Returning, after two years’ hiatus, under the auspices of producer Doug Bragan’s Douglas Theater Corp., this third not-so-annual event features 16 non-Equity companies in as many one-act plays, organized in programs of four (during previews, programs of two). The selections range from experimental drama to camp melodrama to medieval farce to musical comedy to good ol’ American naturalism. “One might select one of the four packages because of a particular play included in it,” says a press release. “In addition to that play, three others are presented, showcasing other companies whose work one will be pleased to discover.” One had better be pleased, since tickets to single plays are not available at this point (though a waiting list is being kept at the box office). At the Theatre Building, March 24 through April 15. Saturdays, 2 and 7 PM; Sundays, 1 and 6 PM. (Previews March 16 through 23; Fridays, and Thursday, March 22, 8:30 PM, Saturday 6:30 and 9:30 PM; Sunday 1, 3:30, and 7:30 PM. $12 per two-play program) $14-$19 per four-play program; “marathon tickets,” good for one whole day (two programs), $27. Prices apply to advance sales; tickets purchased day of performance cost an additional $3. The preview schedule is as follows (see listings below for descriptions of the plays). March 16, 8:30 PM–Spring Dance and Waiting for Buddhat. March 17, 6:30 PM–Old Wives Tales and The Drunkard. March 17, 9:30 PM–Gas Mask 101 and Ladies. March 18, 1 PM–Of All the Wide Torsos in All the Wild Glen and Recalling the Reunion. March 18, 3:30 PM–Savage in Limbo and There’s a Right and a Wrong Way to Love Someone. March 18, 7:30 PM–I, Bobeck and Volokolamsk Highway. March 22, 8:30 PM–5 Very Live and Pathelin. March 23, 8:30 PM–Why the Lord Came to Sand Mountain and Otto. Starting March 24, the schedule is as follows:

SAVAGE IN LIMBO; THERE’S A RIGHT AND A WRONG WAY TO LOVE SOMEONE; I, BOBECK; VOLOKOLAMSK HIGHWAY First: Inn Town Players’ production is described in our regular theater listings under Cool One’s Heels. Second: Rimini Butler’s drama about a teenager and his abusive mother was seen at last year’s Chicago Young Playwrights Festival at Pegasus Players. Third: The Prop Theatre stages Dan Sutherland’s comedy about “workaholic parents” and “their genius offspring” (world premiere). Fourth: German playwright Heiner Muller’s experimental “proletarian tragedy” for “an age of counterrevolution,” subtitled “The Road of the Tanks”, is performed by the Chicago Actors Ensemble, which staged Muller’s Hamletmachine at the 1987 Off-Off Loop Theatre Festival. March 24 and 31, 2 PM; April 7 and 14, 7 PM.

OF ALL THE WIDE TORSOS IN ALL THE WILD GLEN; RECALLING THE REUNION; 5 VERY LIVE; PATHELIN First: The Collection performs Paul Peditto’s comedy about an obsessive overweight playwright. Second: Bailiwick Repertory sponsors Tim Ness’s father-and-son drama (world premiere). Third: BDI Theatre stages David VanMatre’s baseball comedy (world premiere). Fourth: The Chicago Medieval Players perform this anonymous 15th-century comedy about a shyster lawyer and a crooked merchant. March 24 and 31, 7 PM; April 7 and 14, 2 PM.

OLD WIVES TALES; THE DRUNKARD; WHY THE LORD CAME TO SAND MOUNTAIN; OTTO First: Famous Door Theatre Company drops the names of Gahan Wilson, Bertolt Brecht, and the Three Stooges in describing Ramona Wilde’s comedy (world premiere). Second: Musical Repertorie Theatre offers the first act of its current production (see regular theater listings). Third: God–a black female–drops in on an Appalachian family in Romulus Linney’s comedy, performed by Zebra Crossing. Fourth: Sean O’Meara and Michael Monaco’s comedy about “friendship, disease, landscaping, and cannibalism” is presented by Quando Productions. March 25 and April 1, 1 PM; April 8 and 15, 6 PM.

SPRING DANCE; WAITING FOR BUDDHAT; GAS MASK 101; LADIES First: Cactus Theatre remounts its recent production of Horton Foote’s study of southwestern life. Second: Dan Kobayashi’s “lighthearted nightmare” with a supernatural theme is performed by Mina Sama-No (world premiere). Third: Arlene Cook’s play, presented by Mary-Arrchie Theatre, is a coming-of-age story about college guys in 1970. Fourth: Different Drummer performs a revue of songs–“some not often performed in polite company”–by Cole Porter. March 25 and April 1, 6 PM; April, 8 and 15, 1 PM.