Spring scenes are a new thing

By Elizabeth Heidecker
NEWS Reporter

nstead of the cries of “Romeo, oh Romeo” ringing through the Boys Garden this spring, Stony Batter members are presenting a series of more contemporary, short plays. Ten-minute plays offer an entire plot with a beginning, middle, and end all in only ten minutes.

Director of the Burgin Center for the Arts Laurie Mufson said, “We’ve been doing it [Shakespeare Scenes] for eighteen years, and I was just picking up a vibe from some kids who were interested in doing stuff in the spring, but maybe not Shakespeare.”

Mufson chose short plays because a large number of people can participate, and they are still complete plays not just select scenes. This “infuses actors’ training into that process.”

Ellie Wilkie, a tenth grader who performed in the traditional Shakespeare Scenes last year and is now learning her lines for the upcoming production, enjoys the poetry of of the Shakespeare scenes but admits it can be hard. “My favorite thing about contemporary drama is that it’s easier to follow for most kids here,” said Wilkie.

Both Mufson and Wilkie agree that the contemporary ten-minute skits are exciting, and that the actors are able to dig deeper into their characters and explore them more fully than when learning lines for a long piece.

Has the tradition of Shakespearean scenes in the spring gone the way of the dinosaur? “I think the vision is to switch back and forth [between Shakespeare scenes and contemporary ten-minute plays,” said Mufson.

The ten-minute play festival will be performed April 29 in the Simon Theatre and Hale Studio Theatre, a change in location from the customary Boys Garden.

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