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Theatre Oxford’s Annual 10-Minute Play Festival Features Talent from Near and Far

Theatre Oxford’s 2023 10-Minute Play Festival features new works by local, national, and international playwrights, including the winner of Theatre Oxford’s 2022 10-Minute Play Competition.

Shows will be held at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10 and on 2 and 7 p.m. on Feb. 11 at the Powerhouse in Oxford.

Attendees may meet the playwrights between shows from 4 to 5 p.m. on Feb. 11 in the Powerhouse gallery.

“It’s a great community event,” said Kate Hooper, president of Theatre Oxford’s board. “Festival coordinator, Jennifer Mizenko, has worked hard since August to ensure we have a successful event, and we could not have done it without the help of the play contest’s co-coordinator, Kate Lechler.”

This year, seven plays will premiere on the Powerhouse stage:

“20 Avon” by Kristin Andrea Hanratty of Michigan the winner of the Winner 2022 Theatre Oxford 10-Minute Play Contest, takes place at an address where virtual and actual realities collide. Hanratty has written several full-length plays, including “Petty Crimes,” “Birds” and “Dirt,” which have been produced at theatres around the country. She is a three-time Academy Award/Nicholls Fellowship Quarterfinalist and Austin Film Festival Semi-finalist. Her play is being directed by Joe Atkins.

“Patients” by George Kehoe of Oxford (2nd place winner), follows an act of compassion that leads to an unexpected outcome. The drama is being directed by Jennifer Mizenko, Kehoe is a retired English and writing instructor. He received a Mississippi Arts Commission Grant to write a full-length play, “Hungry,” about the life and death of Bobby Sands. The play ran for five performances at the 13th annual New York International Fringe Festival.

“The Square Billed Sapphire” by Tim Lehnert of Rhode Island (competition finalist) turns the binoculars of birdwatchers back on themselves. Director Dan Mattern said the play, “looks like a farce, but scratch beneath its feathers [and you will] find thoughtful themes on nature, exploitation and trustworthiness.”

“The Influencer” by Sem Megson of Ontario, Canada (contest finalist), a poet, playwright, and creative writer, has dozens of published and produced credits in the USA, Canada, Europe, and Asia. The play explores the lure of becoming virally relevant on social media. The play is being directed by Gail Tapscott.

“Dead Man,” a dark comedy by Chuck Smith of Virginia, (2021 contest finalist) imagines if we could bring murder victims back to life. What could and would a victim say? Actress and filmmaker, De Bei, will direct. Smith is a member and gag writer for the National Cartoon Society and a playwright of over 30 one-act plays, which have been produced in 21 states.

“Lunch Break,” a “tragicomedy” by local writer LaToya Faulk, will be directed by UM theater student, Kayla Fifer. It explores less-than-comfortable exchanges in a break room during lunch. Faulk’s first play, “Mama’s Flowerbed,” was produced by Theater Oxford in August as part of the Hoka Festival. Faulk is a Lecturer of Writing and Rhetoric at UMiss and Sarah Isom Center Fellow.

“The Hitchhikers,” by local writer Joe Atkins is a memory from 1969. Two hitchhikers are stranded on a lonesome, Arkansas highway wondering if they’ll ever catch a ride. The play is directed by his wife, Suzanne Atkins. Joe Atkins is a journalist and novelist. His latest book, “Harry Dean Stanton: Hollywood’s Zen Rebel” won the 2021 Bronze Medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

Purchase tickets from oxfordarts.com/theatreoxford.

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