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Ten minutes is all it takes for each of Theatre Odyssey's plays to tell a tale.

 

Do you remember that 1950s song hit, “Little Things Mean a Lot”? It could be the theme song for Theatre Odyssey’s 12th annual Ten-Minute Play Festival, coming up this week.

The annual fest presents eight plays written by new, returning and pseudonymous playwrights, and, as you can tell from the festival title, each one is only 10 minutes long. It’s a challenge for the playwright to deliver his or her message in that time frame, but it gives audiences a chance to sample some very different works in small packages, all in one evening or afternoon.

This year’s line-up includes comedies, dramas, and one play described as a tragicomedy. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m., May 4-6, with a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 7, at the Jane B. Cook Theatre. Here’s a little bit of information on each short play. 

Always, a drama by Stephen Cooper (winner of the 2012 festival), centers on Vivian and Edward as they discuss their future, where life and death are real considerations. Tom Aposporos and Andrea Dovner are the actors; Louise Stinespring is the director.

The Best Ten Minutes Ever, a comedy by Dylan Jones (runner-up in the 2015 festival), brings together an eccentric director and a young couple cast in a play for a ten-minute play festival…life imitating art? Actors are Philip Troyer, Johana Davila and Sandra Musicante; director is Sara Logan.

A Big Wave, a drama by Connie Schindewolf (winner of both the 2010 and 2014 fests), focuses on a woman waiting on a beach where her grandson died. Don Walker and Jenny Aldrich Walker are onstage; Bob Trisolini the director.

The Call, a drama by Frank Motz, has the newly elected president presenting the House Speaker an offer for bipartisanship—too good to be true? Onstage are Lilian Moore, Tony Boothby and Courtney Hawk; Trisolini directs again.

I’m Dead When I Say I’m Dead is a comedy by Ron Pantello, in which a young Jewish man returns from his mother’s funeral only to learn that she’s not done with him yet. Directed by Louise Stinespring; actors are Mitcheal Pearl and Kathryn Chesley.

Kennedy’s Acolytes, a drama by Jack Gilhooley, is set in a small Western Ireland town after the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in November 1963. Nicole Cunningham, Sally Fint and Johana Davila act; Sara Logan directs.

Greg Burdick’s comedy, Secret’s Out, is directed by Daniel Greene and features actors Paul Mullen, Mitcheal Pearl, Nicole Cunningham and Olivia Yagy. Two strangers outside a lingerie shop have a life-changing encounter.

Wheelchair Chicken, by J. Clark, is the tragicomedy about a wheelchair athlete for whom winning isn’t about achieving the highest score. Directed by Daniel Greene; actors are Neil Levine, David Meyersberg and Jenny Aldrich Walker.

A ninth play, Amazing Grace by St. Stephen's Episcopal School student Luke Valadie, will also be presented. The winner of the 2017 Student Ten-Minute Play Festival, it tells the true story of a slave trader led to write the hymn “Amazing Grace.”

Tickets can be purchased through Theatre Odyssey’s website, here.

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