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10-Minute Play Celebration


Contact Kristin Skye Hoffmann, Artistic Director by email or phone, (970) 259-2606, Ext 17

DAC received 121 submissions from playwrights–emerging and professional – from across North America, as well as England and New Zealand for the 7th Annual 10-Minute Play Contest.

The top five finalist plays were presented as staged readings on Friday, June 2 in the DAC theater with local performers.  Judges selected the Grand Prize Winner for an award of $500 and the audience voted for a People’s Choice Award of $100.

2017’s finalists and award winners were:

GRAND PRIZE WINNER:  Bondservant by William Orem (Newton, MA)

PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Where’s This Train Going? by Bruce Guelden (Winters, CA)

The Truth about Spicy Cajun Curry by Erin Glenn-Hash (Lincoln, NE)

Crisis of Character by Scott Lummer (Santa Rosa, CA)

Good Things by Peter J. Stavros (Louisville, KY)

For our 6th Annual 10-Minute Play Contest, DAC received a total of 107 play submissions from playwrights, emerging and professional, from across North America and as far away as New Zealand and Luxembourg; with seven from the Four Corners, including Bayfield and Aztec. A team of 22 community volunteer readers was assembled for the first round of the contest, with, 66 plays moving on to round two and only 18 into the third round before five final plays were selected.  To stay informed of the 2017 10-Minute Play Contest and submission deadlines, please subscribe to DAC’s eNews.

2016 Winners

  • AeNGus & D’Arcy On A Bench in Dublin by CJ Alderton (GRAND PRIZE WINNER)
  • Lust, Greed, and Murder by Matthew Widman (PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD)
  • Fork Food by Letha Mae Dawson
  • The Job Interview by Kristin A. Hanratty
  • Pool Story by Stephen Cooper

Grand Prize Winner

The Spider in the Room, Wendy Ludgewait –  Durango, CO

Maddie is a modern, independent woman who doesn’t have time for men. Sam is a beleaguered Rent-a-Dude who isn’t much of a fan of women. When Maddie rents Sam to rid her house of a renegade spider, its game on for the continuing war of the sexes.

Wendy Ludgewait is a “born-again” Durangatang with a penchant for scribbling things on napkins, receipts, and the back of her hand when inspiration strikes. By day, she works as an instructional designer for her own company. By night, she is a director/actor/chief cook and bottle washer for Durango’s community theater company, Durango Lively Arts. This is the first time she’s attempted writing a 10-minute play.

TIED for winner for People’s Choice Award:

Bodega, Adam Seidel – Chicago, IL

Bodega centers on an argument between a (Hispanic) father and son over the placement of a new shelf in the family’s Chicago neighborhood, which stirs up deeper issues that neither men anticipate. Bodega is a play about the innate desire for progress and the inevitable gap that grows between generations. 

Adam Seidel is a Milwaukee native who has lived in Chicago the past six years. His plays, long and short, have been read and performed across the country. He is proud to be a company member of Collaboraction Theatre Company in Chicago. 

The Black Bride of Texas, Stephanie Dodd – Boulder, CO

An 80-year-old recent widow escapes her loneliness and patronizing family members by visiting with characters from her collection of Western romance novels. A humorous look at aging, grieving and discovering independence.  

Originally from Nebraska, Stephanie Dodd is a writer, aerialist, actor and musician recently relocated from NYC to Boulder, CO. Over the last two years, her play Hollow received readings in Maine, NYC, and Switzerland. Devil in the Hole, her new aerial country rock musical co-written with Justin Badger was a finalist for the 2012 Resident Artist Program at Mabou Mines. She is a teaching artist, and co-writer of two cabarets, Welcome Home, Hamlet! and Congratulations, Macbeth! 

Other Finalists:

Health Care, Philip Hall – Longboat Key, FL

Set in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, what appears to be about a married couple squabbling is really about nurturing. As couples get older they often find that all the passion and ardor of a relationship cannot surpass the importance of nurturing one in need.

Philip Hall began his theatrical career as an actor right out of school, touring the country in a number of shows. His works (including musicals and plays) have been produced around the country from Washington’s Kennedy Center to California Theatre Center, where his faithful adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was launched worldwide. His published works include the comedies Inside the Department of the Exterior and Customer Service.  He lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida with his wife Leslie A. Hall.

Once in a Blue Moon, L.E. Grabowski-Cotton – Memphis, TN

After his girlfriend leaves him, a man walks into a travel agency hoping to find the destination of her plane ticket. He enters a whole new world upon meeting the travel agent, and instead of finding the whereabouts of his girlfriend, he learns some deeper life lessons about change and letting go. 

L.E. Grabowski-Cotton is an award-winning writer and a professional writing coach. She holds an M.F.A. in Playwriting and Screenwriting from Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture, Television, and Recording Arts, an M.A. in English Literature and a B.A. in Communication from George Mason University. Her written work includes novels, screenplays, poetry, stories, and plays. To learn more about L.E., visit her websites: LEGrabowskiCotton.Com and LauraWritingCoach.Com.

History of the 10-Minute Play

10-minute plays were introduced by the Actors Theatre of Louisville in 1977, when the genre was promoted as part of the Humana Festival of new American Plays. Often referred to as the “haiku of the American stage,” as well as “a streak of theatrical lightning,” 10-minute plays have become an engaging and popular genre for today’s audiences and playwrights.

Recent Press

The Durango Herald
The Durango Herald Judith Reynolds | June 9, 2017

Kudos to all 16 actors and super-director Carson who created this wonderful celebration of live theater. Plan ahead and save mid-October for the fully staged performances.

The 10-Minute Play Committee:

Theresa A. Carson is the Artistic Director and Theatre Manager of the Durango Arts Centerand an adjunct faculty member for the Fort Lewis College Theatre. She served as the Artistic Director of Sandstone Productions for sixe years for the City of Farmington. Favorite directing credits include Fool for Love, Rent, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cabaret, Footloose, Beehive, the 60s musical, and Glengarry Glen Ross. Recent acting credits include Brooke in Other Desert Cities and Kess in Independence, both collaborations between DAC Theatre and Merely Players of Durango, CO.

Dr. Dinah Leavitt Swan, retired professor of theatre at Fort Lewis College, she has served as director of the highly acclaimed Theatre Oxford 10-Minute Play Contest in Oxford, Mississippi, is an actor, director, and published playwright herself.

Terry Swan, past President of the Durango Arts Center Board of Directors, also brings valuable expertise from his work with the Theatre Oxford 10-Minute Play Contest. Mr. Swan is the former managing director of the New Stage Theatre in Jackson, Mississippi and served as the Durango Arts Center’s producer for its highly acclaimed production of Always…Patsy Cline.

Why the Durango Arts Center Charges a Fee for Submissions to the 10-Minute Play Contest:

In honoring the policies of the Dramatists Guild (the professional association of American playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists) the Durango Arts Center releases the following statement pertaining to the collection and use of fees for 10-Minute Play Contest submissions.

The contest entry fee supports the administrative expenses related to the three-part 10-Minute Play Series (Contest, Staged Readings, and Festival). Staff activities include the dissemination of the contest worldwide; recruiting and selecting volunteers to serve as readers and judges for submissions; recording, receiving, distributing, and tallying the judging process of the contest; recruiting/auditioning community actors and directors for the staged readings and festival; space and utility usage for mounting and producing the staged readings and festival; design costs of set, lights, costumes, props, and sound for the staged readings and festival; marketing and box office personnel for staged readings and festival; and advertising for an audience for the staged readings and festival.

The Durango Arts Center, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is fortunate to receive community sponsorship to help cover a portion of the direct expenses of the 10-Minute Play Festival.  Together, with play submission fees collected during the contest, DAC is able to coordinate and produce an annual celebration of modern play-wrighting.  We thank you for your contest submission fee, which not only sustains the program but enables it to thrive.