Report: Source Festival 2017: ‘Best of 10-Minute Plays’

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A destination awaits for theater-goers ready for a high-quality evening taking in a marketplace of intriguing 10-minute plays. The destination is DC’s ever-changing 14th Street and this year’s edition of the Source Festival.

Kazi Jones, Lori Pitts, Thomas Shuman, Alex Lopez. Photo by Teresa Wood Photograph.

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary and under the touch of Artistic Director Jenny McConnell Fredericks the Source Festival has brought back six of its very best short-in-time duration plays from the past decade for a fresh look.

This report provides highlights of the six revived plays as a way to whet your appetite. The Source Festival “Best of” compilation of 10-minute plays is a tasting menu of appealing street food that runs the gamut from silly to serious, deeply moving to truly unique. Overall, the compilation of six productions feels fresh and winning, not dated. Since the shows are only 10 minutes in length, well, if what is presented is not quite what you seek, worry not, it will be replaced by something altogether different.

So here we go in the order of the productions the night I took them in. One more note, to know more about those mentioned in this article, there are short bios for them right here.

THE FERBERIZING OF CORAL (2016) by Patrick Flynn. Directed by Elena Velasco.

What can I say, as a parent I knew this world of being a new parent and feeling totally overwhelmed. Then, after way too much lost sleep and a baby’s colic, I drifted into fears of making big mistakes. This is a cutie of a nicely constructed play and it’s been directed with energy. The actors, Axandre Oge and Fabliolla Da Silva, are well-matched in their comic hysteria as vexed parents living with a crying newborn baby and a rather mysterious baby monitor.

AMENITIES (2010) by Gregory Hischak. Directed by Julia Hurley.

Ah, a play about pretentious, inauthentic, seemingly well-off people who are gentrifying a community, but without anything real about them except that they are purposely insufferable. I am glad such people don’t exist in real life, or do they? Hurley’s ensemble piece doesn’t camp it up, making pretentious people seem all too real–even the artist under a table who is an amenity that goes with the condo. Cast includes Clancey Yovanovich, Lindsay Williams, Michael Bannigan, and David Walsh.

PAS DE DEUX FOR A MICROWAVE NIGHT (2013) by Stephen Lewis. Directed by Adin Walker.

In this digital world, where opportunities to meet the love of one’s life are not easy, how do lonely people meet up? Well, it ain’t easy. This little gem of a play works with Alex Lopez and Kaxy Jones as the two searching, clearly decent lonely souls. The utterly joyous ensemble work of Maria Paz Lopez, Thomas Shuman, Brendan McMahon, and Lori Pitts visually and with moment portray the ups and downs of digital dating; from fake selves to wrong fits until kismet unexpectedly happens.

Fabiolla Da Silva and Axandre Oge. Photo by Teresa Wood Photograph.

JACQMIN FAMILY IN THE PETRIFIED FOREST (2010) by Laura Jacqmin. Directed by Adin Walker. Completely heartbreaking in its look at what illness can do to a loved one, and it affects the people who care. Has a goodly sprinkling of verbal and physical humor to make this a charmer, not a downer Set in a world of the mind, the heart and several national parks. If you have ever known someone with an illness, this one will sink in. Christina Ibarra shines as a story-telling daughter who clearly loves her Dad.

 

FUGUE FOR AMOROUS TORNADOS (2011) by Gabriel Jason Dean. Directed by Elena Velasco.

Ingenious in its premise; that forces of nature, such as wind and tornadoes not only have individual personalities and genders, but that such storms are lonely and seek out companionship. Axandre Oge and Fabiolla Da Silva not only act nuanced and riled up, but they do their duets of dialogue are joined with choreographed spinning movements and some chains. They don’t miss a beat. Inventive and charming.

THE PHYSICS OF NOW (2015) by Alex Dremann. Directed by Julia Hurley.

A little gem of off-beat genre fiction with ray guns yet, made into a short play with pizzazz. So how do two geeks meet cute? Over a white board trying to solve the mystery of time travel while bumping into their future selves. And let’s not forget some feeble attempts at sex, all played with deep grins, laughs, and good timing. Yeah, but there is absurdist truth in it. Or I think so. Cast includes Clancey Yovanovich, Lindsay Williams, Michael Bannigan, and David Walsh.

The six plays have different setting requirements which are brought forth by the Source Festival design team of E-hui Woo (lights), Jeffrey Peavy (costumes), Bob Pike (sound) and Kyle Duff (props)

So, grab a ticket to the Source Festival’s Best of 10 Minutes Plays to see these short but content-rich works for the first time or perhaps as a revisit from their initial showing years ago. There is plenty of talent to take in.

Running Time: 90 minutes, including one intermission.

Source Festival’s Best of 10-Minute Plays plays through July 2, 2017, at The Source Festival performing at Source – 1835 14th Street, NW, in Washington, D.C. For tickets, call (866) 811-4111, or purchase them online.

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