Seoul Players will be holding its third annual 10-Minute Play Festival starting Friday, with 16 plays by expats and overseas writers.
Eight 10-minute-long plays will be performed on Friday and Saturday at Spazio Luce in Itaewon, with the audience voting for the best four on both days.
Those eight will go through to the final the following Saturday, when the audience will choose the winning play.
The plays were chosen in early summer after about eight months of receiving submissions. Seoul Players then thinned the nearly 200 entries down to the final 16.
|“Calibans,” written by local expat Ray Salcedo, is performed during last year’s 10-Minute Play Festival. (Seoul Players)|
Seoul Players’ outreach director Quinn Knox said that they looked to ensure a variety of different topics and genres, but that each year some similar ideas would come up.
“This time we had a lot of old people and Alzheimer’s and also kind of a lot of farcical themes, as well ― hamsters and midgets and very obscure concepts,” he said. “So it’s funny that each year you have different themes that just happen to come up, whether it’s a political or social thing.”
About a quarter of the plays in this year’s festival were written by expats in Korea, Knox said, with the remainder from overseas. He said Seoul Players were looking to film some of the plays so that the writers could see their work performed, but one playwright from the United States, Lisa Kang, was coming to Korea to see her play “Obsession #5” firsthand.
“I think it’s fantastic that she is passionate and motivated to come see her own play. It’s very absurd as far as the concept, with these hamsters running around with this family functioning and not functioning,” said Knox.
The plays will be performed by teams of mostly expat actors and directors based in Korea. Most are from Seoul, but Daegu Theater Troupe is also participating and this year sees the entry debut of the Pohang Players, which formed last year.
“Usually we have at least one group from outside Seoul come and perform at least one play. Location-wise (Daegu) is not that convenient but certainly the festival is the golden opportunity to come together,” said Knox, adding that Seoul Players had also worked with the Daejeon troupe this year on other projects such as the Vagina Monologues.
This year’s festival has grown slightly, moving to a larger, more conventional theater and featuring two more plays. The organizers will also be providing Korean subtitles for the first time and there will also be small prizes for the top three playwrights, of $100, $60 and $30.
“We don’t know that the amount is important but we are trying to offer them prizes,” said Knox.
“It’s a little added incentive and I think everyone wants to be rewarded for doing a good job.”
For the actors he said the real charm of the festival was that it enabled so many people to get involved.
“The commitment (required) is low and its just a lot of fun, we try to involve as many people as possible ― seasoned actors, but also people who have never done it before and just want the chance,” he said. “I think that is one of the best things about the plays.”
The opening rounds will be played on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. in Spazio Luce. The final will be on Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. in the same venue. Tickets are 15,000 won. For bookings, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Paul Kerry (email@example.com