Carmel women’s plays featured in DivaFest

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MaryAnne Mathews wrote from the heart on this play.

Her bittersweet comedy, ”I Say Tomato, You Say Cheese,” is based on the end of her father’s life and her relationship with him. Mathews, along with fellow Carmel residents Enid Cokinos and June McCarty Clair, have plays in DivaFest, which starts April 13 at the IndyFringe Basile and Indy Eleven Theaters in Indianapolis.

“He had always been a very shrewd and savvy person,” Mathews said of her father. “At the end of his life, he was at times confused but did not have full-blown dementia. It was very frustrating for him not to be able to do all the things he used to do and sad for me as I looked on.”

Mathews’ father, Joseph Stevens, died eight years ago.

“I think it is a scenario that many people face. Roles become reversed when the adult child is care-taking the parent,” Mathews said.

Cokinos’ “Dear Mavis” will be performed at 6:45 p.m. April 13, 7 p.m. April 19 and 7:15 p.m. April 20.

“I can’t point to a specific inspiration for this play, which centers on an aging newspaper advice columnist who idolizes ‘Miss Manners,’” Cokinos said. “I was thinking about the generational challenges in the modern workplace, and my inner voice said, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be fun if,’ and I began developing the play in August 2018.”

June McCarty Clair’s play, “In the Presence of My Enemies,” is a dark comedy about Sarah, whose husband, Frank, has died unexpectedly, leaving her badly in debt.

“This is my first straight play, without music, I’ve written,” said Clair, a former Clay Middle School music teacher.

Clair’s play will be presented at 5 p.m. April 14, 6 p.m. April 20 and 3 p.m. April 21. Clair plans to do a full production of the play at The Cat in June.

For more, visit indyfringe.org/divafest-2019.

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