[caption id="attachment_20351" align="alignleft" width="400"]<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2018\/04\/Playfest.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="399" class="size-full wp-image-20351" \/> Jamie Strauss and Chris Curry portray Stephie and Dave in Brett Hersey\u2019s short play, \u201cPumps,\u201d in the 2016 Playfest. Photo courtesy of Eric Fritzius[\/caption]\r\n\r\nPlayFest will return in May, presenting another evening of short plays, sponsored by the Pocahontas County Drama Workshop. The festival will be performed Friday and Saturday, May 18 and 19, at the Pocahontas County Opera House in Marlinton.\r\n\r\nLewisburg resident and actor\/playwright Eric Fritzius will again direct all six of the festival\u2019s short plays, each being approximately 10 minutes in length. \u00a0\r\n\r\nAfter serving as the director for the first Opera House PlayFest in 2016, Fritzius chose instead to direct a full length play for the 2017 Drama Workshop production with The People at the Edge of Town by A.J. DeLauder. For 2018, though, he decided to return to the 10-minute play format for a variety of reasons.\r\n\r\n\u201cThe 10-minute short play format is one I love because when you throw several of them together they always make for an interesting evening of theatre,\u201d Fritzius said. \u201cIt\u2019s the format I usually write in myself. They can serve as a sampler pack of different playwrights and different styles, from drama to comedy to a mixture of both. And because they\u2019re so short, they lend themselves well to a brief rehearsal commitment. This can be important when your actors have day jobs and can be scattered across Pocahontas and Greenbrier counties.\u201d \r\n\r\nFritzius, whose own day jobs include acting as a standardized patient for WVSOM in Lewisburg, as well as being a narrator and producer of audiobooks, has had his own plays produced around the state and for festivals in Virginia, Ohio, and, most recently, for the 10x10 Festival at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. A frequent actor at Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg, he has directed for GVT\u2019s New Voices play festival for the past five years, and co-directed the first production of the Ronceverte outdoor drama Big Dreams, Restless Spirit in 2007. \r\n \r\n\u201cIt\u2019s an honor to have been invited back to join the Pocahontas County Drama Workshop team again,\u201d Fritzius said. \u201cThey\u2019ve been responsible for multiple theatrical productions at the Opera House over the past two decades, and it\u2019s always a pleasure to work with the talented actors and technicians who make these productions possible.\u201d \r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_20350" align="alignleft" width="400"]<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2018\/04\/Play-fest-logo.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="357" class="size-full wp-image-20350" \/> The Playfest logo hints at the subject matter for the 2018 series of six 10-minute plays. All six plays were written by Appalachian playwrights and will be directed by Eric Fritzius.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nThe selected plays for the Opera House PlayFest for 2018 are primarily written by West Virginia and Appalachian playwrights, as well as one by a playwright from Fritzius\u2019 home state of Mississippi. They include: \u201cBankin\u2019 on the Grand\u201d by Chris Shaw Swanson, depicting a man and wife who find themselves stranded on the roof of their home during a historic flood; \u201cBeans & Franks Never Tasted So Good\u201d by Jonathan Joy, in which an older couple argue and reminisce about a meal they had during their first date; \u201cDaughters These Days\u201d by T.K. Lee features a pair of sisters who must come to terms with the tragic passing of their mother; \u201cPetting Zoo Story\u201d by Jason Half depicts what happens when an overzealous petting zoo employee must contend with a germ phobic patron; \u201cA Woman\u2019s Place\u201d by Gena Taylor Ellis, is a comedy set at a fundraiser for a women\u2019s shelter in which Appalachian misconceptions and class struggles play havoc between a wealthy donor and a woman she assumes is a graduate of the shelter; and \u201cA Game of Twenty\u2026\u201d by Fritzius himself, in which a man gains answers to the mysteries of the universe while in the waiting room of the afterlife. \r\n\r\nThe Pocahontas County Opera House PlayFest will be presented Friday and Saturday, May 18 and 19, beginning each evening at 8 p.m. \r\n\r\nTickets are $10 and will be available at the door. For more information, visit pocahontasoperahouse.org or call 304-799-6645.