By Kristopher Storey
The annual 10-Minute Play Festival, which begins tonight, will showcase several local writers and will end Sunday with the selection of an Audience Favorite prize-winning play.
The 10-Minute Play Festival has been a long-standing tradition in Oxford. Presented by Theatre Oxford and the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, it has not always been performed in a theater. In the past, it has been displayed in restaurants and local churches before finding a home at The Powerhouse on University Avenue.
Each year, writers from all over the county send in their one-act, 10-minute original plays that have not been performed elsewhere. A reading committee selects several winners that are brought to life for the first time on state during Theatre Oxford’s 10-Minute Play Festival.
Each play lasts about 10 minutes and the directors are challenged with the task of making it as creative and enjoyable as they can. There will be eight plays led by eight directors with more than 40 characters making up these pieces of art.
Wayne Andrews, director of the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, said he is really looking forward to the festival and encourages people from the community to come and enjoy the show.
“The great thing about this festival is that every 10 minutes something new is happening,” Andrews said.
Big names—like Jack Pendarvis—are going to have their plays showcased in the festival. Pendarvis is a local writer, but he is recognized nationally with several books and television shows like “Adventure Time.”
All of the plays will be showing live for the first time at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The docket includes this year’s $1,000 grand prize winner, “Secret Family Recipes,” by Emily McClain, with director Daniel Mattern, and Pendarvis’ play, “The Full Moby Dick Experience,” directed by Micaela Kostmayer.
President of Theatre Oxford, Bud Fanton, said he is very excited about this year’s festival and the type of participation they received.
“This year, our contest received over 260 submissions. When I saw those numbers climbing daily, I thought, ‘How are we ever going to get all of these read?’ he said. “But our readers came out of the woodwork, excited to contribute, telling me stories of past years they’ve read—or even written—plays for the festival. This year, I’m proud to bring Oxford eight funny, thoughtful, energetic plays from writers across the country and from right here at home.”
The festival continues with shows at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and 8 p.m. on Saturday and will conclude with a matinee at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
The event is being held at the Powerhouse and tickets can be purchased for $15 each online at https://www.oxfordarts.com/. Or stop by the Theatre Oxford box office at The Powerhouse to purchase tickets in person.
For more information on the festival visit https://www.theatreoxford.org/ten-minute-play-festival/.