The "Ten by Ten in the Triangle" is the second annual international festival of brand-new 10-minute plays sponsored by The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, North Carolina. This year's motto is: "Ten Plays. Ten Actors. Ten Minutes. Ten Bucks."
"A 10-minute play is a bolt of theatrical lightning," claims Jon Jory of the world-renowned Actors Theatre of Louisville. "It doesn't last long, but its power can stand your hair on end."
The ten 10-minute plays that will be presented each evening and matinee during the "Ten by Ten in the Triangle" were selected from more than 450 scripts submitted from around the world, says festival director Lynden Harris, who doubles as director of Theatre Orange. The final 10 "lighting bolts" include:
* "The Kiss" by Mark Harvey Levine. Thumbnail Description: "Dennis asks his best friend, Allison, to judge his kissing skills. Can he help it if she has to kiss him to do it?"
* "The Illusion of You" by Patrick Cleary. Description: "Glamour isn't easy. If it was, everyone could do it."
* "Miss Kentucky" by Allison Williams. Description: "Trapped. In an alley. Outside the Miss Kentucky contest. A pageant queen and her mother face the truth about their lock-out."
* "Prelude to 35" by Seth Kramer. Description: "Cold hands, warm ... coat?"
* "Dust" by Mike Folie. Description: "A couple, a bed, two books, and eternity."
* "Heart Smart" by Linda Eisenstein. Description: "Two women in a hospital cardiac unit. But who will care for this stricken corporate executive, the one thing they have in common?"
* "Deal With This" by Mark Smith-Soto. Description: "A single shoelace can mean the difference between hope, despair, and indifference."
* "#2" by Cedric Hayman. Description: "Three men in a restroom. But where's the T.P.?"
* "blue sky" by Julia Pearlstein. Description: "On a day like this, words seem to have two meanings... or none at all."
* "A Low-lying Fog" by John Yearley. Description: "Sometimes all you can do is listen. Even to your brother."
"Because the pieces are short," claims Lynden Harris, "they encapsulate the critical moments of life and highlight their impact. And because the festival includes 10 plays each night, the audience enters a sort of roller-coaster ride through a land of rapidly changing characters, settings, and emotions."
The plays' directors include Thomas "TeKay" King of The Carolina Theatre in Durham, NC; Taibi Magar of Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio; and Lynden Harris of Theatre Orange. King will stage "The Illusion of You," "Heart Smart," and "Deal With This"; Magar will stage "Prelude to 35," "#2," and "A Low-Lying Fog"; and Harris will stage "The Kiss," "Miss Kentucky," and "Dust."
Triangle actors performing in "Ten by Ten in the Triangle" include: Larry Evans¸ Jane Hallstrom, David Byron Hudson, Eryn Makepeace¸ Michael Rollins¸ Christopher Salazar, Steve Scott, Donald Shenton, Nicole Taylor, and Ann Marie Thomas.
"Rob Hamilton, Chapel Hill's premiere designer, served as TD for the festival," notes Lynden Harris. "He designed a single, modular set that fits together in very inventive ways to create the environment for each of the ten different shows. The design makes the set changes between the 10 pieces both simple and entertaining to watch, since each transition makes you wonder how the different pieces will configure this time.
"Dan Wheeless, with help from Leslie Stewart and Dan Helias, did the lights," Harris says. "Laura Hauser is running the board."
Harris adds, "Of the 10 selected plays, two of the playwrights have ties to North Carolina: Cedric Hayman, a student at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and Mark Smith-Soto, a professor at UNCG. Several of the 40 finalists were also N.C. writers, including Sheryle Criswell and Jonathan Karpinos of Orange County, whose short works will be produced this winter as part of the 'Shorts in Winter' series."
The ArtsCenter presents "Ten by Ten in the Triangle" Thursday-Saturday, July 10-12 and 17-19, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 13 and 20, at 3 p.m. in The ArtsCenter, 300-G E. Main St., Carrboro, North Carolina. (NOTE: Following the July 12 performance, there will be a "talkback" session and reception and a chance to meet some of the actors, directors, and playwrights.) $10. 919/929-2787 or ArtsCenter@aol.com. http://www.artscenterlive.org/theater.html.