A series of seven short plays could easily come across as tastings in what should be a full-course meal, but the “Festival of 10-Minute Plays,” presented by Atellan Sandbox Theatre at the Threshold Repertory Theatre, leaves one feeling satisfied.
The Piccolo Spoleto Festival event is a selection of works from emerging playwrights in the Southeast. The plays are brought to life by engaging performances that encapsulate distinct characters. Each play is interesting, but a few stand out:
"Turning Valentine," written by Henry Hagerty and directed by Erin Danly, follows two strangers (Hagerty and Linda Eisen) who meet on Valentine’s Day. The actors display a beautiful rapport and chemistry in a play about forging meaningful connections from the briefest interactions.
"Theater More Like Baseball," written by Mark Cornell and directed by Joseph Baldino, centers on a couple (Quincy Clark and Kathleen O’Shaughnessy) and their friend (Robert Townsend) who wonder why a night at the theater can’t be more like a night at the baseball park — including food vendors and vocal feedback. Townsend is a particular standout with his comedic timing and dramatic chops.
"Almost Home," written by Anne Rivers Siddons and directed by Linda Eisen, features a woman (Linda Esposito) and her elderly father (Kenneth Graham) who confront their past. Graham and Esposito create a dramatic charge sometimes with a mild hum and sometimes explosive.
The “Festival of 10-Minute Plays” runs through June 9.
Reviewer Aaron Halls is a Goldring Arts Journalist at Syracuse University.