It is no secret that with COVID-19 restrictions, artists and performers are having to adjust to keep art alive. The same goes for Samford Theatre’s upcoming 10 Minute Play Festival.
The 10 Minute Play Festival is an annual Samford Theatre tradition where students direct and stage-manage 10-minute long shows as their final exam for the Beginning Directing and Stage Management classes. Each Beginning Directing student chooses a play, casts their show, works with the actors, and collaborates with the Stage Management class in order to put on a series of short shows.
Usually, auditions are held in-person. However, due to COVID-19, auditions are being done via video submission. Auditionees must record themselves performing at least one, preferably two, 45 to 60 second long monologues.
Zoe Clark, one of the Beginning Directing students, encourages anyone and everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to be involved in Samford’s Theatre Department.
“It’s open to anyone,” Clark said. “You don’t have to be a Theatre major or minor to do it. It allows a lot of non-majors to come in and participate.”
On top of virtual auditions, another creative adjustment is that the plays will be held in various locations across campus to encourage social distancing. Usually the 10 Minute Play Festival is held in Harrison Theatre.
This year, the festival is being held Nov. 13-15 all across campus. Each director has the opportunity to choose where they would like to perform their show, whether it be indoors or outdoors. While some shows may still be performed on a stage, others may be performed along a roadside.
However, the Stage Management students do run into some roadblocks when performing these shows in various venues across campus. An important element of stage management is learning how to call cues, but with certain shows being performed outdoors, it can make it difficult for Stage Management students to receive the full experience.
Gracen Fisk, a former Stage Management student and current Beginning Directing student, explains the hardships when managing an outdoor show.
“There is still going to be collaboration between stage managers and directors but a little bit less in a theatre setting depending on where each show ends up,” Fisk said.
Despite these obstacles, Beginning Directing and Stage Management students continue to persevere in order to keep art thriving.
“It’s a little harder to create art because of COVID restrictions,” Clark said. “The fact that we are still not only learning to direct, but learning to direct in an environment that — some might say — is toxic to the arts. We’re learning to adapt.”