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Department of Theatre and Dance

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10 Minute Play Festival | November 3-6, 2023

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Expect the unexpected as the USC theatre program presents the 10 Minute Play Festival, featuring an eclectic selection of stories and styles, November 3-6 at the Lab Theatre.

Show times are at 8pm November 3, 4 and 6, and 3pm on Sunday, November 5.  Tickets are $10 and are available online at or at the door.  The Lab Theatre is located at 1400 Wheat St. on the first floor of the Booker T. Washington building.  

Enjoy a fast-paced journey through laughter, heartbreak and everything in between in this collection of short plays, each directed by a different member of USC’s theatre performance faculty.  Featured plays include:

Lot 13: The Bone Violin (by Doug Wright/Directed by Patrick Kelly)
In Doug Wright’s chilling story, a stunning young violin prodigy skyrockets to international prominence, only to meet a shocking and supernatural fate. “[It’s] about parents and children, nature versus nurture, and the pressure to be perfect that we put on ourselves and each other,” says Kelly. “It presents a unique challenge for actors due to the juxtaposition of its presentational style, required emotional connection, and creepy subject matter.”

Home for Retired Canadian Girlfriends (by John Bavoso/Directed by David Britt)
This hilarious, sharp-witted script asks, “What happens when the people we create to hide our true selves get to live lives of their own?” Tiffany is about to find out…but she’s got to get through a very enthusiastic Orientation Coordinator first. “The play is about a young woman finding that her life was based purely on another person’s imagination,” says Britt. “Now that he no longer needs her, she can retire. It’s a great comedy work for young actors without being over-the-top – clever, witty, and a little biting.”

Parent/Teacher Interviews (by Lindsey Brown/Directed by Lyle Browne)
Browne says this hysterical play is a “a comedic take on the parent/teacher conferences that every teacher and parent has experienced. In this play the teacher is able to flip the script on some very entitled parents who think education is about them and not their child.” A former public school teacher himself, Browne says the play is “very personally relatable to me. I think the same will hold true for any audience member and do so in a very comedic and entertaining way.”  

The Scene(s) (A devised piece by The Company/Directed by Erica Tobolski)
Tobolski says The Scene(s) is based on the concept of “open scenes,” short scenes with simple dialogue often used in acting classes. “There is intentionally no background, action or character descriptions, leaving the actors free to create those given circumstances,” she says. “My idea was to work with two actors and together devise four different stories, each with their own scenario. The text will be the same, but the experience for the audience will be different every time. Theatre magic!”

“I love ten-minute plays for a number of reasons,” says Browne. “First, the playwright has to get to the message/point very quickly and so it is very direct. Second, you don’t run the risk of going to a two-hour show and not connecting with the production and feeling unsatisfied if the play was not your thing.”

For Kelly, an evening of short plays is a gift for audiences and artists alike.  “For the cost of admission, you get a selection of complete stories, all wildly different in subject matter and execution. It's like a mystery bag of candy – you get to taste one delightful piece after another.”

For more information on the 10 Minute Play Festival or the theatre program at the University of South Carolina, contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at  






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