Ten Minute Playhouse Returns With Two Nights of Locally Written Plays April 15 & 16



The Ten Minute Playhouse, named one of the Top 11 Theatrical Events of 2011 by The First Night Honors, returns with two nights of locally written scripts directed and performed by some of Nashville's finest theatre professionals.

Twelve new plays will be presented as staged readings over two nights at the Darkhorse Theater in Nashville, April 15 and 16. The plays for the Spring Ten Minute Playhouse were all inspired by a single theme: First Contact.

Calling for submissions based on a theme is a first for The Playhouse: "The moment of first contact is full of potential," says co-curator Lauren Shouse. "It is the very instant when the world opens up, or slams shut forever."

Co-curator Nate Eppler, whose play Long Way Down was named First Night's Outstanding Original Work of 2011 (he shared the 2010 honor with Dietz Osborne for Rear Widow), says the decision to use a theme to connect the plays did not limit the scope of subject matter for the playwrights.

"It's exciting to see the vast diversity in the plays. The aliens finally arrive, an atheist wakes up in heaven, a young woman meets a past life, a young man hovers between worlds, and Clark and Bruce have a cup of coffee after their very first team-up. And that's not even half the plays."

Plays and playwrights selected for this edition of the Ten Minute Playhouse are: Dropped Call by Garret Schneider, Lyla Builds a Spaceship by Darren Van Michael, Double Header by Brooke Bryant & Carolyn German, Unfortunate Introduction by James Skelley, Ecotone by Ritchie Simmons, Atheist's Surprise by Joe Giordano, Types by Sean Hills, Bobby Met His Father by Thomas Heine, ReinCarnival by Rachael Swann, World's Finest Team-Ups! by Bob Giordano, Mr. Baxter Learns a Lesson by Laura Cockarell and Cold Fish by Nate Eppler.

All twelve plays–six per night–will be read in front of a live audience and performed by the best and brightest of Nashville's theatre community. Shouse will facilitate audience feedback sessions with the playwrights after the readings.

"One of the most gratifying things to us about The Playhouse is that it brings together a wide variety of talented individuals – writers, performers, and directors – many of whom may have never worked together before," says co-curator Chris Bosen.

"We've been very lucky to have a variety of talented actors and actresses and this time around we've invited directors who have worked with the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, the Nashville Children's Theatre, Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre, Lipscomb University and many other area theaters to give our playwrights, actors and audiences the most entertaining staged readings we can."

Performances of The Ten Minute Playhouse are April 15 and 16, at the Darkhorse Theater, 4610 Charlotte Pike. All shows start at 7:30 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door. For more information, go to www.tenminuteplayhouse.com.


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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.

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