Saturday, June 15, 2013

In the Wings: The Inaugural 10-Minute Play Festival - Welcome to New York. Meet Deborah Gray, the playwright and director.



Deborah Gray wrote and directs Welcome to New York, 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 Welcome to New York?
Deborah Gray: A young Midwestern woman relocates to Manhattan and tries to find a safe place to live, but the initial impact of the big city may be too much for her.

Q: How did you initially become interested in playwriting?
D.G.: When I was a child, I organized the neighborhood kids yearly and we put on shows for the adults of skits that I had written.

Q: How would you describe or categorize your writing style?
D.G.: Flexible, depending on the subject matter. I tend to let ideas percolate for a while and when I feel it's time, I try to write a first draft as quickly as possible.

Q: Had you written 10-minute plays before the festival was announced?
D.G.: No.

Q: What challenges do 10-minute plays provide? How do you address those challenges?
D.G.: Because they are so short, I try to keep characters and scenery down to a minimum. It is challenging to create believable, sympathetic characters in so little time, so dialogue and gestures need to be extra impactful.

Q: How does it feel knowing your play is being produced at Civic Theatre?
D.G.: As a local playwright, I am grateful to Civic Theatre for giving me and my fellow playwrights this opportunity to have our work performed in a real theatre with professionals.

Q: How does it feel casting, directing and rehearsing your play?
D.G.: Casting was a challenge because there are so many talented local actors. I have not directed my own work (or anyone else's for that matter) so this is a learning experience for me. The 10-minute format is perfect as a vehicle to develop new skills for directing and rehearsing.

Q: What has been the biggest surprise of this process?
D.G.: The number of talented actors who turned out to audition for the festival plays.

Q: Fill in the blank: "It takes me more time to _____ than it takes to watch a 10-minute play."
D.G.: "listen to five songs on a CD"

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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