Theatre-at-Tusculum, in conjunction with the Tusculum English Department, will present the “5×10” plays beginning April 20 with an additional four performances during the annual Old Oak festival at Tusculum College.
The “5x10s” are a collection of five, ten minute plays written by Tusculum students and produced as part of the Acts, Arts, Academia Performance and Lecture Series. The collection of original dramatic works will premiere on Thursday, April 20, at 7 p.m. and will run as part of the annual Old Oak Festival.
The annual festival hosted by Tusculum promotes a wide array of art and music from the region, and the “5x10s” offer Tusculum student playwrights the opportunity to see their dramatic works brought to the stage as part of the festival’s offerings. Show times during festival will be 7 p.m. on Friday, April 21; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 23.
All the performances will take place in the Behan Arena Theatre in the lower level of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts building on the Tusculum campus.
Two of the plays to be featured, “Walking In The Light” and “Damage Control,” were written by Tusculum senior Macy French. Both are directed by Frank Mengel, technical director of Tusculum Arts Outreach. French was recently awarded the 2017 Curtis and Billie Owens Literary Award for Drama for “Walking In The Light.”
Also to be featured is “Here, Kitty Kitty,” by Tusculum junior Parker Wright. The play will be directed by Wayne Thomas, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Tusculum.
The work of another Owens Literary Award winner will be staged – “It’s Only Plastic,” by Tusculum senior Emily Waryck. She was the 2017 Owens Literary Award recipient in the poetry, fiction and nonfiction categories. “It’s Only Plastic,” will be directed by Brian Ricker, assistant director of Tusculum Arts Outreach.
Freshman River Donnelly is finishing his first year at Tusculum with a highlight as his “All Dogs Go to Hades” was chosen to be staged at Old Oak. Ricker is also directing this play.
Audiences are cautioned when considering bringing children to the production due to adult themes and some mild language. The show is recommended for ages 13 and up, with parental guidance advised.
Bringing the original works to life will be a total cast of 12 including Tusculum students River Donnelly, Johnny Durr, Micheal Emery, Emma McCuiston, Katie Odoms, Carrie Rose, Maxwell Reed and Rebekah Voiles. Tusculum alumna Paige Mengel, local actor Larry Bunton, and North Greene High School freshman Gracie Weems round out the cast for the plays.
Production assistance has been given by the Arts Outreach team of Costume Director Barbara Holt, Arts Outreach Director and Artist-in-Residence Marilyn duBrisk, and Arts Outreach Coordinator Jennifer Hollowell.
“This is a true collaboration of the arts here at Tusculum,” Ricker said. “The students’ writings, the visual art components of the production, the acting process, it all is a perfect fit for the Old Oak Festival.”
The idea for the“5×10” production was originally conceived a few years ago by Thomas when he was chair of the Fine Arts Department in an effort to “promote interdisciplinary co-curricular engagement amongst various fine arts entities.” With the help of Mengel, the first “5×10” production premiered during the 2013 Old Oak Festival.
General admission is $7, and tickets can be purchased at the box office, which opens one hour prior to show time. Tickets may be reserved by calling 423-798-1620 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets may be purchased with cash or check only, no credit or debit cards.