Almost 100 years ago, the Parable of the Monkeys postulated that if you give a million monkeys a million typewriters, in a thousand years, they'll produce the complete works of Shakespeare.
In Steve Mountan's screwball comedy, The Infinite Typing Pool, playing today through Sunday at the Eleanor Dempsey Performing Arts Center, publisher Maury Shafner believes that the old saying has come true in his very own 1950s-era publishing house.
Okay, there are 35 monkeys …
But there are a bunch of typewriters …
And somewhere in the huge stack of papers that has been produced is something that isn't exactly Shakespeare, but it is a reasonably cogent novel.
Could Maury have in his hands a genuine monkey-written best-seller?
Not so fast.
What Maury doesn't know is that an aspiring writer has slipped his own manuscript into the stack, hoping to attract attention, which makes for all kinds of misunderstandings and mix-ups.
Playing Maury is Mike Buck (Sebastian in The Tempest), supported by Jennifer Cunningham as DeeDee Anderson, his secretary, and actors Bridget Bean, Jonathon Timpanelli and Mountan.
The comedy kicks off a busy schedule of shows at the Dempsey Performing Arts Center.
The next is Hat Trick Theatre Productions' madcap comedy, A Completely Inaccurate Chronology of Violence in Entertainment, weekends Jan. 15 through 30, with shows at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays.
The comedy by April Bender, Steve Fisher, Lani McGettigan and Joe Winskye pokes fun at pervasive violence in popular entertainment from ancient times to the present.
Hat Trick Theatre was founded in 2004 by a group of recent graduates of the University of South Florida and has produced four full seasons of shows at the Silver Meteor Gallery in Ybor City.
Tickets for $15 reserved seating, $9 general admission. Call (727) 857-2604 or go to ed-pac.org.
Also in the Dempsey lineup are the All Out Rep theater troupe's The Agreeable Husband (Feb. 26 and 27); Hat Trick Theatre's The Fantasticks (April 9-25); and Hat Trick's The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (July 2-18); plus three shows featuring singer-impressionist John Timpanelli (Jan. 31, Feb. 20-21, and March 14).