The Ten Most Important Minutes of Your Life

Those of you who are Actors Theatre veterans might remember from past seasons that there are actually three performance spaces in the Main Street Theatre Complex. “But DAppleMan,” you might be saying at this point, “what evidence do you have for the existence of this supposed ‘Victor Jory Theatre’? Lookinglass Alice, Dracula, Midsummer, Christmas Story, Greater Tuna, Christmas Carol; they were all in either the Pamela Brown or the Bingham theaters. You’re trying to tell me that there’s this mystical theater tucked God knows where in that labyrinth of a building, one that Actors just happens not to be using? Oh, how convenient. You’re such a liar!”

First of all, I would tell you that there’s no need to get personal. Second, I would point out that the economy hasn’t been at its best, so maybe it was a smart move to scale back this year and mothball a space for a while. Lastly, I have plenty of evidence; particularly that I’ll actually be performing in the Victor Jory Theatre next week. So I sure hope it exists, or else someone’s having one heck of a laugh right now at my expense.

A/I Company 10 Minute Play Poster
Expertly designed by graphic design
intern Jen Dorman

 

The Tens, an evening of 10-minute plays, will be put on in the Victor Jory at 8:30 P.M. on January 13th and 14th, at 9 P.M. on the 15th, at 1 P.M. on the 16th, and at 5 P.M. on the 17th. There are nine plays to be performed, all brand new and never-before-seen, written by up-and-coming playwrights from all over the country. Best of all, they’re being performed, designed, crewed, and in some cases even directed entirely by apprentices and interns, each up-and-coming in their own right. Excited? Good. You should be.

The piece I’m in, The Talent by Steve Moulds, asks the pressing question: “What do you get when you throw a hapless victim, two bumbling torturers, and an onion into one interrogation room?” Although the simple answer might be “One doomed onion,” it’s the 10 minute span of the play, what happens to these people (and this onion) that really matters, not so much the end result. Which got me thinking: how amazing is it that theatre is something that can occur in the span of just 10 minutes? How can playwrights, actors, designers, directors, all pour a lifetime of experiences and feelings into such a short amount of time, then package and present it as a complete entity? How would you feel if you were told you had to condense your whole life, your personality, your entire being into a 10-minute story? That’s what theatre asks us to do, even theatre that lasts 1/6 of an hour. We choose the most important stories from our lives, with the deepest messages or the most engaging characters, to present on the stage, in the hopes of reaching and connecting with audiences. For the characters we’ll be playing next week, those ten minutes are the most important minutes of their lives. They cease to exist outside that miniscule time span.

That’s poignancy even an onion can appreciate.

~DAppleMan

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