By Ryan Oliveti
A type of production new to the arts scene will hit the Rider stage this weekend. The Ten-Minute Play Festival being performed in the Spitz Studio Theater is a chance for the community to see gripping pieces of entertainment — briefly.
“The Ten-Minute Play Festival is a night of theater in which several plays are performed,” said senior director Tommy Butler. “In this particular festival, we will be performing seven 10-minute plays.”
A cast of just nine actors will act out the plays.
“I decided to direct a 10-minute play festival because I was curious if we could achieve everything that a full-length play achieves, seven times,” explained Butler. “In a full-length play, you have time to get used to the characters and the conflict. In a festival, the audience is thrown right into the action. The actors only have 10 minutes to grab the attention of the audience and to tell their story. The goal of a 10-minute play is to reach the same level of attachment that the audience has with the characters and the story during the course of a full-length play.”
Achieving that attachment between the characters and audience was a challenge the actors met with open arms.
“There is a ton of preparation and hard work that has to be done in order to be an actor in a 10-minute play festival,” said sophomore Ian Grinere, who appears in three of the plays. “It is an interesting challenge having to be three different characters in the span of 70 minutes.”
The actors agreed that it was an interesting process. The warm-up routine is unique. It begins with a normal stretch but is quickly changed into a wild ordeal with the actors pretending to swim or be tigers or mooing cows.
“This crazy routine actually works,” said junior Melanie Licata, who leads the mooing session.
In this festival, all of the 10-minute plays are original works.
“I am learning so much in the process,” said sophomore Jill Carucci. “It was really interesting working with all original scripts.”
Some were even written by cast members.
“It was a long process trying to write a 10-minute play,” said junior Brian Long. “I was making revisions all the way up until about two weeks ago. Some will make you laugh, others will make you cry, but all will make you think.”
Butler hopes the audience will view the play with an open mind.
“I am certain that our festival will provide an entertaining, interesting and thought-provoking night of theater unlike any other,” he said.