'Eight 10s in Tucson' play fest returns to stage after 3 years online
The fifth annual "Eight 10s in Tucson" theatre festival is returning to the live stage for the first time since its inaugural run.
It was established by the Winding Road Theatre Ensemble as the cap of their 2018-2019 season.
The show features a lineup of eight short plays presented in the course of an evening.
"What I think makes it so unique is that every 10 minutes, you're looking at something different," said Artistic Director Maria Caprile. "Part of our mission is to promote unpublished playwrights and their vision."
The group was about to hold the festival on 2020 when the COVD-19 pandemic hit and lockdowns began, she said
Winding Road's next three seasons and "Eight 10s in Tucson" were presented online.
Caprile said they received about 220 submissions for this festival. All were judged blindly until they had their definitive eight.
"We call it an eclectic evening of entertainment," Caprile said. "There's going to be comedy, drama, relationships, older people, younger people."
From the eight plays, two of them are by Arizona playwrights - "A**hole, The Dog" by Straton Rushing and "Empty Seats on the M-Line" by University of Arizona student Jess Scott.
"For 'Empty Seats on the M-Line' we've got two teenage actors - Tobias Ochoa and Manuel Torres Castro, and it's great because it is about a transgender teenager written by a transgender playwright, played by a transgender actor," Caprile said.
Another play Caprile is excited about is "Closing Doors" by John Minigan, which explores the roles of a teacher and a school administrator in the context of school shootings. Caprile said she hadn't even finished reading the play when she said is "absolutely has to be in the festival."
The cast and staff are excited to go live, Caprile said. She said that although they've done the festival online for three years, it doesn't compare to having a live audience.
"It's a whole different animal," Caprile said. "That's why we're theater actors, not film actors."
"People can look forward to laughter through tears," she said.
The festival will be held at the Cabaret Theatre, 330 S. Scott Ave., from Friday, May 19 to Sunday, May 28. Performances will be held on evenings on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays starting at 7 p.m. There will also be matinees on Saturdays and Sundays beginning at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $25 online and $30 at the door. I
Bianca Morales is TucsonSentinel.com’s Cultural Expression and Community Values reporter, and a Report for America corps member supported by readers like you.