Columns Sally Hogarty Stage Struck

Embrace the corruption in Plotline’s dark comedy

Gwendolyn Sampson-Brown (Rose) and Kirk Waller (Troy) perform in Pittsburg Community Theatre’s production of Fences Feb. 5-13. (Photo by Dianna Schepers)

Columns Sally Hogarty Stage StruckCONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Jan. 21, 2022) — Hold on to your seats as Plotline Theatre Company takes you on a lightning-fast ride through the rivalries of two monasteries in France circa 1250 A.D. with “Incorruptible.”

Michael Hollinger’s dark comedy about the Dark Ages pokes fun at how people contort their convictions to rationalize bad behavior.

The monks in a monastery in Priseaux are desperately trying to bring in new cash so they can continue their mission to help the needy, but their patron saint hasn’t produced a miracle in 13 years and pilgrims no longer visit. No pilgrims. No money.

To make matters worse, another monastery claims to possess the real relics of the saint. And their relics are working miracles.

As all looks bleak, an unlikely savior in the person of a one-eyed minstrel enters the village – taking the comedy up a notch.

Directed by Randy Anger, the show features David Ghilardi, Erin Hurley, Melynda Kiring, Jerry Motta, Montgomery Paulsen, Linda Sciacqua, Sahil Singh and Ian Wilcox. It runs through Feb. 6 at the Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward St., Martinez.

For tickets, go to or call 925-350-9770.

I hope you didn’t get your fill of Charles Dickens with the many “Christmas Carol” productions over the holidays, because Synergy Theater continues the celebration with “Spontaneous Charles Dickens.”

The company presents a completely improvised two-act comedy in the style of Dickens through Jan. 23 at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr.

Arastoo Darakhshan is part of “Spontaneous Charles Dickens,” playing at the Lesher Center through Jan. 23.

“Charles Dickens created extraordinary characters,” said artistic director Kenn Adams. “They’re tremendously larger-than-life, sometimes right up to the level of caricature. … However, he fills them up with so much heart and truth that you completely believe in them.”

For tickets, call 925-943-7469 or go to

Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble is excited to finally present its “Festival 10 – A Treasury of 10-Minute Plays.”

The festival features original, unpublished works by local playwrights as well as published works. After pandemic delays in 2020 and 2021, it’s now scheduled for March 25-27 at the Brentwood Community Center, 35 Oak St.

Some of the original performers and directors have had to drop out, and the company is looking for replacements during January. First-time or seasoned directors are welcome to apply. The company is also looking for production and house crews. Contact artistic director Kathryn Lopez at kathryn.ghostlightte@

For more information, go to

Pittsburg Community Theatre has certainly been busy this new year. They held auditions for the musical extravaganza “Dreamgirls” and are also rehearsing August Wilson’s “Fences” for a Feb. 5-13 run.

Set in 1957 Pittsburgh, “Fences” tells of Troy, a former star of the Negro baseball leagues who was excluded from the major leagues due to his color. Now working as a garbage man, his bitterness affects his wife and his son, who has his own dreams of playing professional ball. LaTonya Watts directs.

For more information, go to

Solo Opera, which presented the wonderful “Scalia/Ginsberg” opera in September, returns in 2022 with minimalist composer Tom Johnson’s “The Four Note Opera.”

The hour-long chamber work has four opera singers all trying to “take the stage” at once but are only allowed to sing the notes A, B D and E. Exact dates and the venue are yet to be determined.

The group is also producing “The Three Feathers,” a magical chamber opera for families and children with music by award-winning composer Lori Laitman and libretto by local poet laureate Dana Gioia in 2023.

Go to for more information.

Sally Hogarty
Sally Hogarty

Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspaper columnist, theatre critic and working actress. She is the editor of the Orinda News. Send comments to