10 minutes of freedom


Seven new 10-minute plays will grace the stage in the University of Iowa Theater Building this weekend.

By Claire Dietz

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Theater is often about pushing limits. This weekend, it’s time limits.

The 10-Minute Play Festival will begin its run at 8 p.m. today in Theater Building Theater B.

“You build a community with 10-Minute,” said senior Matt Schutz. “It’s a great marking post, where you’ll look back and remember something so fondly.

Schutz is the playwright behind “A Weird Blue Light.” The script follows two theater students as they work on a lighting-design project and question the value of their degrees. He credits his desire to take up residence in Chicago as an actor and playwright to the Ten-Minute Play Festival.

Alyssa Cokinis wrote “Savior,” a tale set on the high seas.

The main obstacle for Cokinis was resisting the temptation to create the play just as she envisioned when writing.

“My biggest challenge is trying not to tell the actors how to say their lines,” she said. “Being an actor myself, I know not to, but sometimes, the lines are said differently from what I pictured in my head. Then again, I always remember that is the beauty of theater and what an actor brings to the role.”

Two 16-year-old girls sit on a cliff talking, falling in love in junior Laura Townsend’s On the Edge.

“While it’s a love story, it’s very innocent,” she said. “There’s no kissing or anything, but they’re dealing with problems in their lives. They’re trying to help each other cope, and they find hope in each other.”

Freshman Eileen Campbell hopes people will find common ground and meaning in her play “Clockwork,” set as two women wait for an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to start.

“If anyone finds any truth in this story, that would be the most rewarding,” she said. “If it moves anyone in anyway, they can relate to it, or identify with it, that would be amazing to me.”

After much effort, Campbell has whittled the script to its essence, the biggest challenge for a writer.

Click here to check out a photo slideshow.

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Senior David Freeman’s play, “No More Waste Lands,” deals with death, vastness, cowboys, space cadets, and the end of an era. He eagerly anticipates the performance.

“There are few things as thrilling as risk itself,” he said. “It’s one thing to go to a play to experience something as the actors experience it, but it’s even more thrilling when you’re seeing the creators in the room.

“I think a play doesn’t really become a play until it’s performed for the first time with an audience, before that it’s an idea. I think if you’re present for that, for a new play being risked, being performed, being indulged in, it’s so thrilling to have your body and presence in the moment of that.” 


10-Minute Play Festival

When: 8 p.m. today-Saturday, 2 p.m. Feb. 14

Where: Theater Building Theater B

Admission: Free for UI students (with IDs), $5 for nonstudents

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