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Durango Arts Center’s 10-minute play staged readings: Scripts and winners in hand

A review of the finalists for the DAC’s 10-Minute Play Festival
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Brett Masse/Durango Arts Center

Mandy Gardner (left) and Ben Mattson perform in “Bonderservant,” by William Orem at the 10-Minute Play Festival staged readings at the Durango Arts Center Friday.
Ar 170609705
Brett Masse/Durango Arts Center

Mandy Gardner (left) and Ben Mattson perform in “Bonderservant,” by William Orem at the 10-Minute Play Festival staged readings at the Durango Arts Center Friday.
Ep 170609705
Brett Masse/Durango Arts Center

Katherine Walker (left) and Emily Roos perform in “Crisis of Character,” by Scott Lummer at the 10-Minute Play Festival staged readings at the Durango Arts Center Friday.
Ep 170609705
Brett Masse/Durango Arts Center

Katherine Walker (left) and Emily Roos perform in “Crisis of Character,” by Scott Lummer at the 10-Minute Play Festival staged readings at the Durango Arts Center Friday.

This year marks the seventh annual Durango Arts Center’s 10-Minute Play Festival. Writers submitted their most passionate, political, freaky, and fun scripts to the DAC back in February and from the more than 120 submissions, sent from as far away as New Zealand, judges picked five plays as finalists.

On Friday, June 2, the Durango Arts Center’s theater filled to near-max for a staged reading of the finalists. It was a low-key, high-energy performance where actors held scripts in hand. The purpose of the night? For DAC-assigned judges to pick a grand prize play to be awarded $500 and an audience-chosen fan favorite that would get $100.

First up was “The Truth About Spicy Cajun Curry,” by Erin Glenn-Hash. You know you’re in for an attention-grabber when a couple is fighting over whether they’re going to the Renaissance Faire while the Id and Superego personified tango through the squabble.

“Where’s This Train Going,” by Bruce Guelden, was up next. God forbid a talkative tourist sits next to you on the train in NYC; they might be after more than just conversation.

When an older man thinks he’s dying but really, it’s up to his son to calm him. “Good Things,” by Peter J. Stavro, explored the father-son relationship and what each generation can tell the other about how bad things “just happen,” but you have to work for the good things.

Servant of God is tattooed across a young, hot dude’s bicep. If you’re unlucky enough to go on a date with him, and you probably will because he’s all over the dating apps, he’ll use your question about what his tattoo means to proselytize. “Bonderservant,” by William Orem, gets into the nitty gritty of when missionary work goes wrong.

“Crisis of Character,” by Scott Lummer, gets hella meta as it’s a play about unsatisfied actors in a play. Two female actors realize that their characters are written like crap and seek satisfaction from the playwright in a feminist, fun take on the attention men receive on the page versus women.

But who the heck won the greenback stacks? From the five finalists, the judges picked “Bondservant” as the Grand Prize winner and the audience, by a very narrow margin, picked “Where’s This Train Going.”

If you didn’t catch the staged reading, don’t despair. The full, costumed production of DAC’s Seventh Annual 10-Minute Play Festival will be held October 13 through 15. Five 10-minute plays, plus a bonus locals’ spotlight play, will only set you back $12. You may even be in for some surprises! The only two plays from the staged reading guaranteed to go onto October’s festival are the prize-winners “Bondservant” and “Where’s This Train Going.”

Details at http://durangoarts.org/7th-annual-10-minute-play-festival

Patty TempletonDGO Staff Writer

Brett Masse/Durango Arts Center

Mandy Gardner (left) and Ben Mattson perform in “Bonderservant,” by William Orem at the 10-Minute Play Festival staged readings at the Durango Arts Center Friday.

Brett Masse/Durango Arts Center

Katherine Walker (left) and Emily Roos perform in “Crisis of Character,” by Scott Lummer at the 10-Minute Play Festival staged readings at the Durango Arts Center Friday.