BWW Review: 10 X 10 NEW PLAY FESTIVAL at Barrington Stage Company Offers A Little Something for Everyone.
The 10 x 10 Upstreet Arts Festival returns to downtown Pittsfield for the ninth year featuring music, theatre, dance, film, visual art, spoken word, comedy and more, including Barrington Stage Company's 10 x 10 New Play Festival. The festival is a collaborative effort spearheaded by BSC and the city of Pittsfield and coordinated through a steering committee that includes the Beacon Cinema, Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF), Berkshire Museum, Lichtenstein Center for the Arts and the City of Pittsfield.
The cast features 10 x 10 returnees Keri Safran and Peggy Pharr Wilson and welcomes Doug Harris, Maya Loren Jackson, Peter Macklin, and Kenneth Tigar. The ensemble is well balanced and skilled handling a range of roles, and styles across the production.
The plays in this year's presentation offer a mix of comedy and drama. Some with a message, some that make us think, and some that seem to be there just to make us smile. This year's offerings include:
FIVE SECONDS an amusing look at the short play genre by Connie Schindewolf.
MINOR DEVIATIONS a Twilight Zone like look at Artificial Intelligence with a Law and Order like twist by Erin Osgood.
CLOSING DOORS a harsh look at the realities of education in a post Sandy Hook world by John Minigan.
DIGITAL DETOX explores interpersonal connections in a world dominated by connectivity by Cynthia Arsenault.
STAY, PLEASE by Jessica Pomerantz shows the surprising lengths some will go to avoid loneliness.
JILL TAKES A LEAP, both literally and figuratively, by Scott Mullen
ARE YOU ONE OF THOSE ROBOTS by Deirdre Girard provides a poignant look at how much indifference we can / are willing to accept.
WITH IMPROVEMENTS BY THE ACTORS by Ann Marie Shea in which the players have a few notes for the director and playwright as well.
MY BODY by Rachel Bublitz examines reproductive rights with a rather revolutionary spin.
OY VEY MARIA by Mark Harvey Levine provides a rather unique and alternative perspective on what went down one night in Bethlehem.
With costumes by Trinity Koch, lighting by Lucas Pawelski, sound by Alex Sovronsky, stage management by Rachel Lynne Harper, and line production by Nora Zahn, ten new plays presented by six fine performers under the guidance of two strong directors, the 10 x 10 NEW PLAY FESTIVAL continues at Barrington Stage Company's St. Germain Stage in Pittsfield through March 8th. Visit https://barringtonstageco.org/10x10-new-play-festival-2020/ for tickets and information.