The ArtsCenter’s 14th annual 10 by 10 in the Triangle short-play festival is a much-loved Carrboro event that showcases 10 plays of about 10 minutes each from writers from around the country. Thus, it’s the 10×10! The festival features local actors, directors, and set designers from across the Triangle, giving local talent a chance to shine. Over 550 scripts vied for a spot in this years’ lineup, and the plays that made the cut this year are stellar. As long-time fans of 10 by 10 in the Triangle, we have come to expect world-class acting, directing, writing, designing. This year, producer Jeri Lynn Schulke sets the bar even higher.
What if we all had a narrator doing voice-overs for our lives? What is the most ridiculous murder weapon you can think of? Can you imagine a Charlie Chaplin-esque hero on the modern stage, complete with mustachioed villain, “live” piano accompaniment, and title-card-girl? And who ever heard of giving cans of soup for a Valentine’s Day present? These are some of the surprising rib-ticklers presented to the audience.
That’s from the comedy side. This year’s selection of plays has an eye on social issues as well. You’ll see plays about death, political prisoners, victims of gang violence, police profiling, predatory banking practices, and race relations. In addition to being fresh and entertaining, these plays are challenging and thought-provoking.
The acting is strong. John Allore, Fred Corlett, Mickala Hinnent, Barbette Hunter, Alexander Jackson, Julie Oliver, Page Purgar, Shaun Schneider, Lazarus Simmons, and Leigha Vilen all play multiple roles with aplomb.
And we must offer kudos to all 10 directors: David Berbian, Tamara Kissane, Hope Alexander, Monet Marshall, Brook North, Gregor McElvogue, Meredith Sause, Laurel Ullman, Jules James, and Lormarev Jones.
This year’s set (designed by Miyuki Su) is a cut above those of years gone by. Under a proscenium that looks like poured cement, video projection is incorporated into the works at key moments (courtesy of Joseph Amodei). Also impressive: Laura Ramsdell’s costumes, Robert Byerly’s sound, Lawruth Lindsey’s lighting, and Brittany Bugge’s props. As always, transitions between the plays are seamless.
One of the strengths of a festival of 10-minute plays is this: if one of them does not appeal to you, you only have to wait a few minutes for the next. Or in our case, you only have to wait a few minutes for the next thrill or chuckle.
If you’ve never been to a 10 by 10 in the Triangle, this is a great one to start with. If you have attended in the past, be prepared to be even more impressed than ever! We give this year’s 10 by 10 a resounding Ten!
The ArtsCenter presents 10 BY 10 IN THE TRIANGLE at 3 p.m. July 12, 8 p.m. July 16-18, 3 p.m. July 19, 8 p.m. July 23-25, and 3 p.m. July 26 in its Earl and Rhoda Wynn Theater, 300-G E. Main St., Carrboro, North Carolina 27510.
TICKETS: $16 ($14 students and seniors and $12 ArtsCenter Friends).
BOX OFFICE: 919-929-2787 or http://www.etix.com/.
SHOW: http://www.artscenterlive.org/events/10-10-triangle/and https://www.facebook.com/events/762998220475448/
PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.artscenterlive.org/, https://www.facebook.com/artscenterlive, and https://twitter.com/ArtsCenterlive.
Pamela Vesper has been a Raleigh resident for more than 20 years. A local attorney for licensed professionals, when she’s not in court, Pam can be found watching or participating in local theater productions or enjoying the vibrant Raleigh music and craft beer scene. She also loves indie and foreign films and was an anchor on the local cable show, Movie Minutes. Pam has an opinion on just about everything; just ask her. Kurt Benrud is a graduate of Cary High School and N.C. State University, and he has taught English at both. He first became involved in local theater in 1980. He has served on the board of directors for both the Cary Players and the Cary Playwrights’ Forum. He is also a volunteer reader with Triangle Radio Reading Service. Click here to read their reviews for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment.