Community showcases talent in play festival

The Patriot Players hosted the second 10-minute play festival at the Black Box Theatre in the Performing Arts Center (PAC), which showcased four original plays.

The 10-minute play festival began on Nov. 14 and lasted 24 hours until the public showing of the plays on Nov. 15 at the PAC.

Auditions started on Saturday, and playwrights had the entire night to write plays to give to actors and directors the next morning.

Actors and directors had less than a day to produce a nished, stage-ready play.

Both students and the Florence community members took part in the festival. After the performance, three FMU professors critiqued the plays and gave the participants feedback.

There were participants from various backgrounds.

Eleven-year-old Abby Greenwood, a Florence resident, was a director for one of the plays.

Greenwood has acted with the Florence Little Theatre (FLT) in various productions, and she worked as the assistant director to C.J. Miller, a former FMU theater student in the play “Crowns,” in January 2014.

“I was really excited to do this,” Greenwood said. “When you have this role, even if it is 10 minutes, it’s special to you because it’s your first time.”

Greenwood was the youngest participant in the play festival.

Junior English major Mason Jones participated in the play festival this semester for the second time as a playwright.

Jones’ play, “Blood and Tears,” focused on how people approach art and artists.

“I think it’s a really interesting experience to see your work go from a blank page to a full performance in less than a day,” Jones said. “It’s inspiring.”

The play festival provided a challenge for Jones.

Jones said one of the hardest parts of writing a play overnight was staying awake all night.

“The longer you stay up, the harder it is to get thoughts to connect,” Jones said. “It really teaches awareness to deadlines, which is important in writing of all types.”

Matt Adkins, FMU theatre student who recently played Prospero in “The Tempest,” directed one of the four 10-minute plays entitled “How to Come Home.”

Adkins said the biggest struggle for him was taking a play with a lot of conversation and adding movement and motion to engage the audience.

“You have to nd the moment where it may invoke movement,” Adkins said. “There was this tug of war of feelings of [the brothers’] relationship. I wanted to represent that visually.”

For Brooke Mogy, senior theatre major, the 10-minute play festival was the last opportunity to perform with her friend Gabby Pineo, who is also a theatre major.

“Last night’s performance was special for us because she’s leaving in December to go back to Texas after graduation,” Mogy said. “We just cherish our time together.”

Pinneo will graduate from FMU’s theatre program this December.

Last spring Mogy created the rst 10-minute play festival at FMU.

She first heard about the festival when she was at the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) where other universities got together and participated in 10-minute play festivals there.

At the SETC, Mogy worked as a playwright in the 10-minute play festival.

Mogy said doing a 10-minute play festival at FMU would give people a chance to see theatre in its raw form and to gain skill in their craft.

During the fall of 2014, Mogy helped form the Patriot Players with FMU graduates, Katelyn Lamb and Rebecca Whit to help give theatre students and enthusiasts a place to grow closer together in their eld.

“They meet every Monday in the green room,” Mogy said. “It is really to spread awareness to the community and to give the students a chance to gain knowledge.”

Xavier Nettles, Ilia Campbell and Rebecca Prohaska are the current of cers for the Patriot Players.

For more information on Patriot Players events and meetings email Nettles at thepatriotplayers@gmail. com.