10 by 10 in the Triangle
@ The ArtsCenter
Through July 19
Boasting 10 actors in 10 plays, each lasting approximately 10 minutes, Carrboro's summer staple 10 by 10 In the Triangle remains a bargain at its $10 ticket price. Simple costumes, minimal sets, occasionally poignant dialogue and earnest acting gives the festival the air of a purist's workshop, where the focus is on the writing and acting.
Nearly 400 entries from playwrights across the globe were submitted. The premises of this year's program were varied, but many were exciting and comedic: a desperate woman mails herself nearly naked to impress a man; a father-to-be builds his unborn child a Death Star crib; characters from Mamet plays rhyme à la Dr. Seuss; and a heart pumps anxiously at the prospect of new love, despite a rational brain's warnings not to.
At the evening's end, some may find themselves hoping that a few of the works will be turned into full-length plays, particularly Matt Casarino's Green Eggs and Mamet and Chuck Keith's Love and Taxes—both of which were so original and clever that they kept audience laughing after every line. Although most of the playlets hit their marks, two or three pieces had potential but felt underdeveloped.
The plays were linked by a water motif: If it wasn't explicitly in the script, water-related props were used. At the rear of the stage was a wall of droplets, from which actors made most of their entrances. Love, like water, is vital for our survival. And those who love theater will appreciate the no-frills smorgasbord of 10 by 10, a welcome antidote to such tripe as Legally Blonde: The Musical. And really, who wants that?