‘Waver’ caps off Colonial Theatre’s play festival

JOHNSTOWN – Tony Pezzula may not be a household name, but his short plays have entertained audiences of Colonial Little Theatre’s New Play Festival for three seasons.

In the opinion of theater people, Tony Pezzula deserves a “Tony.”

Now, “The Waver,” an expanded version of Tony’s 2010 play, will cap off CLT’s 2014 Festival on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. A $5 donation is suggested. Reservations are not necessary.

Tony, a retiree who lives in Albany, has had plays performed in regional theaters and received a Meritorious Achievement in Playwrighting Award from the Theater Association of New York State in 2011 for “Home Again.”

The original version of “The Waver” was performed in Sand Lake, N.Y., and Spring Lake, N.J., and in Connecticut. This is his first attempt at a full-length play. Following the success of “The Waver” in 2010, staged readings of “The Fifth Inning” (2011) and “Room 12” (2012) were performed at Colonial Little Theatre.

In the full-length version of “The Waver,” Eugene, a retiree adjusting to retired life, is dealing with a wife recovering from a serious condition and a neighbor showing signs of dementia. He meets Jerry, a young man he used to see on his way to work who waves at passing cars from the side of the road. The young man is challenged, but has a good, if corny, sense of humor. The young man’s humor and optimism help the retiree deal with a haunting, long-ago decision.

Directed by Suzie McLellan, the cast includes many of the same actors from last weekend’s readings of short plays.

Chad Herron plays Eugene and Faith Barlow plays his wife, Jean. Will Dougherty plays Jerry. Other roles are played by Nichole Burkus, Terri Storrs, Mark Joseph Peek, Justin Mykel Eschbach and George Carter.

The producer of the festival is Theatre Workshop, the Colonial Little Theatre playwrights group.

Theatre Workshop was organized in 2006 to develop new plays for production as staged readings at Colonial Little Theatre, and to raise money for the theater’s capital fund. This is its eighth production season.