Actors' Theatre Reopens with 8 Tens @ 8 Short Play Festival

The event runs January 14 – February 6, 2022.

By: Dec. 07, 2021
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Actors' Theatre Reopens with 8 Tens @ 8 Short Play Festival

Santa Cruz County Actors' Theatre returns to live performances after nearly two years of closure due to the pandemic. The 26th Annual 8 Tens @ 8 Short Play Festival opens January 14 and plays through February 6, at the Center Stage Theater in downtown Santa Cruz.

The ten-minute play festival is one of the most anticipated and popular events of the theatre season in Santa Cruz. The 2022 Festival will stage eighteen award-winning short plays from the 2020/21 International Playwriting Contests as well two winners from the Young Playwrights' Contest that took place last summer. The eighteen plays will perform in repertoire over the four-week festival with 9 plays on "A" Night and 9 different plays on "B" Night.

Every summer Actors' Theatre holds an international playwriting contest, judged by a select group of local writers and directors. The winning plays are then produced into full productions for the January Festival. The renowned contest draws well over 300 entrees every year from around the world.

"Actors' Theatre is now home to the longest running short play festival in the United States," says new Executive Artistic Director, Andrew Ceglio. "With our return to live theatre, this year's selections offer a wide variety of comedies and dramas filled with heart, gravitas and thought-provoking perspectives."

The intimate Center Stage Theater at the Art Center in downtown Santa Cruz has been newly renovated with a CDC-recommended Hepa HVAC system that circulates fresh air every seven minutes. The company is putting safety first with a fully vaccinated staff, including performers, and a theater that will be sanitized after every performance.

Discounted 2-night packages are available for the Festival, as well as subscriptions for the entire 2022 extended season. Patrons must show proof of vaccination to be admitted to the theater. Currently, only 45 of the 89 seats are being sold to each performance to allow for some social distancing. Depending on the state of the pandemic come early January, additional seats may open up. Due to the limited seating during a usually sold-out festival, a full length, professional film of the Festival will be available On Demand come mid-February. This year's award-winning short plays include:


WONDER PEOPLE by Madeline Puccioni. Directed by Hannah Eckstein
ARE YOU ONE OF THOSE ROBOTS? by Dierdre Gerard. Directed by Gail Borkowski
ME AND HIM by Michael John McGoldrick. Directed by Andrew Davids
NOBODY'S HERO by Charles Anderson. Directed by Evan Hunt
FREE HUGS by L. H. Grant. Directed by Marcus Cato
OLD AQUATICS by Steven Kobar. Directed by Gerry Gerringer
TOGETHER AT LAST by Stella Pfefferkorn (YoungPlaywrights Festival Winner) Directed by Kathie Kratochvil
KEW GARDENS by James Armstrong. Directed by Bill Peters
GOD ON THE COUCH by Dan O'Day. Directed by Peter Gelblum


STRESS FOR SUCCESS by Terrence Patrick Hughes. Directed by Kathie Kratochvil
GONE by AJ Davey Ouse (Young Playwrights Festival Winner) Directed by Andrew Ceglio
ROSA & LEO by Adam Szudrich. Directed by Jim Schultz
THE MALTESE WALTER by John Minigan. Directed by Cathy Warner
DITMAS by Glenn Alterman. Directed Helene Simkin Jara
THE CORIOLUS EFFECT by Robert Lynn. Directed by Anita Natale
SLOW DATING by Adam Szudrich. Directed by Buff McKinley
UNHEARD by Glenn Alterman. Directed by Sarah Albertson
DRESS BLUES by Donald J. Loftus. Directed by Karin Babbitt

The event runs January 14 - February 6, 2022. Please visit for a full calendar and tickets.


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