Local directors talk about 10-minute plays

By Mark Saunders

In preparation for Diez Minutos, the first-ever San Miguel Festival of 10-Minute Plays, co-producer Michael Hager (MH) interviewed directors Christine Foster (CF), Lauren Osornio (LO), and Kate Rowland (KR):

“Diez Minutos”
San Miguel’s First International
Festival of 10-Minute Plays
Thu, Apr 11-Sat, Apr 13, 7pm
Shelter Theater
Vicente Guerrero 4
150 pesos

Special Sunday matinee reading
Sun, Apr 14, 2pm
“Best of the Rest” of San Miguel
Shelter Theater
Vicente Guerrero 4
50 pesos

MH: The eight plays in the Diez Minutos festival vary from the serious to the silly. What do these plays have in common?

CF: I’d say optimism. The themes vary but center around growing self-knowledge with a surprise or revelation in each.

KR: I agree. The plays explore some aspect of our humanity, be it our attempts to connect with others, or our need to know ourselves.

LO: Each play is interesting and most have an unexpected twist. And we have wonderful actors. I think the audience will be both surprised and delighted.

MH: Have you directed, acted in, or watched many 10-minute plays before?

LO: I’m very familiar with the form. I founded an amateur adult theater group in the Boston area and for seven years we only performed 10-minute plays. It was great fun!

CF: I’ve written about a dozen, I think six have been produced (in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK). I love the form.

KR: Unlike Lauren and Christine, the 10-minute play is new to me. I’ve just begun to direct since moving to San Miguel a year ago, and I find the short form very compelling.

MH: What are the strengths of the 10-minute play form?

CF: Every word counts. You get off to a roaring start, make your point, and exit smartly. That’s fun.

KR: I agree with Christine. The precision of the action, each phrase, each moment, carries such importance in the through-line of the story. Characters must be established immediately and their objectives clear.

LO: After one of my 10-minute shows an audience member said to me, “This format is great for those of us with ADD.” I guess that says a lot about today’s audience and why the short form is so popular.

MH: As a director, when you pick a play–any play–what do you look for?

CF: Characters. And change. Something unexpected has to happen in an amusing or moving way.

LO: Something that moves me. Hard to say what that is exactly, but when I see it I know it.

KR: It sounds as if we all agree. We look for something that moves us as directors. I also look for beautifully crafted language, be it hip and contemporary, or poetic and classical.

MH: What do you find most challenging about the 10-minute play form?

KR: In a longer play we would know about the characters and build to the point where the 10-minute play begins. The actors and directors must work hard to create their own back story, and therefore the truth within the scene.

LO: I would like to add that timing is very important and sometimes tricky. The actors need to work hard.

CF: You have to be on high alert the whole time.

Tickets for the evening performances of Diez Minutos are 150 pesos and may be purchased at La Conexion (Aldama and Libramiento locations). Tickets for the Sunday matinee “Best of the Rest” reading are 50 pesos.

Diez Minutos: An all-star cast of San Miguel de Allende actors
8 plays – 3 directors – 15 actors!
Priorities. Starring Taylor Korobow & Tim Johnson. Written by Terri Peterson and directed by Christine Foster.
The Baggage Handler. Starring Jill Gottlieb, Michael Gottlieb & John Wharton. Written by Bill Johnson and directed by Christine Foster.
Oh, Boo Hoo, Nobody’s Perfect. Starring India Bastien, Anne Campbell & Steve Weisburg. Written by Ellen West and directed by Lauren Osornio.
Brief Encounter. Starring Kate Rowland & John Wharton. Written by Mark Wilson and directed by Christine Foster.

Off Season. Starring Anne Campbell & Ted Englander. Written by Randy Kraft and directed by Lauren Osornio.
How Nice of You to Ask. Starring Lola Smith and David Galitzky. Written by Rich Rubin and directed by Kate Rowland.
Neil Diamond Saved My Life. Starring Billie Mercer and Chris Davis. Written by Sylvia Dow and directed by Christine Foster.
Surprise. Starring Gerri Baruch, Jill Gottlieb & Michael Gottlieb. Written by Mark Harvey Levine and directed by Kate Rowland.

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