From William Shakespeare to Monty Python, writers through the ages have found humor in death and dying.
So the morbid theme of this month’s anthology of new short comedies from Sarasota’s Starlite Players kind of makes sense.
Starlite’s new show, which opens Sept. 22, is titled “The Other Side” and its four plays that make up the evening all deal with death or the threat of death.
The plays, all of which are previously unproduced comedies are:
▪ “The Virgin Abduction” by Ron Frankel. A burglar (Ren Pearson) who can’t find a suitable house to burgle spots a young man sitting by a pool and decides to abduct him instead. The bemused victim thinks it’s all a prank.
▪ “Happily Departed” by Helen Valenta. When visiting his son’s family in Indianapolis, 80-year-old Marek collapses. Family and friends wonder if Marek is dying, while Marek just wonders how soon he can get back to his bridge game in sunny Florida.
▪ “The Day That Brando Died” by Lawrence DuKore. It’s July 2004 and Marlon Brando’s death has just been announced. Two friends discuss the event before their weekly tennis game, never expecting to discover that in their long-ago youth, each had been in love with the same woman.
▪ “Next” by Scott Mullen. Matt wakes up to find himself in the afterlife. Penny, another newcomer, undergoes the same experience. A jaded clerk tells them the new rules, which don’t involve love.
By the way, tonight’s show will be Starlite’s 50th, so the company is offering a 50 percent discount for that performance, only through its website.