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Need a way to bring many strange and different characters together quickly? Stick them on an airplane and see what happens. At least this is the tactic writer and performer Ann Randolph employs in her latest work, Loveland. The action centers around Frannie Potts, an eccentric woman on her way from Los Angeles to Ohio for her mother’s funeral. In addition to filterless Frannie, the plane is populated with peppy stewardesses, disgruntled pilots, and other assorted oddballs, all played by Randolph. As they travel across America, hijinks naturally ensue, but as the characters share their own stories of grief and loss, they come to care about each other as well. Randolph hopes her work has the same effect on the audience—she’ll pass around paper and invite others to share their accounts of grief following performances. The play runs March 18 to April 13 at Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St. SW. $25–$40. (202) 554-9066. arenastage.org. —Caroline Jones