Monday, May 05, 2008

"Intriguing! Entertaining!"

10th Annual 10 Minute Play Festival reviewed
here in Northern Lights. Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 25, 2008

Heads Up

10th Annual 10 Minute Play
Festival is previewed in Eureka
Times-Standard's Northern Lights,
Eureka Reporter
, North Coast Journal,
Arcata Eye and online at HSU Now.
Production members are interviewed
on ArtWaves, Tuesday (Apr. 29) at
1:30 0n KHSU.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

10th Annual 10 Minute Play Festival (April 2008)

poster design by Johanna Hembry
Posted by Picasa
Drama, comedy, fantasy and ten minutes later, another one! It's the 10th annual Ten Minute Play Festival at HSU, Thursdays through Saturdays, April 24-26 and May 1-3 at 7:30 PM in Gist Hall Theatre on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets $5 general $3 students and seniors from HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. HSU students free limited seating.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mason Lev, Jonny Barrett, Mackenzie Cox and
Brian Pike in Beneath the Gas by Alex Costello.Posted by Picasa

It's 10 for the 10!

It started in a classroom a decade ago, to become one of the most anticipated and popular events on the annual HSU performance schedule. Beginning April 24, the HSU Ten Minute Play festival celebrates its tenth birthday with this year’s slate of imaginative comedies, dramas and fantasies created and performed by HSU students.

Chris Werner, Johanna Hembry, Rebecca House
and Chris Scardina in A Day in the Park by Joseph
Castro. Posted by Picasa
“I’m really excited about it,” said Margaret Thomas Kelso, HSU professor in the Theatre, Film and Dance department and coordinator of the festival, who began it in 1998. “The whole festival grew out of an end-of-the-class presentation in the advanced playwriting course. It was very informal, with no sets or costumes. But it was successful, and each year we kept adding to it, and it’s grown and grown to the point where it is a major part of the season. It’s an event people look forward to.”

This year’s festival features eight new ten-minute plays running the gamut from intense drama (“Beneath the Gas,” set in a Nazi death camp, and “Daughters,” about the interrogation of a suspected terrorist) to high comedy (“Condition Blue,” in which a criminal coddles a depressed detective) and meaningful fantasy (“Mail Room Madness,” in which a contemporary Dilbert converses with his letter opener, and “To Womb It May Concern,” a dialogue between twins on the pros and cons of being born.)

Steven King in Condition Blue by Alex Gradine.
Posted by Picasa
Subjects include a personal relationship in crisis (“A Day in the Park”) and the search for a meaningful life (“You Are Here.”) “There are three plays in this festival that relate to current political issues,” Kelso noted, “which is kind of unusual for us.” Besides the aforementioned “Beneath the Gas” and “Daughters,” the war in Iraq is examined by the ghosts of two friends and adversaries during the Crusades who meet on a contemporary battlefield in “The King’s Crusade.”

This year’s playwrights are Jonny Barrett, Joseph Castro, Clayton Cook, Alex Costello, Mackenzie Cox, Henry Echeverria, Alex Gradine and Kevin McCaffree.

Kyle Ryan and Kady Pomerleau in To Womb It
May Concern by Jonny Barrett.
Posted by Picasa
After that first presentation of ten minute plays in a classroom in 1998, this event moved from one small black-box theatre space to another. One year it also played in Eureka, at what was then the World Premiere Theatre of Playwrights in Progress. It was only in the last several years that the 10 Minute Play Festival in the Gist Hall Theatre became part of the official Theatre, Film and Dance season, ending the school year.

But it still doesn’t necessarily look like other productions on the schedule. There are costumes, but “we still keep the setting very simple,” Kelso said. “We use just a few black wood blocks because that helps to unify all the plays.”

Alex Gradine and Ozrel Padilla in Kings' Crusade
by Clayton Cook.Posted by Picasa
The festival is also still an outgrowth of the Play Development Workshop, an advanced playwriting class. “The focus in that class is on the collaborative development of plays,” Kelso said, “and the festival is a natural progression of that. Actors and designers and others in the class all get the play when it is fresh they give the playwright ideas and suggestions and feedback. But that’s where it ends in terms of the class.”

“Now students of that class submit scripts for the Festival. Other students can, too—this year we have scripts from the beginning playwriting class, and one from a fiction writer in the English department who has never written a play before.”

“We get about 35 plays a year now. A committee of faculty chooses somewhere between 7 and 10. Then each of those scripts gets a director, a cast of actors, plus some costume and design support. And the collaborations continue.”

2008 playwrights are (back) Mackenzie
Cox, Alex Gradine, (front) Jonny Barrett,
Alex Costello. Not pictured: Joseph Castro,
Henry Echeverria, Clayton Cook and
Kevin McCaffree.Posted by Picasa
For the playwrights, the creative process doesn’t stop with the Festival production. “We really look at the audience response—what do they get and enjoy, what aren’t they getting? And playwrights rewrite after that. That’s an important part of the process.”

“While the audience is important in all play productions, it’s particularly important with new plays, because that’s how the playwrights know if what they are trying to communicate is getting across.”

Playwrights as superheroes: Jonny Barrett, Mackenzie
Cox, Alex Costello and Alex Gradine.Posted by Picasa
Why has the festival become so popular? “It’s exciting to see what the next generation of writers and theatre people are interested in,” Kelso said.

In terms of production values and polish, the Ten Minute Play Festival is still relatively modest. “But in terms of importance, and people really anticipating it,” Kelso said, “as well as students putting a lot of energy and effort into it, it’s become a big event each year.”

The 10th annual HSU Ten Minute Play Festival plays Thursdays through Saturdays, April 24-26 and May 1-3 at 7:30 PM in Gist Hall Theatre on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets are $5 general, $3 students and seniors, from the HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. HSU students free limited seating.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mason Lev, Jonny Barrett, Mackenzie Cox and
Brian Pike in Beneath the Gas.
Posted by Picasa

The Plays

From Beneath the Gas
by Alex Costello

Powerful drama about Nazi death camp prisoners who find an unexpected survivor, and must decide if her life is worth theirs.

Rosenthal- Mason Lev
Max- Gabriel Holman
Doctor Hoffman- Jonny Barrett
Herschal- Brian Pike
Girl- Mackenzie Cox

Mailroom Madness
by Henry Echeverria

Office satire about an interpretive dance major who can’t fit into his cubicle world—until his letter opener starts talking to him.

Steve- Brian Coker
Pete- Ian Santos
TJ- Chisana White
Jill- Kelly Whitaker

Steven King in Condition Blue
Posted by Picasa

The Plays

Condition Blue
by Alex Gradine

A fun comedy about a depressed detective and the criminal who coddles him.

Greg-Steven King
Ann-Rachel Brink
Mr. Badd-Alejandro Servin

by Kevin McCaffree

Intense interaction between an FBI agent and a suspected terrorist, addressing the question, who do we really care about?

Michael Barnes, a police officer- Jeff Wilson
Joshua Peterson, a federal agent- Ethan Heinz
Terrorist- Chris Hegler

Johanna Hembry and Chris Scardina
in A Day in the Park
Posted by Picasa

The Plays

A Day in the Park
by Joseph Castro

The surreal journey of a young couple trying to survive and heal from a trauma in their lives.

Richard- Chris Werner
Marisela- Johanna Hembry
Richard’s Bum- Chris Scardina
Marisela’s Bum- Rebecca House

You Are Here
by Mackenzie Cox

She’s little girl Lost—literally—trying to find her way among other lost souls in a crowded train station.

Lost- Adrienne Lopez
Going in Circles- Krista Powell
Running Away- Ryan Hall
On My Way- Omari Howard
Fate- Ken Klima

Alex Gradine and Ozrel Padilla in Kings' Crusade.
Posted by Picasa

The Plays

To Womb It May Concern
by Jonny Barrett

A comedy with a serious edge about twins in utero, one eager and one reluctant to be born.

Infant- Kady Pomerleau
Baby- Kyle Ryan
Doctor- Danni Joy Ladimir

The Kings’ Crusade
by Clayton Cook

An encounter between King Richard the Lionheart and Saladin, Sultan of Egypt, both friends and adversaries in the Crusades, on a contemporary battlefield in Iraq.

King Richard the Lionheart- Alex Gradine
King Saladin- Ozrel Padilla
Uday- Kelly Whitaker
Gabir- Joe Castro

Our Production

stage manager Mychal Ducken and producer
Megan Hughes.
Posted by Picasa

Our Production

Coordinator: Margaret Thomas Kelso
Producer: Megan Hughes
Lighting Designer/Board Op: Rusty Gaidzik
Sound Designer/Board Op: Brendan O'Loughlin
Prop Designer: Calder Johnson
Costume Designer: Amy Echeverria
Stage Manager: Mychal Ducken
Assistant Stage Manager: Mattie Eckstrom

The Whole Gang

well, at least the ones who hung out at the photo
shoot. (click to enlarge.)Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 23, 2007

2007 9th annual Ten Minute Play Festival

Brendan O'Loughlin and Marisa Castaneda in "Freebox."
All photos by HSU Graphic Services unless otherwise noted.Posted by Picasa
What goes on in a young woman’s mind about the guy she’s been kissing? How can a couple of secret agents save the world?

What prompts a boy to realize his mother doesn’t love him? Is there really a reason to get off the couch and go to work? Can you ever be free, or is freedom just another box?

These are some of the questions that eight HSU student playwrights address in the fast-paced form of the ten minute play. These scripts, developed through the year, will be brought to life by student directors and actors in the 9th annual HSU Ten Minute Play Festival at Gist Hall Theatre on the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May.
Jonny Barrett and Kristin Hoffman in "Concrete
Evidence." Photo: BK.Posted by Picasa
On a simple, modular set, student actors and directors will take you to Mayan ruins, a slacker apartment, an inner city streetcorner, and into the bowels of a very strange funeral home. You’ll be inside a young girl’s imagination and witness to a young man’s recollection of his childhood. And more.

The 2007 playwrights: Renee Carney, Erica Davie, Kato Buss,
Richard Renteria, Missy Hopper. Not pictured: Joseph Castro,
Alyssa Loomer and Emily Loeffler. Posted by Picasa
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and ten minutes later you’ll do it again at the HSU 9th Annual 10 Minute Play Festival, Thursday through Saturday, April 26-28, and May 3-5 at 7:30 PM in Gist Hall Theatre on the HSU campus in Arcata. Ticket: $5 general, $3 student/senior, limited seating free to HSU students.

Start the Presses!

Posted by Picasa

Start the Presses!

10 Minute Triumph: review, Eureka Reporter, May 3 by Wendy Butler.

"Ten Minute Play Festival Takes the Stage" by Jacqueline Torres in the HSU Lumberjack, April 18.

"Fast Paced Comedy in Play Festival" on HSU News Online, April 20.

Three photos from 10 Minute Festival in Arcata Eye, April 24.

HSU's Annual 10 Minute Playfest Starts Tonight at Eureka Reporter, April 26.

HSU 10 Minute Play Festival: Concise, Creative, Collaborative at Eureka Times Standard, April 26.

"In Ten Minutes," North Coast Journal, April 26.
Joey Bishop and Missy Hopper in "Cold Tootsies in the
Hands of Fortune's Wheel"Posted by Picasa

Our Plays

Cold Footsies in the Hands of Fortune’s Wheel: A Love Story
By Renee Carney
Directed by Erica Davie

A bizarre comedy about love and loneliness, set in a funeral home.

Missy Hopper (Beautician)
Andrew Schnell (Dead One)
Thallia Bird (Dead Two)
Joey Bishop (Mortician)

Samantha Koebelin in "Lonely Little Girls."
Posted by Picasa
Lonely Little Girls
By Erica Davie
Directed by Joe Castro

An Edward Gorey style tale about a little girl whose imagination goes crazy.

Brian Pike (narrator)
Samantha Koebelin (Zilla)
Megan Hughes (Violet)

I Have a Dream Too
By Richard Renteria
Directed by Alex Gradine

A tense drama about high school friends who plot to find power in a society that alienates them.

Kenneth Tejada
Omari Howard
MacKenzie Cox and Sofia Pererra
in "Between a Rock and a Soft Place."Posted by Picasa
Between a Rock and a Soft Place
By Alyssa Lomier
Directed by Kato Buss

A comedy about roommates who don’t want to go to work.

Mackenzie Cox
Sofia Pereira

Regarding Robert Chang
By Emily Loeffler
Directed by Liz Fairchild

A surrealist piece about the early stages of falling in love.

Rachel Brink
Ryan Mantle
Rashawnda Kelly-Brown
Emily Blanche
Rebecca Thompson
Jonny Barrett and Kristen Hoffman in "Concrete Evidence."
BK photo.Posted by Picasa
Concrete Evidence
By Missy Hopper
Directed by Megan Hughes

A comedy about trying to save the world.

Kristin Hoffman (Spy One)
Jonny Barrett (Spy Two)
Mason Daryl Lev (Doctor)
Krista Powell (Nurse)

Circus Beneath the Breasts
By Joe Castro
Directed by Renee Carney

A lyrical reminiscence of a young boy’s moment of revelation.

Joseph Angelatis
Naveena Bird
JM Wilkerson
Brendan O’Laughlin, guitar
Brendan O'Loughlin in "Freebox."
Posted by Picasa
By Kato Buss
Directed by Colleen Roberts

An absurdist piece, a la Beckett, about freedom and power.

Brendan O’Loughlin (Jones)
Marisa Castaneda (Sarah)
Samantha Koebelin and Megan Hughes in "Lonely Little
Girls." photo: M.T. KelsoPosted by Picasa