Tuesday, May 31, 2016

THE ART GALLERY 10-Minute Plays On Stage at Heartland Throughout June

Heartland Theatre's annual 10-Minute Play Festival has been a highlight of the summer season in Bloomington-Normal since it began back in 2002. The first year, local authors were spotlighted, but since then, the competition has become global, with playwrights from all over the world entering their work. This year, on the Art Gallery theme, plays came in from the United States as well as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

THE ART GALLERY 10-Minute Play Festival opens Thursday, June 2, with a Pay What You Can preview, with 7 pm performances on the 3rd and 4th. The Festival continues on June 9, 10, 11 and 12; 16, 17 and 18; and 23, 24 and 25. For the complete list of show dates and times, click here.

This year's theme means that all of the plays are set in a gallery of some sort, with all different kinds of "art" in play. Here's the line-up of winning plays, with added information about who's directing and acting:

Sold! by Donna Hoke, East Amherst NY
The value of a piece of art may be hard to figure out, especially if a savvy buyer decides to play cat and mouse – or Clutter and Johnson – with a newbie collector. Directed by Connie Chojnacki Blick. Cast: Christopher Stucky, Kristi Zimmerman and Chris Stevenson.

The Art Gallery by Dan Borengasser, Springdale AR
Candace has an assignment to write about a new gallery for her newspaper. But the gallery – "The Art Gallery" – is both less and more than she expected. Directed by Rob Goode. Cast: Minette Donhardt, Aaron Thomas and Wes Melton (June 9-12).

Critic's Choice by Patti Cassidy, Watertown MA
Marian is an art critic. She thinks she knows exactly what Charles intends with his art. Charles thinks she has no clue. Who gets to decide what a painting means? Directed by Cristen Monson. Cast: Rick Clemmons, Michelle Woody, J. Michael Grey (June 12) and Carolyn Stucky (June 12 and 16).

Performance Art by Judy Klass, Nashville TN
"Experimenting with the whole art gallery experience in bold new ways" is all fine and good until you can't tell whether you're coming or going or Hecuba Rosenblatt is putting you on. Directed by Ron Emmons. Cast: Aszure Dorton and Abby Scott.

Abby Scott (L) and Aszure Dorton in Performance Art
Photo credit: Dana Colcleasure
I Was Fine Until You Came in the Room by Rich Orloff, New York NY
Fifty-one years ago, Pete saw Helen at an art gallery. He thought she was cute and she thought he looked nice, but… Somebody's going to have to say something! Directed by Ron Emmons. Cast: Elsie Cadieux, Chuck Pettigrew, Lizzy Selzer and Chris Stevenson.

The Art of Reincarnation by Nicole Neely, Van Alstyne TX
An artist has been digging through Lily's garbage, looking for inspiration, for hope. But how can evidence of her failures begin to add up to something beautiful? Directed by Cristen Monson. Cast: Lizzy Selzer, Aaron Thomas and J. Michael Grey (June 9-12).

The Painting by Ron Burch, Los Angeles CA
Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you see things the same. With the help of a selfie and Facebook, maybe, just maybe, the red blob can reach out to the center spot. Directed by Rob Goode. Cast: Chuck Pettigrew and Irene Taylor.

Honorable Mention by Shawn Samuelson Henry, Grosse Pointe Park MI
Kids will be kids and adults should be adults, until the adults start messing with the kids' art contest. Don’t forget, Mom and Dad – there’s "honor" in "honorable mention." Directed by Connie Chojnacki Blick. Cast: Rick Clemmons, Carolyn Stucky and J. Michael Grey (June 12).

Returning winners include Dan Borengasser, whose Auld Lang Syne earned a slot in last year's CLASS REUNION plays, and Ron Burch, who wrote Polly, one of the winning FOWL PLAYS two years ago.

For more information on THE ART GALLERY plays, click here for an overview, here for show times, and here for the list of plays and playwrights. Call 309-452-8709 or email boxoffice@heartlandtheatre.org for reservations.

And if you'd like to see (a rather impressive) list of winners from all 15 years of Heartland's 10-Minute Play Festival, try this page.

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