One highlight of the recent Salem Theatre Network’s Cherry Blossom Theatre Festival – a three-day extravaganza of performances, workshops, music and food – was the One Act play competition sponsored by The American Association of Community Theatres (AACT) a national organization whose goal is to promote community theatres across the country.

Over the course of Saturday March 18, the state competition featured three Oregon troupes; Gallery Theatre of McMinville, Beaverton Civic Theatre and Salem’s Pentacle Theatre, each presenting a one act play in less than one hour, with each performance followed by a critique by theatre professionals.

Pentacle Theatre prevailed in the match up with Zoo Story, the strongly worded, fast-paced 1960 Edward Albee exploration of isolation in the modern world. A two-character piece with escalating drama throughout, it vied against very different productions; a two-woman mother-daughter comedy and an Addams Family musical.

Zoo Story was directed by Pentacle Theatre’s Jo Dodge and was acted by Patrick Moser and David Ballantyne. After the Cherry Blossom Theatre festival and a fundraiser at Pentacle, the production went on to AACT’s regionals in Boise, ID on April 1, where Tacoma Musical Theatre advanced to the national finals.

On that date David Ballantyne received the honor for outstanding performance by an actor. Salem Theatre Network posted a photo of the award on its Facebook page with the comment, “Kudos to the entire Pentacle team for a strong showing.”