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BHSDC Hosts Ten Minute Play Festival

Brendan W. Clark, Staff Writer

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With a smaller set, fewer props, and fewer actors, the BHSDC Ten Minute Play Festival is a unique opportunity for students to express their talents in the world of drama by not only acting, but directing and writing their own plays that prove points in a comical, satirical, or otherwise thought-provoking manner — all in under ten minutes.
The festival is organized by Assistant Director of the BHSDC and English teacher Jeffrey Billard who teaches the student-directors the basics of directing a play and assists young playwrights with their scripts. These short performances provide a wonderful chance to enter the world of acting for students. With a shortened time span, shorter rehearsal schedule, and a chance for students to use their own creative ideas, the ten-minute play is a wonderful stepping-stone to the wider world of drama at BHS.
This is the first year that the BHSDC will perform Ten Minute Plays. As with other drama club productions, any student at Barnstable High School is welcome to audition for the plays or organize their own short act. The plays can sometimes require as few as three rehearsals — and offers the student-directors more flexibility as well. They also allow the student-writers to have direct control over their works and allow them to make changes to their plays at their leisure.
Sophomore Izzy Archer is writing and directing two plays titled: “Nothing” and “The Cafeteria.” Senior Johnny Robinson is directing “The Break-In,” and Sophomore Abigail MacCallister is writing and directing “The Ghost House”. The Co-President of the Drama Club, David Palmer, feels that Ten Minute Plays will offer new drama club members and prospective actors and actresses a chance to display their talents in a smaller venue. “This is a way for students who may not have had a speaking role in the past to both show and further their ability as actors,” said Palmer.
Palmer and his colleague Jenny Griffin had priorly starred in the BHSDC’s production Fahrenheit 451, which was designed to offer younger students the opportunity to play a lead role. Palmer felt that this opportunity allowed him “to become better known in the [drama] club and practice being on staff in a relatively small production.” Billard agrees that “in the last four years, we have had productions like Fahrenheit 451, the Young Actors Workshops, and the One Act Plays, to get more people up on stage.”
Having the opportunity to write and direct their own works also gives students the opportunity to learn the work and time that goes into directing and producing a play. The script writing also lets students try their hand at creative writing, something that students are not always able to do in their regular English classes. The Barnstable High School Drama Club will be holding their Ten Minute Play Festival in early June.

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