Heartland Theatre Company's annual 10-Minute Play Festival is always popular, probably because eight short plays are pretty easy to take in. After all, if you don't like the one you're watching, you only have to wait ten minutes for another one!
This year's theme was packages, parcels and presents, which means there are lots of things to open in the plays chosen. And lots of surprises for the audience. Off the top of my head, I can tell you the containers on stage include a bowling bag, at least four briefcases, a delivery container from a famous New York emporium, one huge Fed Ex box, a hatbox, a jewelry box, a small parcel stuck inside a newspaper, a shoebox and a shopping bag. Now you can try to mix and match with these shows:
STANDING ROOM ONLY by C. J. Ehrlich, Chappaqua NY
After a tough day, Charlene is determined not to give up her extra seat on the ferry. Until she meets a stranger who bears a strange resemblance to Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi.
DEAR SUSAN, LOVE HAROLD by James Walczy, Hilton Head Island SC
It’s understandable that a man would be upset when he discovers a box of intimate love letters written to his wife long ago. Who was this Harold, anyway?
DO NOT OPEN by Candace Perry, Wellfleet MA
A big old package lands in the middle of three sisters enjoying a weekend away at the beach. Uh oh. It’s from Mom, who never could resist inserting herself into their lives.
MINCED SPIES by Doc Watson, Bath, Somerset UK
Spies, pies, newspapers, teapots, aardvarks, and, of course, a mysterious parcel… Things can get tricky when you’re testing spies. And pies.
THE CHEESECAKE PLAY by John Frusciante, Astoria NY
Jeff and Andrea fume when the people upstairs are noisy and thoughtless and downright annoying. But revenge can be sweet when their cheesecake wends its way to your door.
A MILLION TIMES OVER by Molly Campbell, Chicago IL
A handsome man keeps bringing pretty little packages to Marie as she rests in a hospital. They look like empty boxes. Except they’re not empty at all in Marie’s memory.
LAST CALL by James McLindon, Northampton MA
Melissa has brought a bowling bag to the bar her dad loved best. Why a bowling bag? She’s dying to tell someone that story.
AND TWICE ON SUNDAY by Brad Sytsma, Kentwood MI
If you wear a trench coat to the park and you sit next to somebody carrying a lethal-looking briefcase, you have to expect there to be… Misunderstandings.
For information on show dates and times, click here, and for reservation info, click here. Opening night is June 6, followed by Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday performances through the end of June. Note that there is no performance on Father's Day, June 16, but there is a talkback with the 10-minute play committee judges after the matinee on June 23.