‘The Tens’ almost earns a ten

By on January 16, 2015

Actors Theatre apprentice and intern company filled the Jory Theatre with laughter during their debut production of “The Tens,” a collection of eight original, ten-minute plays.

The plays were all comedic shorts centered around culturally popular events. Despite the fact that a large portion of the crowd was comprised of retiree-aged folks, the jokes and ploys were more suited for the Millennial crowd.

One of the plots depicted three PR representatives dealing with a crisis involving slander against the mayor. The audience comes to find out the “slander” came from a teacher on strike who held up a sign that read “THE MAYOR LOVES NICKELBACK.”

The young people in the crowd fell out of their seats in laughter, while the older people chuckled uncomfortably.

Another one of the plays navigated the precarious world of online dating, paired with the trite setting of the creepy cabin in the woods. The two characters’ banter was what I imagine would come out of a collaboration between ABC Family’s writers and the guys who wrote the Scary Movie series. The humor was somewhat cheap, but relatable and sympathetic to our generation’s dating conventions.

Along with their quirky plot lines, the plays also impressed me with an inclusive variety of characters. At least two of the plays involved homosexual relationships, two involved interracial relationships, one involved patients in a mental care facility and several involved non-traditional gender norms. Some of these seemed forced, for the sake of progressiveness, but I was impressed, nonetheless.

One key feature of “The Tens” that really added to its inclusivity probably stemmed from the fact that each play was written and directed by a different person.

“I love how different and unique each play is,” actor Collin Morris said of “The Tens.” “It’s all tonally different, stylistically different and challenges people in different ways.”

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