After nearly a year of receiving and reading submissions and slowly whittling them down to the final ten, Lakeshore Players' annual 10-Minute Play Festival opened last night to a sold-out crowd.
This won't be a review per se. As a member of this year's festival committee I can hardly claim to be objective, though I do think we picked one of the best slates of shows the festival has seen in recent years. I attended a runthrough last Sunday which went extremely well, but it was great to see the performance with all the final touches of costumes, lights and so on last night. So far the festival has sold out four of the six performances, with only limited seats left for the remaining two. Fellow playwright Claudia Haas is responsible for spearheading the 10-minute festival at Lakeshore seven years ago, and at last night's opening it was clear she took some well-deserved pride in how it has grown and taken root. She along with several other directors have participated in all seven festivals to-date, and I think it's a testament to the festival that directors, actors and writers are drawn back to it year after year. I've participated twice before as an actor, and while I wish I could h ave done so again this year, it was great fun to serve on the committee and then be able to enjoy the final result as an audience member.
For me the highlights of this year's festival are Mark Harvey Levine's brilliant comedy Misfortune (my wife would also have far too much fun if a fortune cookie predicted my imminent demise), and Allie Munson and George M. Calger are perfect in their roles. Patrick Gabridge's look at theater behind-the-scenes in Curse the Darkness is simply genius (I still can't get over the side plot of trying to light the matches). Both Mark and Patrick are fellow members of the Playwright Binge (as is Dale Griffiths Stamos with the drama Going Home, another excellent script), and I couldn't help but feel a tinge of pride to see Bingers make up a third of the festival. Some of my other favorite scripts include Rebecca Gorman's Worse Than Cold Feet, Rich Rubin's Food for Thought, D.W. Surine's The 8-Minute Murder Mystery, and the utterly charming and sweet Porch Revival by Mark Rigney.
So I wish the cast and crew the best of luck with the rest of the weekend's run. If you're local to MN and can manage to wrangle a ticket, I encourage you to do so. I hope to be a part of the committee again for 2012, which means in a few months we start all over again.
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