Thursday October 11, 2012

WEST CHESTERFIELD, N.H. -- What do the following have in common?

* A wild romance erupts at the DMV during a registration renewal;

* Two men discover that time is not money and friendship is more valuable than a sale;

* A bereaved mother and her son’s lover clash at his graveside. Can the dead help?

* A word with two meanings almost ends a veteran reporter’s career;

* An aging couple face terminal illness with surprising humor;

* A drink between old friends becomes a heady cocktail of desires and secrets.

These are the life-changing upheavals -- comic, tragic, or uplifting -- that occur in the space of 10 minutes in the 2012 Ten Minute Play Festival at the Actors Theatre Playhouse, running six performances only on Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m.

All tickets are $8 and reservations are recommended. Contact the toll free box office at 877-666-1855. Visit www.Actors-Theatre.Info for production and playhouse Information.

Ten Minute Plays capture pivotal moments. Says Festival co-Producer Michael Fox Kennedy, "They challenge the playwright, the director, and the actors to make it all happen now, the way it often does in real life.


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There is no time for long background exposition or the slow teasing out of emotional undercurrents. Before we are ready, life hits us with something new. We react from the gut in ways that surprise even ourselves. It’s a formula that works equally well for uproarious comedy, a sudden tragedy, or an unexpected breakthrough -- in short, all the variety of life."

Ten Minute Plays have become a popular genre across the theater world. Playwrights love the challenge. Thousands of plays have been written by just about everyone, from the best known writers to neophyte playwriting college and high school students. Festivals abound across the nation and around the world.

The Actors Theatre Playhouse considers all these sources in its selection process. The directors start early in the fall by reading hundreds of 10-minute scripts. Before the winter is over they have made their selections. Casting is completed in the spring, and rehearsals are spaced out over the summer. These little gems also provide a perfect training ground. Each year new directors and actors are introduced to the Actors Theatre audience, and some have gone on to direct or act in the Playhouse’s main stage and staged reading productions.

This year’s directors are Michael Fox Kennedy, Michael Jerald, Richard Epstein, Burt Tepfer, Gianni Mack and Carrie Kidd. The actors are Arthur Pettee, Jim Bombicino, Skylar Heathwaite, Nell Curley, Nan Mann, Randy Bright, Robin Wolf, Oriah Shea Wind, Abby Wicker, Sara Vitale, Christina Doe, Merrilyn Jones Taylor and Ray Mahoney.

And here, with something for everyone, is the 2012 Ten Minute Play Festival lineup: "The DMV One" by Nick Zagone; "Two Part Invention" by Michael Hollinger; "Beautiful Noises" by Scott Sickles; "Gunning for Life" by William Borden; "Is Hope Dead?" by Joe Applegate; "Anything for You" by Cathy Celesia.