Hands Up! by Scott Cohen
Directed by J.R. Cook

A robber is confronted with an unwilling victim.

Amanda Jo Connelley as Valerie
Lorenzo Fletcher as Mack

Nowhere Man by Nina Sacco
Directed by Julie Lockfield

At the Glass Ceiling Diner, three waitresses dish about everything from getting stiffed to feeding the insatiable male ego. It's all in good fun, if not in good taste!

Lauren Wall as Marianne
Madison Worthington as Celeste
Meira Perelstein as Faith


Free At Last (?) by Damon Norko
Directed by Damon Norko and Kwame Shaka Opare

A mixed marriage and class warfare come to a head in this light yet-provocative one-act play about the compromises we make and the notion of being truly free. 

Kwame Shaka Opare as William
Parker Webb as Albert
Sheila Blanc as Lucretia
Cassidee Grunwald as Nancy
Dan Lake as Corley
Tech Director/Stage Manager: Sonya Norko

2.0 by Jeff Dunne
Directed by Jeff Dunne

Upgrading to the Artificially Intelligent Alexa 2.0 comes at a far greater cost than Hammond could have possibly imagined.  Just how much is he prepared to trade for a little extra convenience?

Cece Heck as Alexa
Kevin Wilson as Hammond
Sam David as Charlotte

Paradise by Trish Cole
Directed by Michelle Ebert Freire

A mother and daughter have “the talk;” an assimilated American Jew recalls the event that started her family’s generational trauma; and Adam and Eve go on a first date. Somehow, they are all connected.

Lewis Beckley as Adam
Joanne Fuesel as Mrs.
Emily Funderburk as Eve
Sarah Pollard as Girl
Leni Weisl as Bubbe

Swirl by Agyiewaa Asante
Directed by April Monu

An unexpected guest makes a simple meal turn into a complex conversation on race, relationships, and politics between Asian and Black America.

Ariana Caldwell as Jade
Ramtin Vaziri as Charlie
Jamaal McCray as Sean
Julie Le as Alicia
Kristie Taiwo-Makanjuola as Mei Mei
Stage Manager: Daniela Gomes

Maladapt by Debs Szymkowiak
Directed by Bill Kamberger

A new field agent from the Center for Plan Compliance is assigned to an unusual client.

Susan Schindler as Voice 1
John Wright as Voice 2
Charlie Roberts as Junior Counselor
Janise Whelan as Senior Supervisor
Nancy Kelso as Maladapt Client
Stage Manager: Ariel Hulvey
Sound: Joe Davidson

Clean Country by Chris Joyce
Directed by Nicholas Wood

A small family, trying to escape ruin and despair in their home country, finds their destination has plenty to spare.

Mat Durbin as José/Jesus
Dorian Hernandex as Guadalupe/Paula
Nick Wood as Red
Brandon Nichalson as White
Mallory Turvey-Manthorne as Mrs. White/Black
John Olsen as Pale


Foodies! by Damon Norko
Directed by Damon Norko

Delicious food descriptions mask a terrible secret.

Cassidee Grunwald as Julie
Uriah Roman as Brad
Parker Webb as Murdock
Ryan Davis as James
Dan Lake as Fremont
Tech Director/Stage Manager: Sonya Norko

~ 2019 ~

Outstanding Script: Clean Country
Runner-Up: Maladapt

Outstanding Production: Swirl
Runner-Up: Maladapt

Outstanding Homegrown Production: Paradise

Outstanding Direction: Bill Kamberger (Maladapt)
Runner-Up: Julie Lockfield (Nowhere Man)

Outstanding Ensemble: Nowhere Man
Runner-Up: Swirl

Audience Choice: Hand Up!
Runner-Up: Nowhere Man

Homegrown Outstanding Performance: Sara Pollard (The Cards of Unknown Players)

Outstanding Performances:
Leni Weisl (Paradise)
Ariana Caldwell (Swirl)
Charlie Roberts (Maladapt)
Jamaal McCray (Swirl)
Randy Tusing (The Long Dance)

Tech Wreck: Maladapt
Runner-Up: Paradise

(In performance order)

Hands Up! (Wild Card Finalist)
​​Free at Last (?) (Wild Card Finalist)
Nowhere Man

*There was a tie in the Wild Card Finalist so both were included.

Awards for Director, Production, Ensemble, and Audience Choice come from final performances. Awards for Outstanding Performance, Tech Wreck, and Script come from all performances during entire festival.



Lisa Gregory, MS, PhD
Lisa Gregory is an environmental consultant with Assisted Management Solutions, Inc. and has been involved with theatre on both sides of the curtain for over 25 years.  She has acted, directed, produced, managed, or designed lights/sound/set for over 50 plays. Dr. Gregory is an alumna of St. Mary’s College of Maryland and performed in The Pirates of Penzance in this very theatre. After obtaining her degrees in Zoology at the University of Florida, she returned to Southern Maryland in 2002 where she volunteered with the TheatriText club at the College of Southern Maryland (CSM, Leonardtown campus).  In 2006, she was asked to direct The Newtowne Player’s (NTP) production of Side by Side by Sondheim, and has since won numerous NTP awards for best light design, set design, director, or play (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Godspell, The Dining Room, Picnic).  She was the Technical Director for NTP’s state submission of Trish Cole’s Butterfly in 2010, which received the prestigious Ed-Ro-Char Award for Technical Excellence.  Over the past nine years, she has focused on original works written by local artists and was the Founder, Artistic Director, and Producer of Southern Maryland Originals, a production of the Performance Arts Club at CSM.  Dr. Gregory is the Founder of Watermelon Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the performing arts and to providing a nurturing and educational environment for original works.  She thanks St. Mary's College of MD for hosting the festival once again and all her wonderful playwrights and volunteers - without you there would be no festival!


Mark A. Rhoda, PhD
Currently on the faculty in theater, film, and media studies at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Mark Rhoda began his theater studies at Middlebury College, VT, followed by training at the American Conservatory Theater in SF and graduate work in dramatic arts at the University of California, Berkeley, from which he earned his PhD as a scholar/ director 1993. Dr. Rhoda teaches courses in dramatic literature and performance as well as in film and media studies. He is also a performer and stage director. His most recent directing stints include Happy Birthday, Wanda June, Spring Awakening (the musical), The Marriage of Figaro, Striptease/Catastrophe, and Slasher, a horrifying comedy

Christie Blewett, MFA
Christie Blewett has taught K-12 Theatre, college, community and professional theatre productions from DC to SF for the past 20 years.  With a BFA in Musical Theatre from Shenandoah University and an MFA in Theatre Education (Production Direction and Curriculum Development) from Fontbonne University, her works on stage and off have been recognized by nationally endowed theatre companies, regional competitions and at the Kennedy Center.  As a Theatre Arts representative for the Maryland State Department of Education, she continues to support young artists in their pursuits of the creative arts.  She is excited to be adjudicating WOAF again this year and thanks Lisa for her hard work in producing this wonderful event!​

Amy Bernstein, The Dramatist Guild of America
Amy Bernstein writes from Baltimore, MD. Past productions include Raw, produced by Venus Theater near Washington, D.C., as part of the Women’s Voices Festival; and Exit Pluto, produced by the Strand Theater in Baltimore. Her one acts and short plays have been read and produced around the U.S. and U.K. and anthologized by Routledge and Leicester Bay Theatricals. Amy was a recipient of the Ruby Artist Award grant from the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance in 2014.


Emily Maack, Assistant Producer
Emily Maack is excited to be participating in her third Watermelon One-Act Festival. She has been involved in theatre, on-stage and off, for the last 9 years. Emily is a recent graduate of the College of Southern Maryland and will be transferring to Greensboro College in the fall. She would like to thank Lisa for this amazing opportunity and her mother for always keeping her grounded.

​Paige Stone, Assistant Technical Director
​Paige Stone is a graduate of the Prince Georges community college Theatre and Entertainment Technology certification classes and is currently enrolled at West Chester University in Pennsylvania to finish a BFA in theatre. She is very excited to help with the Watermelon Festival for the third time, as it allows her to see many people that she knows locally and meet others from further away, as well as develop her technical skills. She would like to thank Lisa for the opportunity to help and Emily for providing support throughout the years.

Robert K. Rausch, Host
​Robert Rausch has performed and participated in various capacities for 55 theatrical endeavors since his retirement as a Music Educator in 2007. His two most recent roles were that of Joe Benjamin in the Newtowne Players production of God’s Favorite, and that of Captain Victor in the Capitol Fringe Production of Space Cadets: Thus Spake Cheeto produced by the Next Day Theater and Rabble Crew Productions.   He lives in Waldorf with his supportive and beautiful wife, Diane.  


10:00 am
Alzheimer’s Diary
The Long Dance
Peas in the Fried Rice

1:00 pm
Hands Up!
The Cards of Unknown Players
Clean Country

4:00 pm
Free at Last (?)
Nowhere Man

8:00 pm

Finalists will be posted on the Participants webpage by 11:30 pm on June 1, 2019.

SUNDAY JUNE 2, 2019:   2 pm 

Polly by Scott Cohen and Sanam Efrani
Directed by J.R. Cook

After a job interview, Jane navigates the language of life, love, and relationships in the 21st Century.

Nick Hagemon as Will
Reva Taylor as Jane

The Cards of Unknown Players by Vincent Scarsella
Directed by Randy Tusing

Tim Larsen attempts to solve the mystery of a major league baseball card of a non-existent player found in a pack purchased by his wheel-chair bound son, Timmy.

Rick Brown as Tim Larsen
Sarah Pollard as Beth Larsen
Robert Rausch as Jim Gleason
Alison Dodges as the Waitress

The Long Dance by Edgar Chisholm
Directed by Rick Brown

A fifty year marriage ends in divorce.  A year later, Brim takes sick and Louise, his ex-wife visits.  They Both discover some dances don’t end just because the music stopped.

Randy Tusing as Brim
Alison Dodges as Louise

Alzheimer's Diary by Steve Gold
Directed by Randy Tusing

A man struggles with his mother's illness.

Rick Brown as Sam Thaxter
Kim Bessler as Lucinda Thaxter


Peas in the Fried Rice by Larry Rinkel
Directed by J.R. Cook

Three co-workers are out for their usual Chinese lunch, except that one wants to try something new, but his co-worker won't go anywhere that serves peas in the fried rice.

Emma Ansell as Tammy
Sarah Infante as One
Reva Taylor as Two
Kenneth L. Waters Jr. as Three
Amanda Jo Connelley as Four