Review: The Short Short Play Festival – Room 17, Charlie Blake’s Boat, Midnight Rubes (The Social Capital Theatre)

The Social Capital Theatre, Toronto presents The Short Short Play Festival, July 22-25, 2015

Tonight, I got to take in three 20 minute plays as part of The Social Capital Theatre’s inaugural Short Short Play Festival; Room 17 by Barb Scheffler, Charlie Baker’s Boat by Graeme Gillis and Midnight Rubes by Ron Fromstein. I was looking forward to this little variety pack of plays and I am happy to report, I got exactly what I was hoping for as it proved to be an evening full of entertainment and talent.

The night opened with the short play Room 17. It was a comedy of errors whose two lead characters, played by Debora Joy and Jillian Rees Brown, reminded me of the classic Golden Girls archetypes, Blanche and Dorothy. The success of their comedy highly depended on their ability to pitch and hit the joke. As a team, they were spot on. Sometimes I felt like their jokes resonated more with the older demographic in the room but there were plenty of laughs throughout the play that appealed to just about everyone.

Andrea Irwin Brown, in a supporting role, played with ease and precision, making sure every emotion was executed with comedic clarity. Damian Howard, as the male gigolo, seemed more like a caricature than a real human. I felt like he jilted me out of the scene at times, as if his character’s only purpose was to provide the lead in for punch lines, but I feel like that issue lies more in the writer’s hands than the actor himself.

Next, was mine and my guest’s favorite play of the night, Charlie Blake’s Boat. This play was presented with special arrangement with Dramatist Play Service and had originally been produced in NYC which I found interesting considering the play is based on the east coast of Canada.

The two actors, Lindsay Kyte and Jarrod MacLean were knock outs as Helen and Charlie. They were firmly rooted in their individual characters as well as in their relationship to one another. These characters were fully fleshed out and it read loud and clear on stage. I thought the play had nice ebbs and flows, keeping me engaged until the very end. There was a lot of heart in this piece and the chemistry between the two actors was really beautiful to watch.

Finally Midnight Rubes rounded off the show. This was another two-hander featuring Mamito Kukwikila and Helen Cashin. I loved Kukwikila’s lovable idiot to Cashin’s more intelligently sound character. This play was set in what I think was the Medieval times, where getting shot by an arrow was a plausible cause for concern. Potential death by arrow aside, this was a light-hearted, comedic coupling, with a peppering of physical comedy, which lent itself to some fun back and forth. The only thing I and my guest felt was lacking here, was pacing. We felt like the jokes would have landed better if the timing was a bit tighter.

All in all, I really enjoyed this small sampling of plays and the caliber of performances and writing styles. I loved the idea of getting to see a few different pieces in one night. The best part is, you can see up to six plays if you stay for both the 8pm and 10pm show. I really think it’s worth making a night of and seeing what the Short Short Play Festival has to offer. If you want a little enticing and a behind the scenes sneak peak of what you can expect, check out this video.


  • The Short Short Play Festival ‘s remaining show dates July 23-25, 2015 at The Social Capital Theatre (154 Danforth Avenue, 2nd floor)
  • Shows are grouped into three short plays each night at 8pm and 10pm. See website for specific show times.
  • Ticket Prices: Wednesday and Thursday are PWYC, Friday and Saturday $15 or $12 student and senior tickets.
  • Tickets available at the door.
  • ALL box office/ticket sales go directly to the artists.

Photo taken from The Social Capital Theatre website