Arts and Entertainment

Playwrights try to say it all in 10

Authors of the selected plays for the Island Theatre Ten Minute Play Festival: (front L-R) Megan Gleeson, Karen Polinsky, Connie Bennett, Wendy Wallace, Ulla Solberg, (back L-R) Steve Palay, Jeff Fraga, Paul Lewis, Sara Anne Scribner, Caroline Smith, Jim Anderson, George Shannon (not pictured: Steven Fogell, Christine Castigliano) - Steve Stolee photo
Authors of the selected plays for the Island Theatre Ten Minute Play Festival: (front L-R) Megan Gleeson, Karen Polinsky, Connie Bennett, Wendy Wallace, Ulla Solberg, (back L-R) Steve Palay, Jeff Fraga, Paul Lewis, Sara Anne Scribner, Caroline Smith, Jim Anderson, George Shannon (not pictured: Steven Fogell, Christine Castigliano)
— image credit: Steve Stolee photo

The modern trend of channel surfing meets the age-old craft of the stage as the first Ten Minute Play Festival takes over Bainbridge Performing Arts.

Held over two days, starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 and Sunday, Aug. 19, the festival will switch from one play to the next each 10 minutes.

The festival is the first of its kind on the island. The two-day event will showcase 14 plays by local playwrights.

As the name suggests, each play attempts to pack a fully-formed performance into 10 meager minutes.

Two outstanding plays were honored as best adult and best teen plays for the event.

“There’s a Goblin in My Kitchen” by Megan Gleason nabbed the teen category.

Wendy Wallace’s “I See France” was awarded with the adult honor.

“It’s a play about women and women’s relationships and issues,” Wallace said. “And the main characters are all ladies underwear.”

“It’s definitely a comedy but it has underlining gender issues,” she added.

When the festival was initially announced in the spring, Wallace got typing and submitted her 10-minute piece.

Local actors and directors have been working on staging each play just right, and on time.

“It’s really cool to see how much can be put into 10 minutes,” said actress Bronsyn Foster. “Before reading them I was skeptical you could have character development and a plot in 10 minutes, but I’ve been impressed with what these playwrights can do.”

Foster has been cast in four of the festival’s plays, including “I See France.”

Foster likens the plays to sketches common to comedies, however, not every play carries a humorous tone.

“Some are funny, some are dramatic,” Foster said. “There is a huge variety, and it’s definitely not boring.”

The variety is certain to keep the audience entertained. And if a play doesn’t have the audience stuck in their theater seats, they don’t have to wait long until the next round of acting is up.

“They’re 10 minutes so if you aren’t entertained by one play, give it a minute, and you’ll have another one,” Wallace said.

“There’s a wide variety of subject matter and style,” she added. “There is something for everyone.”

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