Playwright Kara Hartzler’s Sunflower Town at the Bloomington Playwrights Project is a non stop series of seven vignettes based on the newspaper’s police beat in a little town in Kansas. Some are funny, some are sad, some are a little frightening and some are a combination of all three.
Hartlzer’s play is a little master work of theatrical organization. There’s a brief item from the police blotter as a part of each segment and part of the fun is seeing just how the action produced the report. I enjoy seeing actors play different parts and in this show the ten actors and actresses handle more than twenty parts among them.
In Sunflower Town we get to meet many apparently ordinary but, under examination, pretty interesting characters. There is a former home coming queen who wants to keep the tradition alive, a crew of current cheer leaders, beauticians, a reformed embezzler, a righteous shop owner who may or may not trade sexual favors for donuts, a demented minister who keeps trying to save his church secretary, a boy friend who’s distributed four hundred copies of the big toe print of his girl friend, and many more.
In the scenes of Sunflower Town there is frequent humor and there is more than a little tension as individuals, groups and families work out their lives together.Guest director Sue Kim has a young cast, but one with an impressive amount of experience. She’s put together a neatly packaged and rhythmic performance of an interesting play that held my interest throughout.