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The Arts

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In Ten-Minute Play Festival, Actors Theatre Playhouse offers a range of theatrical formats in record time

Ten-minute plays will be performed Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from June 7 through June 23, beginning at 7:30 p.m. All tickets are $10. Reservations are highly recommended, toll-free at 877-666-1855. ATP is located on Brook and Main streets, West Chesterfield, N.H. For more information, visit

The Actors Theatre Playhouse begins its 2018 season on June 7 with its annual Ten-Minute Play Festival, featuring the seven winners of the theater’s year-long Regional Competition.

This year’s selections again promise a wide range of theatrical formats from situational comedy to introspective drama, guaranteeing a little something for everyone.

Ten-minute play festivals have become a popular genre throughout the theater world. Thousands of 10-minute plays have been written by well-known playwrights as well as neophytes and students of theater.

At ATP, the festival has been a training ground for new directors and actors, many of whom have gone on to direct or act in Main Stage and Staged Reading productions.

This year’s festival asks the following questions:

What happens when a young man and his duck are inseparable, or when a couple reexamines marriage?

What takes place when a young girl shares a few “OMG” moments, or when Will comes home to find the new neighbor’s Jeep in his parking spot?

What transpires when a boy speaks in quotes from one famous film after another, or when a flood in an Alaskan town washes all sorts of truth to shore?

What can we expect when old love letters come to light and reveal more than just the past?

“The Festival was established to encourage the production of new works from New England writers while exposing our actors and directors to the techniques and practices of working with playwrights producing new plays,” explains co-producer Jim Bombicino.

“Each year the winning scripts are selected by a committee of playhouse directors according to established criteria,” he added. “We consider how well plays can be staged in our space, what scripts work together for a balanced evening of theater, and how well our audiences might receive them.”

In a 10-minute play, the audience is often dropped into a single moment in time.

At the Actors Theatre Playhouse, the audience will be dropped into seven very different moments. They may not have all the information the characters have in that moment, and they may not have all the information when the moment ends. But they will certainly begin to understand why ten-minute plays are challenging, popular, and fun.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #461 (Wednesday, May 30, 2018). This story appeared on page B1.

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