October 7–8, 7:30pm
October 9, 2pm
$10 DAC Members / $12 General
The culminating event in DAC’s 10-Minute Play Celebration, this festival has become one of Durango’s favorite theatre events. Featuring winners and finalists of the DAC 10-minute Play Contest, this fast-paced theatre evening offers a grab-bag of comedy and drama. Not to be missed!


Grand Prize Winner AeNGus & D’Arcy On A Bench in Dublin by CJ Alderton, Durango, CO  ($500)
People’s Choice Award Lust, Greed, and Murder by Matthew Widman, New York, NY ($100)
Fork Food by Letha Mae Dawson, Roseville, CA
The Job Interview by Kristin A. Hanratty, Grand Rapids, MI
Pool Story by Stephen Cooper, Longboat Key, FL

Durango Arts Center Winning Plays and Playwrights 2016

CJ Alderton, Aengus and D’Arcy on a Bench in Dublin – from Durango, CO; Grand Prize Winner

CJ Alderton has a passion for all things Celtic. That has led him to develop the Durango Celtic Festival & Society; perform with Patrick Crossing, a local Celtic band; as well as overseeing Pub Church each Sunday at the Irish Embassy Pub. A 1981 graduate from FLC, he obtained a Masters in Divinity from Golden Gate Seminary and continued with doctoral work in family counseling. This eclectic blend of experiences flows into his writing – his favorite form being the essay. More recently, he has taken an interest in expressing himself as a playwright. CJ is married to the legendary Elementary School teacher Jan Alderton. They have 3 children – two of whom are teachers and quite eager to correct CJ’s grammar – along with 6 grandchildren.


Matthew Widman, Lust, Greed, and Murder – from New York, NY; People’s Choice Award Winner

Matthew Widman is a New York playwright and screenwriter. His play, In the Garden, about a family coping with Alzheimer’s disease, is currently being produced around the country as part of The MemoryCare Plays project ( and has been published in the IPPY award winning The MemoryCare Plays anthology ( Matt’s plays have been produced and read at the Samuel French OOB Festival, the Camino Real Playhouse in California, the Downtown Urban Theater Festival in Manhattan, the Fusion Theatre Company in Albuquerque, the Taproot Theatre in Seattle and at HB Studio in New York City.

Stephen Cooper, Pool Story – from Longboat Key, FL; Top Five Finalist

After 40 years as a Professor (Univ. Michigan Medical School), Stephen Cooper became a playwright. Cooper’s plays have been produced around the world (London, Sarasota, Australia, Korea, New York, etc.). Confessions à deux (Theatre Odyssey 2012 Short Play Festival First Prize winner) was recently produced in London to excellent reviews. Cooper was granted a week-long residency at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s Southern Writers’ Project to work on Spiritual Bliss, one of five finalists (out of 1500 submissions) in the Julie Harris New Play Competition. Cooper is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Sarasota Area Playwrights Society. (

Letha Mae Dawson, Fork Food – from Roseville, CA; Top Five Finalist

Letha Dawson lives and writes in Sacramento, California. Letha is a member of Playwrights Collaborative, a play-reading group of actors, writers, and directors which meets monthly in Sacramento to critique new plays.  She holds a BA in English and an MA from California State University, Sacramento, in Creative Writing, and is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America.  Letha writes musicals as well as dramas and comedies.  This September in Mitchelville, Maryland, a DC suburb, her drama, The Job, will be performed.  She was inspired to write Fork Food by   her niece, a vegetarian.  

Kristin Andrea Hanratty, The Job Interview – from Grand Rapids, MI; Top Five Finalist

Kristin Hanratty’s play, Bird, was selected as part of the 2015 Michigan Playwright’s Festival and is scheduled to be produced by the Detroit Michigan theatre company, Puzzle Piece, in the winter of 2017. Seven of her one-act/ten minute plays have been produced and performed by theatre companies throughout the Unites States. Kristin’s screenplay, Tyler’s Revolution, was a two time quarterfinalist for the Academy Award/Nicholl Fellowship and her screenplay, Goodbye David, was a semifinalist in the Austin Film Festival. Kristin resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan.


6th Annual 10-Minute Play Staged Readings

June 3 at 7pm

DAC received a total of 107 play submissions from playwrights–emerging and professional–from all across North America, Europe, and New Zealand for the 6th Annual 10-Minute Play Contest. The top five finalist plays will be presented at the Staged Readings on June 3 at 7pm in the DAC Theatre. Judges will select the Grand Prize Winner for a gift of $500 and the audience will vote and choose their favorite, People’s Choice Award for gift of $100. Free event.