Animate grocery store items, a haunted 500-dollar bill, and the provocative case of actor Jussie Smollett are among the varied topics explored in this year’s 10-Minute Play Festival from the Cornell University Department of Performing and Media Arts (PMA) and the Graduate Researchers in Media and Performing Arts (GRMPA). The annual festival, now in its seventh year, serves as a laboratory for the development of student-written plays and presents students with a range of opportunities in theater.
This year’s festival theme is "Energy," which aligns with the overarching themes of PMA and the Society for the Humanities for the 2019–2020 academic year. According to festival producers Elaigwu Ameh, PhD student in PMA, and Sara Pistono ’21, the theme “offered our contributing writers plural entry points into a subject that is at once visceral and cerebral. The selected plays explore varying ways through which energy unveils itself to humanity in public and private spaces.” The producers hope that “engaging this subject through a multiplicity of perspectives, [will] deepen our understanding of energy and how it permeates and affects our lives as individuals and as a community.”
The 10-Minute Play Festival features the work of both undergraduate and graduate student playwrights and directors. This year’s plays are “Everything Goes Widdershins” by Quinn Theobald ’22; “The Souperior Ice Cream” by Edy Kennedy ’20; “Sizzle” by Julian Robison ’20; “The Cursed 500” by Garrett Hastings ’19; “Two Lives” by Anna Evtushenko, PhD student in information science; and “Jamal from Empire” by Kristen Wright, PhD student in Africana studies.
Performances of the 10-Minute Play Festival are in the Schwartz Center’s Black Box Theatre October 3 at 7:30 p.m., October 4 at 5:00 p.m., and October 5 at 2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available for $7 at schwartztickets.com or at the Schwartz Center box office Monday–Saturday, 1:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
The Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts is located at 430 College Avenue, Ithaca, NY.