The NC 10by10 Play Festival has a history of supporting aspiring playwrights from the Triangle and beyond, with diverse backgrounds and levels of experience. The 10-minute format challenges writers to develop characters and storylines quickly, and provides actors the ability to showcase their flexibility and character development skills by playing multiple characters in a 2-hour theatrical format.
Originally produced as 10 x 10 in the Triangle, the festival was a summer staple at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro for 16 years. The annual production was the brainchild of Lynden Harris, theatrical director at The ArtsCenter in the early 2000s. Harris particularly highlighted the “by 10” aspect of the title: she produced ten plays by ten playwrights performed by ten actors. Beyond that, she had ten set pieces that would get moved on and off a 10-foot-by-10-foot playing area on the stage floor. The festival proved so popular during its often sold-out performances that Jeri Lynn Schulke, director in the 2010s, once produced not only a new 10 x 10 show but followed it with The Best of 10 x 10 in the same month, which also played to sold-out houses.
As an ArtsCenter production, 10 x 10 had no geographical limitation on the writers, so scripts came in from across the nation, and frequently from overseas. In Schulke’s last years of overseeing the project, it was common to have over a thousand submissions, which kept her team of 20-or-so script-readers intensely busy narrowing down the field to a final ten.
In 2018, OdysseyStage Theater teamed up with Cary Playwrights’ Forum to bring back the show after a two-year hiatus. The producers decided to focus on developing the skills of North Carolina writers and to solicit plays only within the state. The “NC 10by10″ became a festival dedicated to North Carolina playwriting, and played to large audiences at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro and The Cary Theatre in downtown Cary. In 2020, the clouds of the COVID pandemic were gathering, and the producers shifted to an online presentation of the ten plays, with social-distancing in place at every stage.
Now, in 2021, we are proud to bring the NC 10by10 Play Festival back to play to live audiences. We are so happy to be back on stage, bringing the best NC writers and actors together for a fast-paced, fun evening of theater!
- “Fire and Rain” by Andy Rassler, directed by Annie Taft
- “The Closet” by Steffi Rubin, directed by Marina Enslen
- “Socky Tells All” by Rollin Jewett, directed by Nicola Lefler
- “Needle Drop” by James Butler, directed by John Paul Middlesworth
- “Ol’ Jack Spooks the Devil” by Ed Southern, directed by Fred Corlett
- “Theater More Like Baseball” by Mark Cornell, directed by Jane Underhill
- “Please Stay” by Eric Weil, directed by Sean Malone
- “When the Wolfbane Blooms” by Wim Coleman, directed by Thom Haynes
- “Waiting For The Witch” by David Hopes, directed by Danielle Fenton
- “Rocking the boat” by Laura Arwood, directed by Ken Wolpert