Minutes count at Parker's 10-Minute Play Festival

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Nick Crow
Wednesday, February 26, 2014

JANESVILLE—Andrew Holmes decided it was time to spice things up.

As an English/acting teacher at Parker High School and director of Parker Playhouse, he wanted to do something to engage his students.

That's how he brainstormed the idea for a 10-minute play festival.

“People call this the haiku of theater,” Holmes said. “It's lightning on stage. In all, people are going to see a lot of different types of theater in a short period of time.”

Parker's new 10-Minute Play Festival, which opens Friday, Feb. 28, will feature nine 10-minute plays, including an original play by junior Alex Lippincott and an original adaptation of a short story by Holmes.

“It's a good opportunity for young playwrights,” Holmes said. “This is the first time we've given students an opportunity to write their own play. We are hoping that others get excited by seeing what we've done.”

Lippincott's play, “For John,” is about survivors of a zombie apocalypse.

“My plan is a combination of laughter, happiness, sadness, everything,” Lippincott said. “Different parts will make you have all those emotions.”

Lippincott said he has been working on the play since winter break. He got the idea after a prompt from a classmate.

“I've been wanting to be a playwright for a while now, and Mr. Holmes had an opportunity,” Lippincott said. “I thought this could be a great chance to do that.”

Holmes' adaptation was born out of frustration. He tried finding 10-minute plays to feature in the festival, but he couldn't find many.

“Some friends gave me the idea for a short story,” he said. “I read it and then wrote the script.”

He adapted the play “A Joke” from a short story by Anton Chekhov.

“Because the festival will be in the small auditorium, it makes it intimate,” Holmes said. “The audience is going to hear and see everything. This gives us the opportunity for the actors to really get into their parts. I'm really excited about it.”

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