Tag Archives: Kerry Long

“Lord Of The Flies”: Powerful Drama Set For Staples Stage

Staples High School’s Black Box Theater is an intimate space.

With a movable stage and seating, it’s been the setting for memorable shows like “Twelve Angry Men,” “The Laramie Project” and “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

Players’ next Black Box production — “Lord of the Flies” — is equally powerful and thought-provoking.

It may also be the most intriguing production there yet.

Directors David Roth and Kerry Long have cast males and females in the roles of 11- and 12-year-old boys. Marooned on an island and struggling to govern themselves, the tension between morality and individuality — and groupthink and immorality — is palpable from the opening scene.

Part of the “Lord of the Flies” cast. (Photo/Kerry Long)

Each performance features a different cast of actors. Some are mixed genders; one is all male, one all female.

Each show will look a bit different. But all force audiences to explore universal ideas like what it means to be human, and the desire for power.

Written in 1954, the story is “fresh, modern, and very relevant to our world today,” Roth says.

Though “Lord of the Flies” is best known as a novel (and film), Roth and Long found a YouTube video of a Sydney theatrical production. Both had read the book as Staples students.

Watching the video, they were reminded again of its power — and attracted to the Australians’ mixed-gender cast.

They relished the challenge of bringing the show — with its ever-shifting dynamics, both thematically and because of the several different casts — to the Black Box stage.

Cameron Mann (Jack) and Quinn Mulvey (Ralph). (Photo/Kerry Long)

Like the directors, some Players have read “Lord of the Flies” in school. Some are reading it right now. All understand its messages about human nature, and are growing as actors as they learn how their characters change — some for better, some worse — on the island, as democracy crumbles.

That island will look spare. The set is abstract, with a sandbox and just 3 props: a pig’s head, Piggy’s glasses, and the iconic conch.

There is, however, plenty of movement. Fight choreographer Chris Smalley — who has worked with Players for over a dozen years — ensures that the intense scenes are performed both authentically and safely.

It’s a different show for Staples, certainly. The theme and emotions are raw. Plus, Long notes, “the kids get spears, and get to act savagely.”

“Lord of the Flies” is not “Mamma Mia!,” “Grease” or “The Music Man” — some of the shows that Players perform on the main stage.

But the Staples troupe is known for their versatility and professionalism. This is the perfect vehicle for them.

And the Black Box Theater is the perfect place to perform it.

(“Lord of the Flies will be performed Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 25, 26 and 27, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 27 at 3 p.m., and Sunday, May 28 at 1 p.m. Click here for tickets and cast lists. The show is recommended for audiences 12 and older.)





“Twelfth Night”: Staples Players’ Jazz-Funk-Pop Shakespearean Sizzler

Staples Players’ spring production is “Twelfth Night.”

People might think: “Teenagers doing Shakespeare. I’ll pass.”


For one thing, Players is no ordinary high school troupe. Their near Broadway-quality shows always entertain, excite and inspire.

For another — and this is key — this “Twelfth Night” is not really Shakespeare. It’s a big, bold musical, filled with singing and dancing.

Ben Herrera as Malvolio, with “Twelfth Night” ensemble.

It’s funny. It’s fun. It’s accessible.

And it zips along: 12 songs are packed into a quick — and very engrossing — 90 minutes.

Players directors David Roth and Kerry Long knew they were taking a risk. “Twelfth Night” — whether familiar Shakespeare, or an unfamiliar musical — is a tough sell.

(From left): Charlie Watson, Matthew Bukzin, Jackie Peterson and Henry Carson in “Twelfth Night.”

But they loved Shaina Taub’s music. They knew that the cast recording was popular with theater people. (When the Public Theatre debuted the show in 2018, the New Yorker called it “less an interpretation of Shakespeare’s comedy than a block party sprinkled with iambic pentameter.”)

And when the directors announced it this winter, they challenged Players cast members to listen to the jazz-funk-pop score with open ears.

The next days, the young actors were singing in the halls. (Click below for senior Sophia Betit, singing during rehearsal.)

During their 65-year history, Players have tackled Shakespeare before. Roth and Long directed “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in 2005, and “Romeo & Juliet” 3 years later.

As with much of The Bard’s work, despite being over 400 years old, “Twelfth Night” remains timely.

The plot deals with “our perceptions of gender — what it means to be a man or a woman, and how women are perceived in society,” Roth says.

(After a shipwreck, a woman dresses as a man to get a job. And of course, there are love complications.)

Quinn Mulvey as Viola. (All photos/Kerry Long)

“The message of the show is about walking in another person’s shoes, and seeing how the world perceives you,” Long explains. “There’s not a lot of equity.”

“Twelfth Night” is not “Mamma Mia!” or “Grease.” But — like those Staples Players blockbusters — it too will thrill audiences of all ages.

“We want to expose people to shows we love,” Roth says. “Take a 90-minute leap of faith with us!”

(“Twelfth Night” performances are March 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m., and March 19 and 25 at 3 p.m. Youngsters 12 and under get a sweet swag bag, including a coupon for a free ice cream cone donated by Saugatuck Sweets, plus a button proudly announcing “My first Shakespeare!”

(Click here for tickets, and more information. Click below to hear the original cast recording music.)

(“06880” is your hyper-local source for Westport entertainment news. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)

“Twelfth Night” Composer Jams With Staples Players

Sure, “Twelfth Night” is Shakespeare.

But Staples Players’ productions always come with a twist. Next month’s show by the award-winning high school troupe is a catchy, contemporary musical version of the Bard’s romantic comedy.

They’ve been excited about it, ever since rehearsals began.

Last week, they got an added jolt: Composer Shaina Taub came to the Staples stage, to chat — and sing — with the cast.

The visit started as a shot in the dark. Co-director Kerry Long reached out on Instagram, noting that Taub’s friend Justin Paul — composer of “Dear Evan Hansen,” “The Greatest Showman” and “La La Land” — is a Players alum.

Taub’s schedule is packed, but she graciously agreed to visit.

Shaina Taub (front row, center, hands clasped) enjoys a sing-along with Players. Andrew Maskoff is at the piano. (Photo/Kerry Long)

The Westport teens related to her stories about growing up as a musical theater kid in Vermont. She described the importance of her extended theater family at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater, and the daunting task of writing an adaptation of Shakespeare after a call from the Public Theater.

Long and co-director David Roth led a Q-and-A session. A question about her writing process brought this advice about getting something — anything — down: “A C+ song on paper is better than an A+ song that hasn’t been written.”

Then the real fun began: a sing-along around the piano.

“There’s something amazing for theater kids to sing songs with the person who wrote them,” Long says.

“Our students are obsessed with the music. They all the know the words to every song, even if they don’t sing it in the show.”

Shaina Taub (left) with Sophia Betit. The senior plays Feste in “Twelfth Night” — the role Taub originated in her own show at the Public Theater. (Photo/Kerry Long)

Taub is now an accomplished composer and actor. But she went right back into “theater kid” mode, singing and bopping joyfully with the young cast.

It was a magical 90 minutes.

Then — the moment it was over — rehearsal began.

Shaina Taub could surely relate.

(Staples Players perform “Twelfth Night” at 7:30 p.m. on March 17, 18, 24 and 25, and 3 p.m. on March 19 and 25. Click here for tickets, and more information. Hat tip: Jill Johnson Mann)

(Staples Players is where teenagers meet Shakespeare — and Shaina Taub. “06880” is “where Westport meets the world” — and you read all about it. Please click here to support your hyper-local blog. Thank you!)

Unsung Heroes #264

For over 60 years, Staples Players have entertained, touched and inspired audiences. Some shows are fun and funny; others, thought-provoking or  provocative.

Over the years, we’ve grown to expect spectacular quality: acting, singing, directing, choreography, sets, costumes, lighting, the pit.

We always rave about Players’ productions. But we sometimes take them for granted.

“Guys and Dolls” — the 7th time they’ve put on that musical — closed Saturday night. It built on the tradition of previous versions, and all the other successes.

But it sure wasn’t easy.

Henry Carson — the senior playing Nathan Detroit — was laid out by flu just before the show opened. Freshman Will McCrae stepped spectacularly into the breach. (His late grandfather — Jack Lemmon — would have been very proud.)

Will McCrea as Nathan Detroit, and Jackie Peterson as Adelaide. (Photo/Kerry Long)

The next day, understudies Graham Griffin (also a 9th grader) and junior Finley Chevrier took the stage, in other roles. A spot operator was also out sick.

In the week between opening and closing, nearly 2 dozen of the cast and tech crew caught whatever was going around. By the final performance, all but one had recovered. The show went on — fabulously.

But without its regular pit orchestra conductor.

Staples music teacher Carrie Mascaro was ill. Her colleague Luke Rosenberg — the school’s choral director — stepped up big time. He learned the score, then led 14 musicians in a flawless performance.

Luke Rosenberg took over as pit director last weekend. (Photo/Dan Woog)

The show must go on. And it did.

How about one more standing ovation for:

  • The understudies who got the call, and quickly responded
  • Their replacements, who had to instantly adapt too
  • The costume crew, who did incredible work before the show, then kept working as actors took on new roles
  • The tech crew, which never gets enough praise — and their creative boss, Jeff Hauser, who made sure set designer Jordan Janota’s imaginative vision was brought to life

“Rockin’ the Boat” — on the great “Guys and Dolls” set. (Photo/Kerry Long)

  • Choreographer (and expectant mom) Rachel MacIsaac Myers, whose wonderful work continued with each new actor
  • Luke Rosenberg, a true professional who stepped into the big conducting breach with virtually no notice
  • Directors David Roth and Kerry Long, who solved problem after problem, and weathered storm after storm, by modeling the show biz tradition that everyone involved will remember the rest of their lives.

“Guys and Dolls” — the 1950 show — is all about luck.

“Guys and Dolls” — Staples Players-style — had plenty of bad luck. But every person involved, on stage and off, came through a winner.

Congratulations, guys (and dolls). You’re our “06880” Unsung Heroes of the Week.

PS: Missed the show? check out the highlight reel below. It’s an easy bet: This will be the best 8 minutes you spend today.

(Do you know an Unsung Hero? Let us know! Email 06880blog@gmail.com)

(“06880” entertains — and, hopefully, inspires and provokes — you several times a day. To support your hyper-local blog, please click here.)


Lucky 7 For Staples Players’ “Guys & Dolls”

“Guys and Dolls” holds a special place in David Roth’s heart.

The Broadway classic was the very first show he staged at Staples High School, after being named Players director in 2000.

Nine years later, when he revived the show, his and co-director Kerry Long’s daughter was born on opening night — just 17 minutes after the curtain rose.

“Guys and Dolls” holds a special place for other Players directors too. It debuted in 1973; was reprised in 1983 (as a summer show), 1985 nd again in 1993.

When the curtain rises on November 11, the seventh production will make it the most popular in Staples Players history.

“Oldest Established” with the Gangster Ensemble. (Photo/Kerry Long)

“It’s such a great show!” Roth notes. “It’s got wonderful characters and great dancing. It’s funny. It’s been called ‘the best musical ever written.’ Audiences love it, and kids love working on it.”

“Guys and Dolls” is as perfect for Roth today as it was when he took Players’ reins 22 years ago. Back then he wanted to build 2 strong bases: actors and audiences.

Now — after COVID — he’s rebuilding both.

Though Roth and Long have directed “Guys and Dolls” twice before, this is an entirely new show. The set designer, technical director, choreographer and musical director are all new.

Roth says the set “is not to be believed.” Designed by Jordan Janota, and overseen by tech director Jeff Hauser, it features vintage light-up signs.

“Rockin’ the Boat” — on the great “Guys and Dolls” set. (Photo/Kerry Long)

Of course — this being high school — the cast is entirely new too. “New actors always make roles their own,” Roth explains.

The teenagers — born more than half a century after the show debuted, and not yet alive the first time Roth directed it — knew of the show, he says. But most had never seen it.

“They’ve been excited since the beginning,” he adds. “They’ve embraced these bigger-than-life characters.

“And Kerry and I are excited to expose them — and younger audiences — to a classic show like this.’

Fugue for Tinhorns with Jayden Saenz, Finley Chevrier and Sebastian Gikas

“Guys and Dolls” is 72 years old, but it always seems fresh and new. It was revived this month at Washington’s Kennedy Center, and will run next year in London.

It’s been produced 4 times on Broadway.

Seems like the Great White Way has a bit of catching up to do with Staples Players.

(“Guys and Dolls” will be performed on Friday and Saturday, November 11, 12, 18 and 19, at 7:30 p.m., with matinees on November 12, 13 and 19 at 3 p.m. Click here for tickets, and more information.)

ENCORE! Choreographer Rachel MacIsaac is about to deliver her second child. What are the odds that — like Lucy Roth — it too will be born on opening night?

(“06880” is almost as entertaining as Staples Players. Please click here to help support this blog.)

Sarah Brown (played by Madelyn Spera) and Sky Masterson (James Dobin-Smith). (Photo/Kerry Long)

209 Brothers Grimm Stories, In 60-Odd Minutes

The last time Staples Players performed in the Black Box Theater was 2019. When COVID hit, the intimate space near the large auditorium closed.

The seats have been cleaned. A set has been built. This Thursday and Friday (May 12 and 13, 7:30 p.m.), audience will laugh out loud at “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon.”

David Roth and Kerry Long direct the Black Box show. Traditional fairy tales are turned on their heads in fast-paced fashion: an acting troupe tries to combine all 209 stories in a little over an hour.

Familiar tales like Snow White, Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel are here. So are more bizarre, obscure ones like The Devil’s Grandmother and The Girl Without Hands.

There’s plenty of audience participation — and the audience is PG. Click here for tickets.

Drew Andrade and Mel Stanger as Hansel and Gretel, in “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon.” (Photo/Kerry Long)

But wait! There’s more!

Playrers’ 20th annual One-Act Play Festival is set for May 28 (5 p.m., 8 p.m.) and May 29 (5 p.m.). Roth’s directing class students stage their own shows — including casting, costumes and set design — and young actors to show their stuff, in a series of 10-minute plays. Comedy, drama and more come in rat-a-tat fashion, in the Black Box theater.

This is the first One-Act Festival in 2 years.

Players’ Black Box season concludes with “At the Bottom of Lake Missoula” (June 9 and 11, 7:30 p.m.).

This Studio Theatre production, directed by seniors Chloe Manna and Chloe Nevas, is completely student-designed,

After losing her entire family in a fatal tornado, a college sophomore embarks on an unimaginable journey. To separate herself from her grief, she transfers schools and isolates herself, but her sadness and guilt over their deaths linger.

When a classmate makes an attempt at conciliation, Pam finally realizes that healing need not be a solitary endeavor.

Tickets for the One-Act Play Festival and “”Lake Missoula” will be available soon, at StaplesPlayers.com.

“Disney’s Descendants” Rises On Staples Stage

As Staples Players directors David Roth and Kerry Long searched for a spring show that would feature plenty of actors, and engage young audiences — more important than ever, as the troupe emerges from many COVID-imposed restrictions — they did not have to look far.

Caley Beretta — a 2010 graduate and former Players president — now works as manager of creative development for Disney Theatrical Group. She worked with writer Nick Blaemire on “Disney’s Descendants: The Musical.”

The comedy features songs from the Disney Channel original “Descendants” fantasy adventure film, and its sequels. (If you don’t have a young kid: The plot lines involve the teenage children of Disney characters Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella de Vil,)

“Descendants: The Musical” came out near the beginning of the pandemic. So it did not go through the usual pilot process, in which school drama troupes try it out, then offer feedback for producers to tweak. (Staples Players has done that before, most notably with “Newsies.”)

Beretta offered the untested show to her alma mater. Players will be the first group to use live orchestrations.

It will also be the first to host a production team from Disney. They’ll see the show, complete with an audience.

Staples Players ensemble in “Did I Mention?” (Photo/Kerry Long)

But that’s not the only connection between Disney, “Descendants” and Staples.

Last week Blaemire and Beretta came to Westport. They described the creative process to Players, answered questions, watched the actors perform 2 numbers, then worked with the cast on specific scenes.

In addition, a camera crew interviewed several Players, for Disney to use in marketing.

Caley Beretta and Nick Blaemire, on the Staples stage. (Photo/Kerry Long)

Blaemire described his parallels between the fairytale storyline, and serious social themes like belonging, heritage, citizenship, and the complexities of good and evil.

Blaemire and Baretta inspired the young cast and crew, as they prepared for the opening curtain April 1. The show runs for 7 performances, the first 2 weekends in April.

“Descendants” has been fun — and challenging — for Roth, Long, choreographer Rachel MacIsaac and technical director Jeff Hauser.

“So many times, we do plays that have been done so many times before,” Roth explains. “The chance to do one that no one has seen is rare, and exciting. We are staging scenes completely on our own. That’s very energizing.”

“The Evils.” From left: Chloe Manna, Ben Herrera, Quinn Mulvey, Jayden Saenz).(Photo: Kerry Long)

Sets, dancing and stage movements are not the only things they’re figuring out. The song “Goal” takes place during a sports event — but it’s a sport that does not exist.

Roth and Long created it entirely from scratch. Then they choreographed, and fit it on the stage.

“The kids and adults are very excited,” Roth says. “We like the story line, the music, and taking iconic villains to a new level.”

Roth praises the set too, designed by professional Jordan Janota. The show moves between 2 worlds, offering a different set of challenges to the tech crew and lighting designers.

Roth and Long’s goal was to find a show that appealed to their actors, and young audiences — both of whom have missed the rhythm of regular Players shows during COVID.

Beretta delivered, big time. Walt Disney would have loved this story.

(“Disney’s Descendants: The Musical” will be performed on April 1, 2, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m., and April 2, 3 and 9 at 3 p.m. Click here for tickets. Proof of vaccination and/or testing is not required. For the protection of the cast and crew, masks are encouraged in the auditorium.)

Staples Players ensemble in “Rotten to the Core.” (Photo/Kerry Long)


“Grease” Is The (Staples Players’) Word

David Roth and Kerry Long love “Grease.”

The Staples Players directors watch the movie often. Their high school students do too.

It evokes not just nostalgia for the 1950s — its setting — but for the 1970s too, when the classic movie was made.

The music, theme and ensemble casting make it the perfect vehicle for Players’ return to the stage. “Grease” marks the troupe’s first major mainstage show since COVID struck, just hours before the opening night of “Seussical” in March 2020.

The curtain rises this week. Roth says his actors are excited for the show — and so is the town.

“Everyone knows ‘Grease,'” Roth says. Some remember the original Broadway production; many more know the movie that followed.

“Greased Lightning” (senior Ryan Porio, center). (Photo/Kerry Long)

But — as always — Players puts their own spin on it.

“A lot of people think it’s about a girl who has to make herself look sexy, to be attractive to a boy,” Roth says. “But we delved into the history. Who were the greasers and the Pink Ladies in the ’50s? They were the forerunners of people who fought for women’s rights.”

In 1959, he says, America was “the era of ‘Father Knows Best’ and ‘Leave it to Beaver.’ The traditional American home was expected to have the wife stay home looking pretty, wearing an apron while preparing a meal for her husband and children.”

However, he adds, “We feel that the greasers and, more importantly, the Pink Ladies are rebelling against this traditional mold of femininity.

“Our actors understand: Sandy doesn’t randomly end up with these people. She chooses Danny and the Pink Ladies. Somehow she finds her people, and becomes true to herself.”

The production is “really fun. It’s got all the singing and dancing everyone loves. It’s definitely PG,”: although it is not “squeaky clean.” With a large ensemble cast, many actors get a chance to shine.

“Summer Loving” (Photo/Kerry Long)

Despite the allure of “Grease,” Roth and Long were not sure if audiences would embrace a return to indoor theater.

They have. Ticket sales are brisk. The shared experience of sitting in the theater, knowing the words to every song, is alluring.

“People are anxious to get back to the real world,” Roth says.

Whether that’s the world of 2021, or the 1950s.

(“Grease” will be performed on Friday and Saturday, November 12, 13, 19 and 20, at 7:30 p.m. Matinees are set for Sunday, November 14 and Saturday, November 20 at 3 p.m.. Tickets may be purchased online here, or in the lobby 30 minutes prior to the show, if available. All audiences must provide proof of vaccine [a photo is fine] or proof of a negative COVID test taken no more than 72 hours prior to the show. Arrive at least 30 minutes before showtime. Masks must be worn at all times.)

“Magic Changes” (Photo/Kerry Long)

Taber And Brittany Stage A Players’ Proposal

When Taber Onthank was a Staples High School sophomore, and Brittany Uomoleale was a freshman, they dated briefly.

Both were talented Players actors. They shared the stage in “Children of Eden,” “Urinetown,” “The Wiz,” “The Laramie Project” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

Brittany Uomoleale and Taber Onthank, as Staples Players actors … (Photo/Kerry Long)

As they got older, their feelings for each other grew. Things got serious following — appropriately — “Romeo and Juliet.”

… and high school sweethearts.

But after graduation in 2008 Taber headed to the University of Miami, to study music. Brittany majored in theater at Michigan. They visited each other at school, and got together on breaks in Westport. Still, Taber says, “we lived our own college lives.”

Taber stayed in Miami to play music. Brittany headed to Los Angeles, to act. Though farther apart than ever, Brittany says, they grew closer.

Taber moved west. He now writes songs for other artists and ad agencies, and has a recording studio in Santa Monica.

Brittany (known professionally as Britt Baron) was on several seasons of “Glow”; a new Netflix horror film is due out this summer. She’s done voiceovers for video games, and much more.

Brittany and Taber live together. They have a dog together. They spent a lot of time together during COVID. They talked a bit about marriage — nothing definite though.

But a while ago, Taber bought a ring.

Taber Onthank and Brittany Uomoleale, today.

They get back east a couple of times a year, to visit family and friends. Before their most recent trip, Taber told Players directors David Roth and Kerry Long his idea: He’d like to propose to Brittany at Staples. On stage — “where it all began.”

The directors were thrilled.

Roth enlisted recently graduated seniors. Some will attend Michigan; many will study theater. The plan was for Brittany to talk to them about acting as a career. Then they’d go on stage, for a “group photo.”

Brittany — who, Taber says, is “very hard to surprise” — thought something was up. But when she walked into the Black Box Theater and saw a group of students, she launched into her talk.

The new alums — who were all in on the ruse — “nodded along as I gave advice,” Brittany says. Hey, they are really good actors.

Soon, she walked on stage. Taber was there — lit dramatically, thanks to recent grad Brandon Malin.

Taber — uncharacteristically nervous — proposed to Brittany. Players watched from the wings. One girl cried.

The proposal …

Neither Brittany nor Taber remember much. Both call it a “surreal, out-of-body experience.”

… and the aftermath. (Proposal photos/Kerry Long)

But it was also very, very special.

“I hadn’t been in that auditorium in years,” Brittany says. “Our lives in L.A. are very different from our lives then. That seems so long ago — but on stage, it seemed like nothing had changed. That’s where we did so much together, where we made so many good friends, and where Taber wrote and performed a song for me.”

The stage was also where — more than a decade ago — Long took what Brittany calls a “stunning” photo of the couple — as actors. They had not yet started dating.

During and after the proposal, Long again took photos. “We came full circle,” Brittany says.

She and Taber give great props to Roth and Long — and to the Players who helped make the proposal work.

“They were so sweet and cute,” Taber says. “They’d already graduated. They were done. But they came back on a summer day, to help with this.”

Staples Players, back in the day. Brittany Uomoleale and Taber Onthank are in front, 3rd and 4th from left. (Photo/Kerry Long)

The couple has not set a date for their wedding. They don’t even know which coast it will be on.

But that — like the rest of their lives together — is in the future. Right now, Brittany says, “I feel so lucky. Players gave me my career, my best friends, and now my fiance.”

Not to mention, a very cool proposal story. One they can re-en”act” for years.

Staples Players Return! Curtain Rises Thursday.

The big New York news: Broadway is opening up soon.

The bigger Westport news: Staples Players are opening up sooner.

The nationally renowned theater troupe takes to the stage next week — Thursday through Saturday, May 20, 21 and 22 — for a series of hilarious mini-plays by David Ives.

It’s their first time in front of a Staples audience since “Mamma Mia!” in the fall of 2019. COVID canceled “Seussical” a day before its spring opening last year. Gone too were a summer show, fall mainstage, various Black Box productions, and 2 years’ 1-Act Festivals.

The actors and tech crew kept sharp with 7 creative, well-received radio shows. But they were itching to perform a live audience.

And those live audiences can’t wait to have them back.

The production is called “Words Words Words … and Music.” Director David Roth describes Ives’ 7 short plays — and 2 other mini-musicals, plus additional musical numbers (with live musicians) — as “a little bit wacky. It’s like watching ‘Saturday Night Live,’ if every sketch worked.”

From left: Camille Foisie, Colin Konstanty, Samantha Webster and David Corro in “The Almost In-Laws.” (Photo/Kerry Long)

How wacky?

Remember the idea that 3 monkeys typing into infinity will eventually produce “Hamlet”? Ives imagines the monkeys talking at their typewriters.

One play follows 2 people in a conversational minefield. An offstage bell interrupts every false start, gaffe and faux pas — but the actors can’t hear it.

In one of the musicals, a man introduces his fiancée to his parents, who are … elves.

You get the idea.

Chloe Manna and Ben Herrera talk things out. (Photo/Kerry Long)

Roth and co-director Kerry Long had seen the plays before. They’d wanted to produce them for a while. This is the perfect opportunity.

Every senior — the veteran actors who missed out on so much — has a moment to shine. Familiar faces include Jamie Mann (fresh off his Netflix “Country Comfort” appearance), Camille Foisie and Samantha Webster (stars of “Mamma Mia!”), Sophie Rossman and David Corro.

They stayed active — and stretched their creativity — with Players’ radio plays. But they (and their directors) are thrilled to be back on stage.

“The kids are ecstatic. Every step — auditions, read-throughs, tech week — has been like old times,” Roth says. “They got back into the routine very quickly.”

Sophie Rossman, Benny Zack and Samantha Webster take their star turns. (Photo/Kerry Long)

All COVID protocols are being followed. Actors wear special masks, with clear plastic that allows their mouths to be seen.

Rehearsals take place in small groups. Three-quarters of the cast is fully vaccinated.

Only 300 tickets — less than 1/3 of the auditorium’s capacity of 960 — are being sold for each performance. There will be empty rows between each one with people; empty seats separate each pod of ticket-buyers. Every armrest is wiped down between shows.

A number of Players will pursue theater in college. They’ve already learned their most important lesson: The show must go on.

(“Words Words Words … and Music”) will be performed Thursday, Friday and Saturday, May 20, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m., and May 22 at 2 p.m. Click here for tickets and more information.)