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Biennial Festival of Ten showcases worldwide talent

by Katherine Fernandez - Copy Editor
Wed, Feb 27th 2019 03:00 pm
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Have you ever watched the first 10 minutes of a TV show and decided it wasn’t for you, but you decide to suffer through the first episode anyway just to give it a fair chance? Well the Festival of Ten is the perfect fix for that. An eclectic collection of 10 different 10-minute plays, Brockport’s 11th biennial Festival of Ten promises if you don’t like the first play, wait 10 minutes and you’ll be treated to a completely different one. Just think of it as theatrical speed dating but without the awkward interaction. 

The Festival of Ten accepts submissions internationally with a pool of over 500 applicants and each submission is read by three sets of eyes. The readings are blind, meaning those who are reading them are unaware of who the playwright is while they’re evaluating the scripts, ensuring that plays get selected based solely on merit. The top 20 then get read by the Department of Theatre and Music Studies faculty, who select the 10 that will be produced. This process takes about a year, which is why the production is biennial rather than annual. 

The phrase “it takes a village” doesn’t come close to describing how many people are involved in this production. In addition to the 10 playwrights and the faculty that select the best plays, there are several faculty members, students and alumni that are involved in every single step of production. Ruth Childs, an Associate Professor at The College at Brockport, serves as one of the many talented directors on the Festival of Ten team.

“It’s a really fun night of theatre,” Childs says.  “Every play has its own cast, own director, its own story. Every play is totally and completely different from the one before it.” 

This year’s iteration of the production features playwrights from Hawaii, Colorado, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, California and Washington D.C. The plays cover a wide range of topics, like psychological domestic abuse and bickering siblings on their way to a wedding.

The second weekend of the production marks the start of what Childs referred to as the “Playwright Symposium,” where the playwrights come together to meet the actors and directors that made their vision come to life.

The Festival of Ten is being staged from March 1-2 and from March 7-9 at 7:30 p.m. at Tower Mainstage Theatre. The March 3 showing is a Sunday Matinee held at 2 p.m. and will be ASL interpreted. Tickets are available for purchase at the Tower of Fine Arts box office or online at fineartstix.brockport.edu.


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