And like New England, the program itself, a collaboration of three regional theater companies — Players’ Ring, Blackburn Performing Arts and Actors Studio — is itself in flux and won’t be repeated. Not exactly, anyhow. All performances will have two plays staged at the Blackburn as part of its Fall Shorts Festival: "But for The Grace of God," the Laura Crook play that looks at the joys and frustrations of moms who meet at a park, never "really" knowing each other, but knowing a lot actually, and Elinor Teele’s “The Baby,” a surreal scene in which a group of strange warriors discover a baby on a soon-to-be post-apocalyptic battlefield.
And this whole “in flux” thing means that second-weekers won’t get to see "The Mediator" and "Coming Clean," written by Ray Arsenault, who shares writing credits with Thacher Freund on the former — two edgy, sexually charged comedies that won Fringe Festival faves honors earlier this year and were clearly crowd favorites at the Actors Studio during their Nov. 13-16 run at the Tannery. Oh, well. You snooze, you lose.
For the closing weekend, they’ll be breaking out two new shorts — "Men are From Milwuakee-Women are from Phoenix" by Lynda Robinson and "Outside the Box" by Nancy Brewka-Clark.
But, now come to think of it, the weather comparison is probably a bit off. It’s easy not to like it too hot or too cold or too wet or whatever. It’s difficult not to like this show: “Fall Shorts” is an ambitious project that does not fall short.
JUST THE FACTS, MAN: "Fall Shorts" will be staged Nov. 20-22 at the Actors Studio. Reservations may be made by calling the Actors Studio at 978.465.1229. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15 and $12 for students and seniors.