Posts Tagged ‘10×10 Upstreet New Play Festival’

Theater: Ten Fun 10X10 Plays Brighten the Midwinter Doldrums at Barrington Stage Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
An intimate moment from the 10X10 New Play Festival. Dina Thomas and John Zdrojeski. Photo by Kevin Sprague.

An intimate moment from the 10X10 New Play Festival. Dina Thomas and John Zdrojeski. Photo by Kevin Sprague.

Theater review by Gail M. Burns and Larry Murray

Gail M. Burns: For the third straight year Barrington Stage is spearheading Pittsfield’s mid-winter 10X10 Upstreet Arts Festival with their annual collection of ten new ten-minute plays. The whole Festival got off to a bit of a slow start this year as we all coped with (yet more) snow, but on the day of the press opening the sun shone, and we got to enjoy this delightful potpourri of little bijou plays.

Larry Murray: I love this new play festival, coming as it does in the middle of a particularly cold and snowy winter in the Berkshires. I like how it gives six actors and three directors a chance to come together in much the same way a repertory company does. It’s when everyone gets to wear several hats, don colorful costumes and inhabit several totally different roles over the course of one evening.

Gail: Of the six actors, two – Berkshire residents Matt Neely and Peggy Pharr Wilson – have been involved in all three 10X10′s, and Robert Zuckerman is back for a second time, so they really do have the makings of a company. Emily Kunkel and Dina Thomas have both appeared in BSC Main Stage productions – All My Sons and See How They Run respectively. Only young John Zdrojeski is making his BSC debut.

Larry: Ten playwrights took part, and I was delighted to note that several had a much younger viewpoint than usual, and that there were as many women writers as men represented. That may be why I found some of the humor unusually fresh. The Possethsion by Ron Burch got things off with a bang, providing some great twists and turns straight out of the starting gate, giving us a comic book version of Rosemary’s Baby.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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10 Stories, 10 Minutes Each, to Debut with 6 Actors, 3 Directors at BSC’s New Play Festival [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
The Actors: Top (l to r) Dana Thomas, John Zdrojesk,i, Emily Kunkel, Bottom (l to r) Matt Neely, Peggy Pharr Wilson, Robert Zukerman.

The Actors: Top (l to r) Dana Thomas, John Zdrojesk,i, Emily Kunkel, Bottom (l to r) Matt Neely, Peggy Pharr Wilson, Robert Zukerman.

The 3rd annual 10X10 Upstreet Arts Festival is slated for February 13-23 all over downtown Pittsfield. The star of this event has always been the new play festival, professionally staged and produced by Pittsfield’s resident theater company, Barrington Stage Co. Artistic Director Julianne Boyd and Managing Director Tristan Wilson have kept us informed of what is planned, and have announced the actors, directors and production team. This is no minor undertaking for them with performances scheduled from February 13 – the start of the Festival – and continuing through March 2, so that everyone can enjoy what is the highlight of the winter season.

The plays and directors are:

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Review: “You’ll Laugh, You’ll Cry” at the 10×10 Upstreet New Play Festival [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, February 21st, 2013
Peggy Pharr Wilson as Gertrude Stein in “There’s No Here Here”. . Photo by Scott Barrow.

Peggy Pharr Wilson as Gertrude Stein in “There’s No Here Here”. . Photo by Scott Barrow.

Much to the delight of us hardy New Englanders, this is the second year that Barrington Stage Company has co-produced the 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival in Pittsfield, MA. It’s where we get treated to ten new plays, ten minutes each, performed ten times between February 14 and March 3. Ten different playwrights are represented, and their new works are directed by four of the Berkshire’s best directors, and an ensemble of eight actors plays all the roles.

Let’s take the plays one by one, in the order they were performed.

There’s No More Here Here
by Craig Pospisil, directed by Christopher Innvar with Emily Taplin Boyd as Juliette, Peggy Pharr Wilson as Gertrude Stein, Scott Drummond as Jean Luc and Dustin Charles as Lance. At a Parisian café, a writer confronts his girlfriend when an unexpected guest butts into their conversation

Larry Murray: This was a fine opener, a bit of theatre of the absurd to start us off, complete with breaking that fourth wall between actors and audience. It skewered all of our usual cliches about dating, the French, Gertrude Stein and a waiter rising up to claim his own personality. There were both plenty of sight gags and meaningful metaphors making two parts of my brain work at the same time.

Gail Burns: I just felt like I had heard this story before. In fact, as a young writer, I think I wrote it more than once. Three characters in search of an author – except the author’s right there on stage with them. Ho hum…

Click to read the rest at Berkhire on Stage.

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