Truckee Community Theater features 10-minute plays in its fall show
Attending a play typically means guests take their seat in the audience and appreciate a theatrical work for a couple of hours.
Truckee Community Theater (TCT) is shaking things up by offering their audience complex themes tightly packaged in 10-minute productions, as opposed to the typical full-length performance.
Last weekend, TCT’s talented cast took to the stage in front of a packed house at the Truckee Community Arts Center for their Fall 10 Minute Play Festival.
Actors from age 11 to 77 expertly guided onlookers through a slew of emotions through dramatic and comedic plays, four of which were original works written by local playwrights.
Courtney Simson, TCT’s producer and publicist, welcomed the crowd and explained what each of the plays were expected to accomplish in 10 minutes.
“There is no time for exposition, these plays need to be dramatic, exciting, dialogue-driven. The characters need to grab you immediately. There needs to be conflict, and an urgent conflict, at that; followed by a climax and some kind of surprise or change at the end,” Simson said.
The first four plays were brought to life from the minds of four local writers, who each drew on their own experience, humor and inspiration to share completely different works.
One performance left audience members chatting into intermission. “The Swirly,” which was written by Mitch Dion, dazzled the audience as three boys brought to life a childhood fear: leaving the safety of elementary school and entering middle school.
The three are so concerned with not getting their heads flushed in the toilet that they end up devising a plan that is in fact, much worse than having their heads flushed.
The boys had perfect timing on delivering their punch lines and acting out three very different characters.
Fifth-grade actor Joachim Tucker played the smallest of the three boys, who decided to super glue a watering can to his head so it wouldn’t fit in the toilet.
“I’m the watering can’s grandmother,” beamed Janet White, who visited from Palos Verdes to join the family in seeing Tucker in action with the community theater.
“He loves the community theater, he’s really found his home with them and loves doing theater,” she said.
While chatting with audience members, the sense of community pride and gratitude was a strong theme.
“I come to a lot of the performances, just because of the community,” said Suzanne Sullivan of Truckee.
“I really loved the first play, it was just so comical; but the others were great of course, too,” she added.
The first play was entitled “One of the Great Ones,” and was about the passionate dedication of one librarian and the lengths to which she would go to serve clients of the library.
Among the regulars were several first-time audience members.
“I’ve never been to a play, but my girlfriend and I saw the flyer in town earlier and we were looking for something to do tonight so we decided to come down,” said local Paul Miltner.
“It’s surprisingly fun and entertaining. It’s cool to get out in town and do something different,” he added.
The crowd loved the 10-minute presentation of each of the plays. Several commented on how easy it was to follow and how much more interesting each of the plays were because they conveyed an entire storyline in such a short period of time.
Guests appreciated having access to a bar for beer, wine and cocktails, as well as non-alcoholic beverages and a snack bar serving everything from hot cocoa to pumpkin pie that evening.
Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.