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See great theatre, 10 minutes at a time: Ten Minute Play Festival returns to Bainbridge this weekend
Island Theatre will present the second Ten Minute Play Festival on Saturday, Aug. 24 and Sunday, Aug. 25, beginning at 7:30 p.m. both nights at Bainbridge Performing Arts.
Fourteen works out of the 63 submitted plays by both experienced and emerging Kitsap playwrights were ultimately selected for production this year, with seven plays being performed each night. The first and second place plays, "Assigned Blessing," by Connie Bennett, and "Super-Citizen and the Parking Space," by Steve Palay, will be performed both evenings. Six of the remaining plays will be performed Saturday, the other six on Sunday.
The entire performance schedule is available at the Island Theatre website (www.IslandTheatre.org).
The festival is recommended for ages 13 and above, as several plays include strong language and some adult subject matter.
All entries were subjected to a blind judging, with the names of the playwrights hidden, by three theatre professionals. The playwrights were required to either live in ,or have a strong connection to, Kitsap County.
The idea of fitting an entire play's worth of story in just ten minutes may seem daunting, but this year's first place playwright argues that it is also very rewarding.
"It's like a theatrical haiku," Bennett said.
"A key part of writing a successful 10-minute play is in picking the right size of a story. It needs to be something fully realized and satisfying to the audience, where the characters face challenges and their lives are changed, but it can't be too complex or it doesn't fit into the space available."
This year's featured playwrights include seven returning winners from the 2012 festival, including Bennett, Palay, Jeff Fraga, Paul Lewis, Karen Polinsky, George Shannon and Wendy J. Wallace. Also in the lineup this year are seven newcomers: Judith Glass Collins, Robert Dalton, Charlie Hamilton, Keiko Green, Miller Shor, Ned Thorne and Erik Van Beuzekom. Tickets are free; donations are appreciated.
Last year's inaugural festival was very successful, playing to packed houses on both nights.
"Ten-minute play festivals tend to be popular because the audience gets to experience a lot of variety in the course of an evening," Bennett said. "Also, there are usually more theatre artists involved than in a more traditional play, so there are more family and friends [in attendance]."