Ten-Minute Play Festival Program

I’m Sorry by Brock Ward, University of Tennessee, Knoxvile

Director: Michelle Benson Middle Tennessee State University
Stage Manager: Molly Burch Columbus State University
Dramaturg: Shira Pollio Berry College
Dramaturg: Scout Odom Morehead State
Creator William (Clay) Garland (Georgia College and State University)
Created Brandon Campbell (University of Southern Mississippi)
Stage Directions Juan Alphonso (Florida International University)
Mentor: Lisa Abbott Georgia Southern University

Dramaturgs’ Notes:

Can a man ever truly understand how a mother loves her unborn child? In the same vein, is it possible for a pacifist to understand the familial love shared among members of the military? Playwright Brock Ward wishes to push the imagination of his audience to accept that some bonds are written in languages that can’t be translated. There is a deep inherent need in humans to understand everything we experience, or at least understand it enough to form an opinion. Against this backdrop, I’m Sorry assesses the importance of accepting ignorance. The Creator and the Created share an ambiguous relationship that is challenged by the extreme difference in their desires. They share a bond that cannot be assigned a designation or a label, and the audience is challenged to relinquish their control over this knowledge. The significance of this idea becomes more evident when the conflict arises. Throughout the play, the Created challenges the Creator to accept the fact that he cannot and will not grasp his motives.

Yet the audience must struggle even where the Creator fails. Driving this is the fascination so many audience members have with the idea of the doomed hero. What is it about literary death that captures the imagination so fully?  For example, Oedipus and his struggles with the concepts of justice, duty and fate have influenced playwrights for thousands of years. From classics to more modern fare, the tragic protagonist lives in the theatrical imagination as a powerful archetype, yet one whose attraction to “the undiscovered country” is difficult to understand.

In I’m Sorry, the Created struggles with his Creator over the possibility that he must die to create a truly enduring story. Though their bond is one that transcends the normal divisions of human relationships, their longings encompass the tension between growth and memory. This, perhaps, is why audiences are drawn to tragic heroes. They reflect humanity’s potential to create a persona that can accomplish incredible things, while they give the audience freedom, in the end, to let them go.

Injection by Kathleen Riley, James Madison University

Director: Ibi Owolabi Georgia Southern University
Stage Manager: Luisa Rodriguez
Dramaturg: Calindez Edwards Alabama State University
Dramaturg: Carlos Rivera University of West Georgia
Christina Walmer / Voice of the Jury Foreman Shanel Spar (University of Central Florida)
Tilman / Voice of the Judge Dylan Fleming (Jackson State University)
Stage Directions Jessica Rebecca (Florida A&M University)
Mentor: Deborah Anderson Middle Tennessee State Univ

Red by Brittany Fisher, James Madison University

Director: Skylar Grieco Middle Tennessee State Univ
Stage Manager: Paul Gary Middle Tennessee State University
Dramaturg: Teundras Oaks Georgia Southern University
Dramaturg: Elyssa ‘Vio’ Gantner University of North Alabama
Stanley Blake Waters (University of South Alabama)
Frances Leah Martin (Columbus State University)
Stage Directions Matti Burns (University of South Carolina
Mentor: Lisa Abbott Georgia Southern University

Yours and Mine by Amy Slothower, James Madison University

Director: Daniel Burkett Univ of South Carolina, Aiken
Stage Manager: Shian Jordan University of Tampa
Dramaturg: Joseph Butler Univ of South Carolina, Upstate
Dramaturg: Luke White Appalachian State
Robin Douglas Ben George (Middle Tennessee State University)
Tom Anderson Drew Davidson (University of Southern Mississippi)
Stage Directions Halley Bowman (Georgia College and State University)
Mentor: Lisa Abbott Georgia Southern University

Dramaturgs’ Notes:

It’s just a jacket. Or is it?

In 1856, exactly 150 years ago, a young man on the Harvard University baseball team had the ingenuity to sew an “H” onto the team’s gray flannel uniform, and thus the letterman was born. Adding an air of prestige and exclusivity, teammates who had failed to make it into the season’s most important games, such as those against Princeton and Yale, were asked to return the embroidered “H” at the end of the season. By 1911, the letterman began to appear in high schools, and by 1930, the letterman began to appear on wool jackets with leather sleeves, taking the appearance we still recognize today.

Then it cannot be just a jacket. It is so much more. It’s accomplishment. It’s prestige. It’s pride.

But what happens when that jacket, imparted with such meaning, is shared with another? Is its meaning lessened if it ceases to be worn by the one who earned it in the first place? Does it become just a jacket?

We share in an infinite number of ways. Imagine for a moment that two meals of equal quality were set before you. One was made by yourself, and one made by a friend. Would not the meal made by your friend taste better? The act of sharing seems to transform food, things, homes, memories, even jackets, into something much sweeter and memorable. The act of sharing something anything, with another human being imparts a kernel of ourselves into whatever we are sharing.

If the jacket shared does in fact represent the accomplishment, the prestige, the pride, of one who earned it, the meaning is infused into the fibers of the cloth.

It ceases to be just a jacket.

It’s a hug from a friend.

Invitations by Keri DeTullio, James Madison University

Director: Pedro Alvarado Georgia State University
Stage Manager: Allyson Lee Auburn University at Montgomery
Dramaturg: Kara Huffman University of West Georgia
Dramaturg: Nina Teal Anderson University
Joyce Dallas Boudreaux (Middle Tennessee State University)
Leah Delaney Keith (Middle Tennessee State University)
Rena Simone Curry (Florida A&M University)
Narrator Caleb Thurmidor (Florida A&M University)
Mentor: Deborah Anderson Middle Tennessee State Univ

Dramaturgs’ Notes:

When it comes to understanding family, sometimes it helps to have set of definitions. Here are a few words to get you started:

  1. Family – noun
    1. a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not
    2. a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for
    3. a group of people bound together by loyalty; whether blood-related or not
  2. Sharing – verb
    1. offering what you have to others
    2. especially when it comes to the truth
  3. Listening – verb
    1. to pay attention; heed; or, listening to your sister’s motto for the third time that day
  4. Compassion – noun
    1. A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering
    2. (e.g. – feeling bad for the girls who will one day date your sons)
  5. Solidarity – noun
    1. unity or agreement of feeling or action; knowing that chardonnay is the best of the white wines
  6. Intimacy – noun
    1. close familiarity or friendship; closeness; “borrowing” clothes without asking
  7. Love – noun
    1. an intense feeling of deep affection; either a blessing or a curse
  8. Forgiveness – noun
    1. Letting go of the anger or resentment one has towards another; ignoring the stain on your favorite sweater that they borrowed
  9. Patience – noun
    1. The capacity to accept or tolerate; letting them sing along, even when it’s off-key
  10. Commitment – noun
    1. being dedicated to an those you love, no matter what

What by Kamilah Bush, University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Director: Haley Koger Georgia College and State Univ
Stage Manager: Ari Jerome Berry College
Dramaturg: Stephanie Dixon Albany State University
Audra Hayley Westphal (Berry College)
Mally Bliss Bailey (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
Stage Directions Megan Castleberry (Middle Tennessee State University)
Mentor: Lisa Abbott Georgia Southern University

Dramaturg’s Notes:

Is there a way to cease to fail to acknowledge the sesquipedalian mellifluous superfluity of dopamine and serotonin within the cerebral cavity?
When I asked playwright Kamilah Bush: “What inspired you to write this play?” she responded: “Inspiration for most of my plays comes from questions that I feel I do not know the answer to. What is no different. It seeks to answer the question of how people differently process their grief, love and anger and just what love lost looks like.”

Production Stage Manager: Amanada Featherstone, Berry College