Worcester playwright hopes for success in debut

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WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - As Matthew Cory of Worcester was writing his play “All Play and No Work,” he thought about some workplace scenarios that could have ended up much worse than they actually did.

Drawing on one of his experiences, Cory recalled attending a business meeting when a contact lens became inconveniently and quite painfully dislodged.

“I had to maintain appearances. No one knew anything was wrong,” Cory said. “I thought, ‘How much worse could that have been if I had tried to fix that during the meeting?’ “

In one sequence during “All Play and No Work,” a woman at a business meeting is faced with a similar predicament, except that “she handles the situation in the worst possible way.”

“All Play and No Work,” which Cory described as a “a farce through and through with no redeeming message,” was scheduled to have its world premiere when Calliope Productions of Boylston planned to bring it to the stage for five performances beginning on June 12.

The play, which is Cory’s first, depicts an “ordinary day at the office” turning into “cutthroat chaos” when the boss announces he’ll be promoting one of his employees by the end of the day. The situation is compounded by the arrival of a foreign stranger, an IRS agent and a homeless person. Cory is directing the production, which has a cast of eight.

Dave Ludt, artistic director of Calliope Productions, said, “Anyone who has worked in an office will be able to identify all the office types.”

A best-case working scenario for Cory’s play would be that the comedy gets picked up by a theatrical publishing house and becomes available for other theaters to produce.

To achieve that, a play must first be produced and reviewed, Ludt said. Then, all being well, “Matt Cory can become the next Worcester-area legitimate published playwright.”

“My hope is that this is one of the plays that’s put on in community theaters around the country,” said Cory. “It’s just the sort of play that would be a good fit.”

Cory, who works at the UMass Memorial Medical Center, has a disclaimer that none of the characters in “All Play and No Work” are people in real life

“Nobody, because these situations are so out of control,” he said of the play’s unfolding chaos.

Cory, however, has lived through a real-life situation that did become far worse than he originally expected. It’s really the reason he decided to write a play.

Originally from Fitchburg, Cory, 39, said he had acted in community theater productions for many years and was also a stand-up comedian.

Two years ago, he was cast in the lead role for the Worcester County Light Opera Company production of “The 39 Steps,” a madcap theater adaptation of the famous spy novel by James Buchan and 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock.

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