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2019 January 9

8 tens @ 8, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 11:31
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Last weekend, my wife, my son, and I went to the opening nights for the Actors’ Theatre one-act production 8 Tens @ 8, which runs through February 3.

This year (2019) is their 24th season for this festival, which has grown to 16 one-act plays (8 on A nights, 8 on B nights).  The one-act plays are submitted by playwrights, and a committee of five judges select plays from the submissions for production. This year each of the 16 plays had its own director, and there were 26 cast members each of whom played in one or two plays.  Three of the directors (Helene Simkin Jara, Marcus Cato, and Nat Robinson) were also serving as actors (though not in the plays they were directing).

The plays are performed at Center Stage, a small theater that seats 89 people (including the one wheelchair spot).  Both opening nights were sold out, but we counted 5 empty seats on Saturday night, so some people must have been no-shows.

I won’t provide any spoilers in this post, but I will say that both the A and B nights were equally good (sometimes they pack the best plays into the A night, but this year they seem to have distributed them more evenly).  The writing, acting, and directing were a bit uneven, as you would expect with 16 different playwrights, sixteen different directors, and sixteen different casts.  One of the good things about one-act plays is that if you don’t like one, it will be over soon and replaced by a different one. Overall, I think that the quality was pretty high this year, with at least half the plays being well worth seeing.

The plays are performed as two groups of 4 each night, with an intermission between the groups. In the past, we’ve noticed a tendency to put the best plays at the end of each group, but they don’t seem to have done that this year. Somewhat unusually, the three of us agreed on which one we liked best each night. We liked best Tempus Fugit by Greg Atkins (the first play on Night A) and The Rug by Brian Spencer (the 7th play on Night B).


  1. Sounds like a set of great experiences, if the plays were good on the whole.

    Comment by undine — 2019 January 10 @ 21:35 | Reply

    • Yes, we’re fond of the 8 tens @ 8 festival. It also has a slightly younger audience than most theater in town (I think that I am at about median age, instead of being a youngster at only 64).

      My wife and I will be going to a theater performance with a much younger audience this weekend: WEST Performing Arts advanced teen troupe “WEST Ensemble Players” is doing Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde at the Broadway Playhouse. Our son performed with WEST (and its predecessor) for 15 years, so we have a particular loyalty to the program. Nowadays we only go the the WEST Ensemble Players shows, as we don’t know any of the kids any more, so we only go to the ones likely to be worth seeing in their own right.

      Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2019 January 10 @ 22:33 | Reply

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