King's Shorts Festival of Ten Minute Plays
King's Shorts long on applause and laughter ...
The tenth annual King's Shorts Festival of Ten Minute Plays completed its 2016 run on Sunday, June 19 with the last of three well-attended performances. More than 500 patrons attended and Sunday was completely sold out, bringing the tenth anniversary of the festival to a successful closing. To celebrate this milestone, some short video clips of the People's Choice plays from the last eight years were shown to begin the festival (year one was not video recorded). Phil Milo acted as MC.
Of the eight plays performed, Theatre Nova Scotia (TNS) identified two as especially noteworthy and Nancy Morgan of TNS awarded these prizes. Chase the Ace, written by Charles Salmon of Halifax, earned first place best written script. His characters were Marg, an excitable, kind-hearted, dreamer on her way to Inverness, hoping to strike it rich. Compelled into driving her is her cost-conscious but sensible long-time husband, Gord, who thinks their road trip is a waste of money. Second place went to James Hutchison of Calgary for his play Never Give Up with Nigel Davenport as a playwright who has been entering the Short Cuts Playwriting Festival for years. He's never won, in spite of submitting hundreds of plays. He thinks his luck has finally changed when he meets the artistic director, Todd Sparks. The People's Choice Award, as voted by the three audiences, went to Jim Prime of New Minas, for his work The Agency Sent Me, all about miscommunication when a businessman believes he is interviewing a young lady as his new executive assistant for his company. She thinks she is on a blind date arranged by a dating agency. Especially noteworthy was the attendance of Santiago Arcila of Vancounver for his play On Three, co-authored with Mark Redmayne.
The eight plays presented were:
The Darwin Club by Rachel Cooper of Canning, directed by Gail Chester, starring Brian Rice, William McCormick, Alex Hancock and Henry Bent
Chase the Ace by Charles Salmon of Halifax, directed by Carolyn Crowell, starring Margie VanBinsbergen and Wayne Currie
Top the Timer by John Anthony Brodston of Nebraska, directed by Jeff Styles, starring Scott McQuillan, Clinton Chester, Doug Glenen and Christine Igot
Miami by Gene DeJoie of California, directed by Kelley Pozzolo, starring Donnie Carter, Freeman Butland and Joey Lajoie
The Agency Sent Me by Jim Prime, New Minas, directed by Verilea Ellis, starring Paul Lalonde, Ashlea Viola and Penelope Domries
Hot Flush by Sue Higgs, Head Jeddore, directed by Jane DeWolfe, starring Elizabeth Rhymer and Daniel Marsh
On Three by Mark Redmayne and Santiago Arcila, Vancouver, directed by John MacEachern, starring Oliver Wilkes, Bruno Jennings, Angela Fischer and Dave York
Never Give Up by James Hutchison, Calgary, directed by Ron Wesman, starring Simon Bonnington and Blaine Schumacher
The King's Shorts weekend is always a high point for Annapolis Royal, with many locals and visitors enjoying themselves and participating in local community theatre. Started as a theatrical experiment in 2007, the festival has become a fixture in the cultural life of the Annapolis Valley, this year attracting 83 scripts from around the world. Plans are currently underway for the next King's Shorts, slated for June 16, 17 and 18, 2017 at King's Theatre. We encourage all interested in submitting a script to follow the King's Theatre website for updates and information.
King's Shorts: A Brief History
In 2006, Dean Taylor, local Annapolis Royal playwright, was discussing ten minute plays with some members of the Annapolis District Drama Group, as well as with the Executive Director of Theatre Nova Scotia. They all felt that a ten minute play festival was the perfect fit for the Annapolis area and King's Theatre. Dean formed a committee that year, and in June 2007, the King's Shorts Festival of Ten Minute Plays was born.
The Festival Today
Including the submissions for 2016, 496 plays have been submitted to the Festival from playwrights across Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Greece and New Zealand. Every June eight plays are produced. The festival has included plays by first time playwrights and by experienced playwrights, by amateur writers and by professional writers, by men and by women, by young writers and by "more mature" writers.
Aside from being a fundraiser for King's Theatre, King's Shorts has two main goals. The first is to make live theatre more accessible to all: the audience, playwrights, directors and performers alike, and the second is to help them experience, or continue to experience, the joy of live theatre. To that end, each play performed is assigned its own director and that director sets his/her cast of players. At each annual performance, a first and second place winner, based on the written work, is chosen by Theatre Nova Scotia. As well, a People's Choice Award is selected by the audiences at the three performances of the festival.
Our Challenge to You
If you have never been involved with live theatre this is your chance. The plays are only ten minutes long so it's a great opportunity to "jump in" with both feet. We are always looking for playwrights (new or used), and actors (experienced or otherwise), for directors (we'll even give you a little training), for backstage crew (you only need a black t-short) and for audience members (you simply need the ability to enjoy yourself). In whatever capacity you choose, we look forward to seeing you at the Festival in June.
Jennifer Batiot, Wayne Currie (Chair), Jane DeWolfe, Verilea Ellis (Coordinator), Doug Glenen, Brenda Keen, Elizabeth Rhymer, Andi Rierden and Dean Taylor (Founder and Festival Director).
Year First Place Second Place Peoples Choice
2016 Chase the Ace Never Give Up The Agency Sent Me
Charles Salmon James Hutchison Jim Prime
2015 The Shoe Department Go Green Fish and Dicks
Philip W. Hall Janet Godsell Jim Prime
2014 Western Music in Better Safe than Sorry The Rubber Duck
the Meringue George Freek Janet Godsell
2013 The Business Plan As the Glaciers Melt Speed Dating at Elderberry Manor
2012 The Chair A Business Arrangement A Business Arrangement
Charles Salmon Janet Godsell Janet Godsell
2011 Trusting True Confessions A Twisted Tale
Janet Godsell Wayne Currie Sue Higgs
2010 A Little Secret Touch of Grace Is it Wednesday?
Janet Godsell Wendy Lockman Pam Calabrese Maclean
2009 Saved Awake Soon Miss Guttenberg? Oh Yes,
Janet Godsell Pam Calabrese MacLean Soon Mr Abraham
2008 What Was That Again Drawing the Line Drawing the Line
Wayne Currie Janet Godsell Janet Godsell
2007 The Lonely Island Not Awarded Not Awarded
Dean Taylor - Founder and Festival Director of King's Shorts
King's Shorts long on applause and laughter ...