Tuesday, June 11, 2013

In the Wings: The Inaugural 10-Minute Play Festival - El Loro, el Gato y el Espíritu Santo. Meet Kelly McBurnette-Andronicos, the playwright and director.

Kelly McBurnette-Andronicos wrote and directs El Loro, el Gato y el Espíritu Santo, one of six plays that are part of the inaugural 10-Minute Play Festival at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The festival will be at 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 El Loro, el Gato y el Espíritu Santo?
Kelly McBurnette-Andronicos: In an attempt to protect a loved one, three sisters hide a dead body to cover up a murder that never happened.

Q: How did you initially become interested in playwriting?
K. McB-A.: I thought it would be easier than writing a novel.

Q: How would you describe or categorize your writing style?
K. McB-A.: I typically write plays that call for one set and three to four characters. I like to explore what happens when people are staked to the ground, unable to escape the place or each other.

Q: Had you written 10-minute plays before the festival was announced?
K. McB-A.: Nope, and probably never would have if it weren't for this festival.

Q: What challenges do 10-minute plays provide? How do you address those challenges?
K. McB-A.: You have to quickly establish a tightly focused conflict, with very few characters, little or no set, within one continuous scene. Unlike a full-length play, it's highly formulaic, highly concentrated.

Q: How does it feel knowing your play is being produced at Civic Theatre?
K. McB-A.: I feel gratitude. The chances of ever seeing any of my plays on any stage anywhere is next to zero. I'm especially appreciative of Steve Koehler, for whom this whole crazy thing was probably just a lot of extra work and one big headache, even though we promised it wouldn't be. He's been very supportive.

Q: How does it feel casting, directing and rehearsing your play?
K. McB-A.: Like willful ignorance of reality. I informed my cast that while I acknowledge they all have real names. I’m setting them aside and choosing to refer to them only by their character names. It's like applying the techniques of method acting to directing. Otherwise, I'd end up calling them some strange mash up of their real names and character names like Alondrica, Joceci, Bernial, or Heatheruca.

Q: What has been the biggest surprise of this process?
K. McB-A.: That my husband, Chris, won't have to play the old lady after all. The actors I was able to cast have been the biggest surprise. I had some pretty specific casting needs, and each of the four women I cast bring something unique and wonderfully unexpected to their roles. Chris would have brought something unique and unexpected, too, but that's probably best left for another play.

Q: Fill in the blank: "It takes me more time to _____ than it takes to watch a 10-minute play."
K. McB-A.: "open rigid plastic thermo-sealed clamshell packaging, known to send more than 6,000 Americans to the emergency room every year,"

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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