One hidden Bay Ridge talent did not get a chance to fully shine during his lifetime, but he lives on thanks to a theater festival in his neighborhood and in his name.
The Vince Mazza One-Act Play Festival will kick off its seventh year on Oct. 11, spotlighting short, original shows by new playwrights, and the late Mazza, a Ridge actor and secret scribe, will never be far from the minds of the organizers.
“He was a local actor, really popular with all the local theater groups, and was this closet playwright, who did not have a local place to produce his plays,” said Anthony Marino, co-founder of the festival production company BrooklynOne and a Dyker Heights native.
Marino said Mazza entered more than 10 one-act pieces for consideration in the first festival. But before the show began, Mazza died of a heart attack. BrooklyOne named the festival after Mazza both to honor his memory and to inspire other hopeful playwrights to push forward with their work, according to Marino.
“We wanted to show this was something everybody could do,” Marino said.
Today, the festival attracts talent from Brooklyn and abroad, drawing play submissions from as far away as Israel and Australia. This year’s crop of homegrown writers includes the Greenwood Heights–based Steve Gracia, whose surreal break-up drama “Day Drinking and Thinking of You” Marino is co-directing.
“Day Drinking and Dreaming of You,” part of the Vince Mazza One-Act Play Festival at Saint John’s Parish Hall [461 99th Street, between Fourth Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway in Bay Ridge.] Oct. 11–12, 8 pm. Oct. 13, 5 pm. Pay what you will. Each of the eight plays will be performed all three nights.