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Ten-Minute Plays from Actors Theatre of Louisville Vol. 1

Ten-Minute Plays from Actors Theatre of Louisville Vol. 1
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Actors Theatre of Louisville (editor)
Foreword by: Jon Jory
Publisher: Samuel French (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 246
Pub. Date: 1989
ISBN-10: 0573625581
ISBN-13: 9780573625589

About the Plays:

Cover has long been a favourite of acting teachers for male/male and three-person scenes.

This is volume 1 of the best-selling Ten-Minute Plays anthology series from the prominent Actors Theatre of Louisville (ATL), which has championed the short play with its National Ten Minute Play Contest over the years; winning plays have often been included in ATL's annual Festival of New American Plays, an influential showplace for playwrights. 25 Ten-Minute Plays contains contemporary plays by some of the world's most important writers. The Actors Theatre of Louisville commissioned these 10 minute pieces for instructional and performance use by their Apprentice Company. All are perfect for classes and showcases where actors and directors show their stuff without expending the time or money to mount a full-length play. In a forward to this collection, Jon Jory comments on the ten-minute play form.

In this first volume, there are 25 Ten-Minute Plays:

American Saint by Adam LeFevre. A quasi-mystical story of a Roman Catholic priest searching for a reputedly saintly "Virgin of the Valley" in the U.S. state of Vermont, in the early 1900s. (Cast: 1 female, 3 male)

Apres Opera by Michael Bigelow Dixon & Valerie Smith. This opera bouffe shows what can happen when an ex-girlfriend meeting her ex-boyfriend brings along her new fiance, who happens to be narcoleptic. As an aria from Pagliacci fills the restaurant, violence from the opera spills onto the stage. Can the flame of passion ever be extinguished? (Cast: 2 female, 2 male)

The Asshole Murder Case by Stuart Hample. Three college students must write and perform a dramatic scene for a theatre class – but what in the world is there to write about that a modern audience can connect with? Assholes. Follow along in this Dadaist exploration of power and youthful rebellion against those who wield it. (Cast: 1 female, 3 male)

Attack of the Moral Fuzzies by Nancy Beverly. Beth comes on the fantasy game show "Morality Made Easy" in an attempt to shed her anxieties one by one. Dominated by a sleazy host and his assistant, the game posits that one can find inner peace with the decisions one makes – if one chooses not to think about the consequences or ponder the other possible decisions. When it becomes clear that Beth is the type to seriously consider her actions and every possible alternative, the game hammers her down and exposes her anxieties even more. Beth attempts to take control of what she can and walks off the show, cursing it as she leaves. (Cast: 5 female, 4 male)

Bread by Andy Backer. A drama that unfolds quickly between a man and woman who suddenly awaken and discover they only have one loaf of bread for their survival. (Cast: 2 female, 2 male)

Cameras by Jon Jory. As six photographers describe their art, their photos come to life, and the repercussions of being the photographer behind the camera are presented when one woman describes watching a man die as a photographer took photos. (Cast: 6 female or male).

Cold Water by Lee Blessing. As he and his roommates prepare to leave for the impending war, August, a University teaching assistant, recalls a strange moment from a class. Rather than fulfilling his duties as the teacher, August froze and the students had to take care of the situation using cold water. (Cast: 1 female, 2 male)

Cover by Jeffrey Sweet, Stephen Johnson, and Sandra Hastie. Marty wants Frank to lie and tell his lady friend, Diane, that the two of them were together last night, but the truth is that Marty had a date. Frank doesn't want to lie, but when Diane enters and brings up the issue, he finds the false words coming out of his mouth. Diane sees right through the lie but doesn't challenge the men's story. The variety of exchanges make it interesting for three-person scene study. (Cast: 1 female, 2 male).

Downtown by Jeffrey Hatcher. Three friends at a club discuss the patrons they see and accusations start flying from every corner, accusing everyone in the club (including each other) of emotional death, emotional blandness, and emotionally bad fashion. Who stole whose latest treatise on post-modernism? Is she really wearing that with those shoes? (Cast: 1 female, 2 male)

The Drummer by Athol Fugard. In this short piece lacking dialogue but packing power, a homeless man ransacks a pile of trash cans looking for something he can use. He discovers a drumstick, then another. Tentatively hitting them against various trash cans and boxes, he discovers the artist in himself. (Cast: 1 male)

The Duck Pond by Ara Watson. Rachel, an overweight girl, is hassled by two students claiming that she is not trying to lose weight for "God." They threaten to report her to the school committee if she doesn't ask for forgiveness. (Cast: 1 female, 2 male)

Eating Out by Marcia Dixcy. Three women struggle with various kinds of eating disorders. They discuss their weight and how their body issues have affected their lives. Chriss maintains a bare-bones diet, Melanie purges, and Pat has a history with pills. They each suffer in their own bodies. (Cast: 3 female)

Electric Roses by David Howard. Russ sits in jail recounting the fateful events which led up to his imprisonment. After taking off with his girlfriend Sara and his best friend Darrell on a whirlwind trip to Las Vegas in the middle of the night, Russ punches out a man ogling his new wife, we learn Russ has consistent anger and jealousy issues. Perhaps that is why he finds his wife and best friend skipping town while he sits in jail. (Cast: 1 female, 2 male)

The Field by Robert Spera. Two soldiers discuss their homes in between telling jokes and singing as they make their way through a mine field. (Cast: 2 male)

4 A.M. (Open All Night) by Bob Krakower. This examination of relationships and what the heart truly wants is an ideal choice for high school drama contests and one-act festivals. Late night at the local diner, a man a man escapes from his wife and enters looking for a burger with a side of sympathy. But suddenly an attractive, compatible, single young woman walks in, sits next to him, and his whole world has a chance to change. The question is... will he take the chance? He must decide if he wants to return home to a wife who may not understand him, or embark on a new relationship with the woman by his side. (Cast: 1 female, 3 male)

Intermission by Daniel Meltzer. Intermission at a playwright's first show on Broadway. He argues with the director about an uncomfortable line coming up in Act II, and we hear the thoughts of some audience members on the play and the man who wrote it. Meanwhile, a young woman drinks at the bar by herself. The playwright surreptitiously engages her in conversation before being accosted by an angry actress. His identity revealed, the young woman agrees to let him buy her a drink after the show. (Cast: 4 female, 2 male)

Looking Good by John W. Williams. Two astronauts try to un-do a mistake in the cockpit without "Houston" discovering it, but they only dig a deeper hole, eventually dumping their excess fuel. (Cast: 2 male)

Love and Peace, Mary Jo by James Nicholson. The play follows a correspondence of letters between a young teacher and a leukemia patient as the disease takes over. (Cast: 1 female, 1 male)

Loyalties by Murphy Guyer. Two couples in Weimar Germany gather around a table in celebration of the new good economic and spiritual times they are enjoying. The conversation sours, however, when one of the party members exposes his thoughts on what patriotism and military honor really mean to him. Primal energies are unleashed, and the party splits apart in this gripping charged play. (Cast: 2 female, 2 male)

Marred Bliss by Mark O'Donnell. Couples find out what happens to pre-matrimonial bliss when the subconscious seeps up through the cracks in this farcical play based on slips of the tongue. Jane and Dink are soon to wed, but their exes arrive and bring out their worst. The play uses the errors and mispronunciations within the dialogue to reveal the pasts of the couples, what each character is really thinking, and how the marriage between Jane and Dink will turn out. (Cast: 2 female, 2 male)

The Perfect Guy by Mary Gallagher. Kitty is set up on a blind date with the perfect guy... or is he? Two young ladies discuss their impossibly perfect (and available!) coworker at their law firm, who happens to be dining over with the boss tonight. Kitty is swooning and her friend Tina is chomping at the bit for Kitty and Dan to get together. Kitty wants to discover one flaw in his personality, and she may have found it when she realizes that all signs point to him being the one thing she cannot stomach – a conservative. When she attempts to confront him on the issue, results are, as the boss would say, inconclusive. (Cast: 2 female, 1 male)

The Road to Ruin by Richard Dresser. A couple traveling on the freeway experiences a catastrophic breakdown of their car. They are fortunate to be able to coast into the lot of a local body shop – but unfortunate because the shop is staffed by a pair of unscrupulous agents of the most dishonest sort. After a slew of wheeling and dealing, the husband inadvertently signs a contract in triplicate to work at the garage and live there until such time, possibly after years, when he can pay off the various debts Jimbo and Fred push on him. (Cast: 1 female, 3 male)

Spades by Jim Beaver. Two bored Marines pass the time in a Vietnam morgue playing cards and crossword puzzles when they receive a dead soldier to store in a refrigerator before his remains are sent back home. War has taken its emotional toll on these young men and they discuss the best way to permanently attach the dead man's ID tag to him – by stomping his dogtag into his jaw. The man's corpse was sent to the marines too early: he suddenly regains consciousness and awakens, terrified out of his mind. Somehow the exhausted men find humor in a grim close call. (Cast: 3 male)

Subterranean Homesick Blues, Again by Dennis Reardon. A spooky parable as young tour guide from hell, literally, decides to mess with the minds of two bickering couples that come to visit famous caverns. (Cast: 2 female, 3 male)

Watermelon Boats by Wendy MacLaughlin. Follow along as two young ladies meet at the shore of a lake at three different moments in their lives and share the bittersweet journey of growing up and learning life's lessons. In the process, the two close friends mature from the age of eleven and explore their friendship, relationships, and encounters with life over the span of 10 years in 10 minutes with both young women's lives "put to the test." (Cast: 2 female)

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