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Posted at 11:10 AM ET, 06/24/2008

A Little Bit of Everything

By Stephanie Merry

I'm a big fan of movie shorts, so naturally when I heard about the theatrical equivalent--the 10-minute plays that kick off the Source Festival--I had to check it out. What I found was a variety pack of plots, tones and performances. And while I didn't love every one of the nine plays that appeared on stage last night, 10 minutes go by pretty quickly; each play was over before I could even think to complain. This type of theater is perfect for short attention spans or the hyper-critical.

The plays that seemed to work the best were able to travel the full story arc in the short vignette while incorporating both humor and serious sentiment. A young army veteran discusses in hilarious detail the relative merits of fighting in Afghanistan in "A Taste of Heaven," while a middle-aged couple plots to save their marriage by getting a Mac laptop out of their bed in "The Great White Undulating Orb in the Bed Between Us." In "Urban Legend," two actors with superb comic timing play security guards, who bide their time by chatting about an outlandish story involving a lost boy at the zoo.

The more serious fare included "NOLA" about hurricane Katrina and "Urashima Taro," involving two Japanese families that were moved from their homes to an internment camp after Pearl Harbor. In the more experimental realm, "Yes to Everything" was a bit unnerving. The one-woman play consisted of a character, who appeared to have a personality disorder of some kind, repeating a string of non sequiturs at various invisible characters on stage, including "I brought you into this world and I can take you out," "pull my finger" and the apparent climax: "choo choo."

The nine plays last night comprised Group A, which will show three more times, while Groups B and C will also appear over the next week. The festival will then feature interdisciplinary projects, which incorporate at least two forms of art, 24-hour plays that are written, practiced and performed all within the span of a day and one act plays. Write in the comments and let me know what some of your favorite plays are; for me, "Urban Legend" and "A Taste of Heaven" take the cake.


By Stephanie Merry  | June 24, 2008; 11:10 AM ET
Categories:  Theater  
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It was fun reading your review of the Source play festival. It sounds like a good preview for the upcoming Capital Fringe Festival, which will feature longer works that are also in development.

Posted by: Lucinda | June 27, 2008 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like an eclectic festival; wish I could be there. Thanks for writing the post, because it reminded me that I'm still behind on viewing Oscar-nominated shorts!

Posted by: Marcus Banks | June 27, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

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