an evening of 10 minute plays
The theme offered to playwrights in this category is finding yourself or a long lost love. These plays ask what you are seeking, but also what you might be willing to lose in the process.
Principles of Dramatic Writing
By Steve Moulds
Directed by Andrew Hawkins
Zoe (Carina Czipoth) signs up for a writing seminar with her literary idol, Terry (Christopher Holbert). As the semester progresses, she has to separate herself from her emotions to see the man clearly and make a choice.
Principles of Dramatic Writing is one of the most entertaining surprises of the 10-minute plays. While Zoe has to perform a significant amount of narration and monologue (often deadly to a play), Carina Czipoth is enormously appealing while gushing lines like “He knows my name.” Playwright Steve Moulds sets up interesting classroom discussion about writing and Holbert’s Professor Terry is appropriately intimidating. The play tells a complete story and moves to an appropriate conclusion better than most of the entries.
Jou Eat Vhat Jou Are
By Matthew Ivan Bennett
Directed by Natsu Onoda Power
A hungry man (Mikey Cafarelli) craves pork. The famous deceased psychologist Carl Jung (Michael Rodriguez) explains how the man represents an archetype whose lower desires lead to an existential journey.
Jou Eat Vhat Jou Are is one of the strangest plays in the Source Festival, and that’s meant as a compliment. This play mixes Jungian theory, a pink spandex pig (Daniel Mori), and the music of Jefferson Starship in an absurd concoction. This intellectual-comic mash-up is a tasty little treat.
By Juanita Rockwell
Directed by Carmen C. Wong
Adult siblings Delia (Lisa Hodsoll), Pete (Ivan Zizek), and Paul (Nello DeBlasio) gather for their mother’s funeral. The occasion offers the opportunity to reminisce about both parents and their childhood.
The title of the play refers to how the mother used to scold Delia mildly with a pet name for cursing (“Language, monkey”). The affectionate recollections of the mother and some of her distinctive traits (nonlinear storytelling, confused aphorisms) are touching, and Lisa Hodsoll is especially good as the daughter. On the other hand, some of the conversation feels like unrelated filler and the involvement of the father along with three actresses sharing the mother’s role makes Language Monkey feel a little cluttered for a short work. Nonetheless, it effectively touches some emotional chords.
The Two Ufologists
By Nicholas Gray
Directed by Timmy Metzner
Eli (Luke Cleslewicz) and T (Raven Bonniwell) spend nights together looking for UFOs (unidentified flying objects). Eli is interested in alien contact, while T is more interested in establishing romantic contact with Eli.
The Two Ufologists is a well-written relationship piece. Cleslewicz and Bonniwell establish a nice rapport while discussing science fiction trivia, the potential history-changing impact of an alien encounter, and eventually the notion of love. The direction skillfully works the pair through emotional beats as the geeky and fearful young man is faced with another form of discovery. The Two Ufologists is a very satisfying short play.
Sasquatch and the Man
By Eric Appleton
Directed by Jennifer Lefkow
John (Michael Hammand) is fascinated by Sasquatch. When he and family members (Nevie Brooks and Marilyn Bennett) encounter the mysterious woodland creature (R. Michael Oliver), a chase ensures through suburban Buffalo.
Sasquatch and the Man features some inspired silliness. The production also integrates film and photographs of the famous beast. Finally, the episode leads to some personal revelation. All in all, Sasquatch and the Man is an enjoyable light work.
The Truth About Tiny Tim
By Eric Pfeffinger
Directed by David A. Snider
This play’s synopsis states that “A man approaches Charles Dickens with a modest business proposal: writing the most famous work of fiction in history.” It’s an intriguing premise, but unfortunately this work was not performed the night this reviewer attended. It will be presented in the remaining performances of this set of 10-minute plays.
Despite the disappointment of missing The Truth About Tiny Tim, the “Lost and Found” set of 10-minute plays is a well-acted and diverse collection of new works.
“Lost and Found” performs again June 23 at 8pm, June 26 at 1pm and July 2 at 8pm.
The 2011 Source Festival of new plays runs thru July 3, 2011 at Source, 1835 14th Street NW, Washington, DC. Buy tickets.
Produced by The Source Festival
Reviewed by Steven McKnight
Running time: 1 hour 30 min (one intermission)