking and crying with laughter at a production we once saw of Peter and the Starcatcher. That memory of feeling so connected by the simple brilliance of theater is one I will not likely forget.
What can audiences expect from Shorts Gone Wild?
Audiences can expect to leave Shorts Gone Wild 6 with a similar experience. One where they can put the turbulence of our current society aside and all laugh together alongside some extremely talented young artists. It’s an experience that many Americans will likely relate and enjoy.
What do you look for in a good audience?
All it takes is an open mind, which is all I look for in a good audience. An open mind combined with the freedom to laugh and play is a proven recipe for a great time out at the theater.
How do you prepare yourself before going out on stage?
Typically, before going on stage I go through a rapid-fire review of the lines with my colleagues. This both relaxes any pre-show nerves, as well as reassures me that should anything unexpected happen, as is often the case in live theater, my cast and I have each other’s backs.
Which role has been the most fun to play in this series?
My most fun role in this production has also been by far the most challenging. It is the role of Liz, a transgendered woman suffering from a very common problem, through what some might consider very uncommon circumstances.
Is it challenging for you to play so many characters in such a short amount of time?
Yes, but it comes with the love I have for theatre. Juggling three to four roles at once, we could rehearse for months and still make new discoveries. Doing it in such a short amount of time adds to the excitement and creativity that Shorts Gone Wild is known for.