DC’s 6th annual Source Festival is upon us, and in preparation, we here at BYT sat in on one of the dress rehearsals. What followed were plays about battlefield-obsessed exes, lovesick Chihuahuas, and one woman (one fucking majestic unicorn) plays.
Theatre often gets a bad rap for being too long and too boring, but the brilliant minds behind SourceFest circumvented that obstacle in two ways: making the majority (18 to be exact) of their plays only 10 minutes apiece, and by making them absolutely compelling. Each play is written by a different playwright so there are a lot of changing voices without becoming cacophonous (SAT word- 2 points). Producer Jenny McConnell Frederick explained that this allows us, the audience to experience 18 different voices in a single sitting.
Through the span of almost12 plays, it becomes increasingly apparent that although the plays were written (and being directed) by all different people, that there are some overarching themes connecting the general ideas together. Producer Jenny explains that when the stories are submitted, there isn’t a framework they must adhere to, but while choosing 18 plays from the nearly 600 submitted, there is an attempt to tie them together loosely. The theme for this year: time.
Director Jess says, “What we have done is divided them into three segments, so it’s: on the cusp, in the midst, and the after plays. We chose the plays before we came up with the theme.”
While watching the plays, it becomes pretty easy to differentiate which segments are which. The“on the cusp” plays are more lighthearted and humorous, while the “in the midst” and “after plays” are deep to the point of almost turning dark at times. In watching all of the plays, it is obvious that the players, directors, producers, etc. are serious about their crafts, so whether you want to laugh or cry, you don’t want to look away.
If brevity is not your thing, however, SourceFest does produce three full length plays for the more conventional theater attendee. Now that you know that this theater scene has everything you wanted and more (not like those stupid “spouse” things), you have to know where to get tickets. Right here, of course. The show is going on from June 7th until the 30th, so clear your calendars and get your tickets early. Remember, if you’re wearing your birthday suit and a monocle to the theater, you are class. Have fun theater geeks! I did.
FOR FULL PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE CLICK HERE and now, check out this rehearsal video/behind-the-scenes-of-10-minute-plays we have prepared for you: