In just ten minutes, Heartland Theater can give you a play from start to finish.
The 15th Annual Ten Minute Play Festival kicks off this weekend at Heartland Theater. Artistic Director Rhys Lovell served as one of the judges of the submitted plays and said this year's material is very strong. "We're now getting scripts submitted from all around the world. One of the things Heartland really takes pride in is fostering relationships with the authors."
It's challenging to write a full play that lasts just ten minutes. "From the writer's standpoint, there's no time for lengthy exposition," explained Lovell. "You have to get right to it, cut to the chase and you have to flesh those characters out really fast, which is difficult. You don't want to end up with caricatures, which with the shortened format can be a real hazard."
The challenges for the actor are much the same, said Lovell. The short plays also provide opportunities for budding actors. "This is one of our gateway productions. If someone is interested in getting involved with Heartland, sometimes the season selections can be daunting. They fell like it could be too much for them, and the time commitment is too big. So this is an opportunity for them to ease in and become known, and often those actors become regular players."
The theme for this year's Ten Minutes Play Festival is Graduation Day. It runs at Heartland Theater through June. 24.