10-Minute Play Celebration

Contest Submission Deadline: February 29, 2020

Submit your 10-Minute play here!

Readings: virtually, the first week of July

Festival: TBD

February 29

Virtually, the first week of July

$14 DAC Members / $16 General

Mandy Gardner, Theatre Coordinator

2020 10-Minute Play Contest FInalists, in no particular order:

The Booth by Stephen Olson (Reseda, CA)

Schadenfreude Doesn’t Become You, Babe by Shawn Samuelson Henry (Davidson, NC)

The Last Deck Chair in the Resort by Lindsey Brown (Auckland, New Zealand)

Glitch by Vivian Sorvall (Fairfield, CT)

The Colonoscopy and Its Many Teachings by Greg Beattie (Lafayette, CA)

The Deal by Mike McGeever (Bloomingdale, IL)

The One Hundred Percent by Bethany Dickens (Windermere, FL)

Play-By-Play by Tony Pasqualini (Los Angeles, CA)


We are currently planning to hold virtual readings at the beginning of July. We will record readings (medium TBD) and post the recordings here for a week, during which time anyone can vote (once) for their favorite, which will determine this year’s People’s Choice Award and the plays that will be produced… when live theatre can be safely resumed. There will still be a panel of judges that will determine the Grand Prize winner as well.

We at DAC express our sincerest thanks to all the playwrights who submitted their work this year especially. Thank you for your lovely words and your patience.

THE PROCESS Beginning in November of each year, DAC invites playwrights from around the world to submit original 10-Minute plays. The plays go through a tiered reading process (author names and hometowns are kept anonymous from the judges). The top plays will be performed at a free reading in May where the Grand prize winner will be selected by a panel of judges, and the audience will select the People’s Choice Award. The top plays will be fully produced and performed by local directors and actors at DAC’s Annual Festival in October. The 10-Minute Play Festival is the only one of its kind in the region, introducing new and creative works to our community, through the work of vibrant new voices for the stage.


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.


DAC is grateful to receive support from the Ballantine Family Fund, as well as passionate local individuals who engage in sponsorship of the festival each year.


DAC received 120 submissions for the 9th Annual 10-Minute Play Contest.

The top eight finalist plays were presented as readings on Friday, May 31 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. The 3 runners-up won $25 and were produced along with the Grand Prize and People’s Choice winners during the festival weekend, October 18-20, 2019.

2019 10-Minute Play Contest Winners

JUST DESSERTS Mike Solomonson, Snowflake, AZ – Grand Prize Winner

SPEED DATING Nedra Roberts, Brookhaven, GA – People’s Choice Award

RING OF TRUTH Marsha Roberts, San Rafael, CA

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE Mike Solomonson, Snowflake, AZ

WAITING FOR GOD-KNOWS-WHAT Mario Rivas, Sherman Oaks, CA

DAC received 161 submissions from playwrights–emerging and professional – for the 8th Annual 10-Minute Play Contest.

The top six finalist plays were presented as staged readings on Friday, May 18 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.

The festival concluded with productions of all 6 plays the weekend of October 12-14, 2018.

2018 Contest Winners

  • GRAND PRIZE WINNER:  After Her by Elizabeth Suzanne (Los Angeles, CA)
  • PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Transforming Your Life Through Hula-Hoop by Kelly Van Oosbree (Commerce City, CO)
  • These Boots are Made for Hikin’ by Shawn Samuelson Henry (Gross Pointe Park, MI)
  • Good Taste by Bob Kolsby (Brooklyn, NY)
  • The Anonymous Donor by Mark Nutter (New York, NY)
  • The Mudgett Lattice by Rob Walker (Greeley, CO)

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 Contest Winners

  • 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.

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.

Located inside the Durango Arts Center at 802 E 2nd Avenue in downtown Durango.

Tuesday-Friday, 11am-2pm
Saturdays 10am-5pm
Available 24-hours online
(970) 259-2606, Ext 10

Jen Olguin, Box Office Manager

The Box Office will open no less than one (1) hour prior to door’s opening and remains open through the first 15 minutes of a show’s start time.

Group rates are available for parties of 12 or more, which includes reserved/priority seating.

Contact Jen Olguin, Box Office Manager, or call (970) 259-2606, Ext 10 for more information.


October 24, 2019From 10-Minute Plays to a Four-Hour Opera
The Durango Herald
by Judith Reynolds

October 17, 2019A Weekend of Plays On Tap for Durango Arts Center
The Durango Herald
by Katie Chicklinski-Cahill

October 5, 201810-Minute Play Festival Stages Best of the Best
The Durango Herald
by Katie Chicklinski-Cahill

October 13, 2017Durango Arts Center Hosts 7th Annual 10-Minute Play Festival
The Durango Herald
by Judith Reynolds

June 8, 2017Tricksters in only 10-Minutes
The Durango Herald
by Judith Reynolds

June 7, 2017—Durango Arts Center’s 10-minute play staged readings: Scripts and winners in hand
DGO Magazine
by Patty Templeton

October 8, 2015–Comedy and Drama, 10 Minutes at a Time
The Durango Herald
by Judith Reynolds

Contest Fees

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.