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It's almost time for the Annual Morningstar Festival of One-Act Plays and the Jones Heights community theatre troupe Noo Media Productions needs a hit. For the last five years they have come in last in the competition, while popular (and well-funded) groups like Legacy Stage or The Angus Mode Players take home the trophies. It's all supposed to be a fun, friendly contest, but it's theatre and that means a lot of feelings and a lot of egos are involved...

So how are NMP looking this year? Well, the Board decided to bring in a first-time Director, Mallory Magrielle. And she decided to mount a production of a notoriously difficult play called 'Maxed to the Third Power'. Will great risk bring great reward? Except that the Set Designer Miguel Rogen and the Costume Designer Charlotte Stang are constantly arguing over what period the story is set in, while the Director refuses to weigh in because she feels that "conflict is essential to the creation of great art". Which has left Suki Fujimoria, the Stage Manager, over-worked and highly stressed - and Suki is known for her temper. No one has seen the Musical Director (and local DJ) Vlad Tiamook in over week; apparently he is furiously remixing the entire soundtrack to a create a "meta-temporal vibe" that will fit with whichever setting wins out, Rogen's or Stang's.

As for the cast... Ms. Magrielle gave the Lead Female role to Jones Heights' only (semi)famous citizen, Marnie Waters, who had a (semi)successful stint as a pop diva. Pandering or a subtle critique of celebrity? And instead of giving the Lead Male role to the long-standing, well-respected, troupe mainstay Frank Thamin - who thought the part could be his Prospero, but will instead be playing the Narrator - Ms. Magrielle cast THREE unknowns. That's right, she's having one character played by three different actors! How exactly Marshal Montgomery, Simon Light and Mick Scribe will split up the dialogue and action remains a closely-guarded secret.

Will opening night bring triumph or tragedy? Rave reviews or farcical folly?