THE CARETAKER and Interlude, TinFish Theatre. Perhaps the 25-minute intermission between these two one-acts on opening night, during which the stage manager led two lost souls through the placement of every prop and set piece, indicates that this “new play showcase” wasn’t ready to go. But judging from the scripts, it probably shouldn’t have gone at all.

In Interlude, playwright and TinFish artistic director Dejan Avramovich spends four long scenes setting up the story–deaf Darren meets luckless Anna–then chucks it for ten minutes of “Twilight Zone Redux.” A mysterious trench-coated man appears and offers Darren his hearing back–but only if he truly wants it. Avramovich lays on the foreshadowing with a trowel, then delivers a facile and hasty moral. Ian Brennan’s winning performance as Darren gives the play as much credibility as it can support.

Jon Edmund Moore’s opaque The Caretaker can support even less, despite strong performances. Moore gives us a lonely hiker who stumbles upon a human skeleton, goes half mad, puts the bones in a glass display case that comes from God knows where, falls in love with the innkeeper’s daughter, and dies. Little of it makes sense, which leaves the underutilized narrator to skulk about, offering gems like, “Now this is interesting.” If only that were so. –Justin Hayford