Artists to host gathering to discuss Ten Minute Play project

Local artists Christine Kulcheski and Rudy Multz are co-producing a design for a collection of 10-minute plays that will be created and performed in Homer later this year. The event begins with an informal gathering of interested writers, directors, actors and theater techs to take place at the Grace Ridge Brewery on Sunday at 5 p.m.

Kulcheski said the entire event is still in the experimental phase and development of the final product will really depend on what kind of local interest there is in all components of the production.

“We’re brainstorming and open to other ideas, too,” she said.

She said she expects there will eventually be eight short plays with four to eight directors and a troupe of 12-16 actors who will be in more than one play each.

“This is going to be an actual produced festival so it will be a little bit different than a drama slam, where actors pick up a script and read it at the time of the event. This will be more organized from the very composition of the play, to the directed rehearsals and rehearsed technical components of the performance,” Kulcheski said.

Play submissions will be accepted from members of the local community and potentially elsewhere, Kulcheski said.

Homer local playwright Kate Rich will eventually lead a writing workshop in conjunction with the event in the summer. Rich has provided Pier One Theatre with several of her plays and has participated in workshops with the Valdez Theater Conference Play Lab at the University of Alaska’s Prince William Sound College.

The Play Lab was started in 1995 and hosts readings of approximately 50 to 60 plays each year with plays workshopped by panelists of nationally acknowledged playwrights, directors, designers, as well as leading figures in Alaska’s theater scene, according to the Play Lab website. Plays are submitted to the workshop from Alaskan writers as well playwrights from other states.

Simon Lopez has also offered to help instruct people who might be interested in learning about theater technician and lighting and sound skills.

Kulcheski said if it’s possible she expects to also present an acting and directing workshop.

Youth are welcome to attend also.

“This is really for anyone interested in getting involved in theater, writing or directing. We’re encouraging anyone who wants to participate to come,” Kulcheski said.

Kulcheski noted that there is a national Ten Minute Play movement underway and they are becoming an increasingly popular form of theater, partially because it takes less commitment than a full show.

The Scriptmore website describes a 10-minute play as “a fairly new form of play that showcases the fast-paced development of characters and plot. Sometimes 10-minute plays are excerpts from longer scripts, but more often than not, they are original skits. The concept of Ten Minute Play was developed by the UK’s National Theater in order to encourage new audiences to watch theater productions.”

In the future, this local idea may grow but for this year “we’re really going to focus on getting eight good plays and see if people just want to wet their feet and try something different,” Kulcheski said.

She said she doesn’t know how the play selection process will occur yet and at some point they’ll determine the audition components, too.

There is no particular theme established now, but Kulcheski said at the kickoff event they will provide prompts for writers and that often a theme and overall title for the production will develop over time.