By Joey Yazell–
From January 15th through January 18th, the Intern/Apprentice Company at Actors theatre of Louisville will be presenting “The Tens”.
The tens is a series of eight to ten, ten minute plays. This is a national contest that annually receives up to 500 or more submissions from people all across the country. The Contest is open to anyone from well-established writers and professional play writes to anyone with a dream. A group of people at Actors theatre will review each manuscript that is submitted and will pick the top eight to ten scripts that they believe are the best. The selected plays are fully published, produced, and played by Actors and Apprentice Company.
“This is an evening of fully produced plays that have never been seen before, these are world premieres of ten minute plays”. Said Michael Legg, the director of the apprentice/Intern Company. Legg is directing two plays during this year’s showcase Boy Talk, and One in Two.
This is the first year that actors theatre of Louisville has reviewed and produced the selected plays on their own. In previous years actor’s theatre has worked with City Theatre out of Miami Florida. This is a very unique competition that allows anyone to submit their ten minute play, creating a very broad spectrum of diversity in the theatre world and allows Actors theatre to go “outside the box” with these productions. During this contest in 2009 Lucas Hnath submitted a winning script and in 2012 Actors Theatre produced one of his full length plays during the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville.
Through electronic media, the apprentice/intern company invites the winning play writes to join them through the production process via Skype and YouTube. Each ten minute play is a new experience for everyone who is involved in the production.
“The play writes voice, or approval is very important to us”. Said Legg “we want them to feel like they are full participants in the production.”
This year’s selections include : An Average Man by Stephanie Alison Walker; Boy Talk by Erik Gernand; Estate Planning by Emily Feldman; Exburb by Jason Gray Platt; Halfway by Emily Schwend; Lucid by Naomi Shafer; One In Two by Carmen M. Herlihy; and Unpleasantries by Sarah Grace Welbourn and Annabeth Bondor-Stone.
From January 8, 2013 through February 2, 2013 Meredith McDonough will be directing Mathew Lopez’s piece entitled The Whipping Man.
This is a story about a Jewish confederate soldier and two of his family’s’ former slaves who are living in their war torn broken down house in abandoned Richmond Virginia. Each character deals with their own personal problems that drive each of them to question religion and humanity. With Lincoln Signing the Emancipation Proclamation, John and Simon are now free men but stick together to help Caleb (their previous owner’s son) who has been wounded from the war. Dealing with confusion, guilt, lying, revenge, and freedom, each character relies on one another to survive the struggles of freedom and slavery. This story shows the raw effects of war and slavery from more than one perspective. Passover which recognizes the release of Israelites from Egypt ironically occurred one day after the surrender of Robert E. Lee and his confederate army at Appomattox Virginia. This surrender ended the civil war and granted all African American slaves freedom, ending slavery once and for all. Mathew Lopez brings a suspenseful comedic approach to such a daunting part of American history. This play is simply real, occupying events that should be anything but neglected or forgotten.
Photo courtesy Alan Simmons/Actors Theater