Arts and Humanities
10:00 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Ten-Minute Play Festivals Seek Short Work from Kentucky Writers

A scene from the 2013 Ten-Tucky Festival at The Bard's Town Theatre.
Credit Doug Schutte / The Bard's Town Theatre

The contemporary American ten-minute play is practically a Louisville invention – former Actors Theatre producing director Jon Jory was a champion of the form, establishing it as a legitimate sub-genre from the early beginnings of the Humana Festival, and the annual National Ten-Minute Play Contest is still administered by Actors Theatre. So it’s no surprise that several Louisville companies have developed a fondness for the short form.

Two Louisville theatre companies are currently accepting submissions of short plays for their annual ten-minute play festivals. Submissions are open at Finnigan Productions for ten-minute plays from Louisville playwrights until December 31, and The Bard's Town Theatre will accept ten-minute plays from current or former Kentucky residents through January 31. 

Finnigan's Festival of Funky, Fresh Fun is April 3-12, 2014. The festival will include ten short plays by writers who live in the greater Louisville metro area (including Oldham County and nearby Southern Indiana). Plays should be currently unpublished and unproduced (staged readings are okay). The company receives between 30 and 50 script submissions each year. 

"We’re looking for engaging storytelling," says Finnigan artistic director Brian Walker.  "In the first couple of years we were focused on absurd, crazy scripts. In the last two years, we’ve tried to broaden that scope a little more and balance the crazy with some drama." 

“And now, we just want good stories," he adds. "We’re always going to have a couple of real crazy, absurd, funky pieces, but this year we’re really wanting to get really good plays. And if those are dramas, if they’re more serious, then we want them.” 

Full submission guidelines are available on Finnigan's website

The Bard's Town Theater's Ten-Tucky Festival is scheduled for September. The Festival takes play submissions (through Jan. 31) from writers who have been a resident of Kentucky at any point in their lives. Plays can have received up to one professional production. 

Executive artistic director Doug Schutte says he received about 150 eligible plays last year, including a lot of comedies. But he’s looking for scripts tell a full story in short form, funny or not. 

“There is a distinct difference - sometimes it is subtle, but mostly distinct - between a sketch and a play," he says. "I would say we would tend to like to see things where we do see [a dramatic] arc." 

Full submission guidelines are available on The Bard's Town Theatre's website.