Sunday, June 9, 2013

In the Wings: The Inaugural 10-Minute Play Festival - A Humble Path. Meet Steve Martin, the playwright.

Steve Martin wrote A Humble Path, one of six plays that are part of the inaugural 10-Minute Play Festival at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. It is directed by Craig Martin. The festival will take place 7:30 p.m. on June 21-22 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre in downtown Lafayette.

Question: How would you describe the action or conflict in A Humble Path?
Steve Martin: A man who has been struggling with his identity since he was an adolescent comes to terms with it.

Q: How did you initially become interested in playwriting?
S.M.: I have enjoyed writing since I was a kid, and I have loved theatre for a long time, too. When I began studying at Wabash College, I put the two together.

Q: How would you describe or categorize your writing style?
S.M.: Humane.

Q: Had you written 10-minute plays before the festival was announced?
S.M.: In college I wrote some short scenes that were complete stories, but nothing since then.

Q: What challenges do 10-minute plays provide? How do you address those challenges?
S.M.: If a playwright wants to share a complete story - beginning, middle and end - in ten minutes, the conflict has to be introduced almost immediately. Fortunately, I really like Looney Tunes cartoons, especially those written by Michael Maltese. They're wonderful examples of how to jump right into a story.

Q: How does it feel knowing A Humble Path is being produced at Civic Theatre?
S.M.: It's a satisfying feeling to know your hometown theatre supports local writers and their work. Steve Koehler, the managing director, has been steadfast in his support of the Civic Playwrights Group, having one slot in the Staged Reading Series reserved for a locally written play, and this festival. None of this is possible without his leadership.

Q: What has been the biggest surprise of this process?
S.M.: There have been few surprises. The talent of the volunteers who are writing, directing, acting in these plays is exactly what Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette productions always have depended on. The biggest surprise may be that I haven't pestered the director and cast beyond all endurance.

Q: Fill in the blank: "It takes me more time to _____ than it takes to watch a 10-minute play."
S.M.: "hit the snooze button on my alarm clock twice"

The inaugural 10-Minute Play Festival will be Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the historic Monon Depot Theatre at 320 N. 5th Street - the corner of 5th Street and North Street - in downtown Lafayette. It is a Pay What You Can event, general admission tickets are available at the box office immediately before the event begins.

The mission of Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette is to enhance the artistic and cultural environment of Greater Lafayette through theatrical productions and educational opportunities.

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