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Pomona's 10-Minute Play Festival Seeks Creative Wordsmiths

For the fourth year running, the Theatre Department is sponsoring the 10-Minute Play Festival. The Festival begins with a call for entries of 10-minute plays from the 5C community; plays are due by Friday, November 19, by 5 p.m. This year, the theme is plays inspired by or based on a song title. Five plays will be chosen to be performed on Friday, February 18, 2011, during Family Weekend, and the winning playwrights will receive generous prizes.

While in past years, only students have entered plays, the contest has always been open to any 5C student, staff or faculty member. "We hope to solicit more plays from staff and faculty and students who are not necessarily theatre majors, but who like to be creative and write," says Joyce Lu, visiting assistant professor in the departments of theatre and dance and Asian American studies, who is taking over directorial duties this year from Darren Blaney, who directed the festival in fall 2007, spring 2009 and spring 2010, but is no longer at Pomona. "Diversity of subject matter is also something we're looking for. The theme this year is pretty wide open because there are all kinds of songs out there."

Adds Lu, "I'm very excited to be organizing the process because it's a chance to get to know more people and work together to create theater that is hopefully thought-provoking and relevant."

The 10-Minute Playwriting Contest and Festival was started in 2007 by Assistant Professor of Theatre Alma Martinez after she was charged by the Theatre Department with creating a project that would draw more diverse students at plays to the department. Students helped her create the structure, policy and marketing of the festival, but because of her heavy involvement with Zoot Suit at that time, she handed over the directing reins to Blaney.

For this year's festival, a panel of faculty, staff and students will be reviewing and selecting plays in December. The five winning playwrights will be assigned student directors and auditions for roles will be held Saturday, January 22. Staff and faculty are also invited to audition. The plays will be shown together in Dom's Lounge during Family Weekend.

"This is a very open, wild and off-the-hook night of theatre," says Martinez.

Winning plays last year included Why by Chrysanthe Oltmann '12; The Audition by Aaron Isadore Brown '11; Stay Black and Die! by theory friction practice; The Dream Traveler by Emily Miner '12; Daughters of Zion by Arielle Brown '11; and Riverside Park by Andrew Halladay '10.

Applications for the contest are available on the Theatre department website.