The Annual 10×10 Showcase Returns
Story by Amy Sellors, Photos by Marty Mascarin

Ten plays. Ten minutes each. One ticket, one vote, and you help choose the winner as they battle head to head. On April 12 and 13 come see the Seventh Annual 10×10 Showcase on the Magnus Theatre stage, hosted by Jessica Krasnichuk.  

10×10 is a playwriting contest featuring play development, workshops, readings, and theatre events all year long to inspire and educate playwrights, actors, and directors, and connect community theatres with professional theatre. For the showcase, new and returning playwrights from the region are encouraged to submit their work—an entire play in any style or genre, with a beginning, middle, and end, with character development and transformation, all in 10 minutes. Sets and lighting are minimal for the performance, as it’s about the words and the actors. You have to be sleek.

The 2019 Showcase features two brand new playwrights—city councillor Shelby Ch’ng and Thunder Bay Public Library CEO John Pateman. Jordan Lehto is returning with his sixth production at 10×10. His dad Michael Lehto also has a play in rehearsal this year. Audience favourite Amanda Doig returns this year with another delightful Victorian romp, and sisters Katja Maki and Della Maki Bitove collaborate on a play about four women in their 60s revealing uncomfortable truths at a bridge party. 

“These are our stories onstage,” says artistic director Cathi Winslow. This year’s plays feature more women and more stories about people over 40, and stories involving love, loss, illness, and change.

Showcase directors 2018 (L-R) Rachel Warburton, Tamara Rose, John Condon, Jim Hobson, Maranda Dumas, and Brandon Walker

A jury of theatre professionals—actors, directors, playwrights, and educators from Thunder Bay and across Canada—delve into as many as 36 plays. Unaware of who wrote what, jurors provide feedback for the playwrights, pick their favourites, and debate to select the best 10 plays for the showcase.

Last year marked 10×10’s move to the Magnus Theatre stage. Performing on the Magnus stage allows participants to get a taste of working in professional theatre and elevates the experience for the audience.

“10×10 is a chance for theatre lovers across Thunder Bay to come together,” says Winslow. “People from almost every theatre group in town participate. 10×10 needs playwrights, actors, and directors. This year features approximately 40 actors and 10 directors, three of whom are new to the director’s chair.”  

There are three chances to take in 10×10’s 2019 Showcase at Magnus Theatre: April 12 at 7:30 pm (the gala) and April 13 at 2 pm or 7:30 pm. Visit or 10×10’s Facebook page for more information. Tickets are available at the Magnus Theatre Box Office, or online at

This Year’s Lineup

Baggage Check by Sue Blott
Directed by Nadia Cheechoo 

Poor Yorick by Bronson Carver
Directed by Thomas McDonald

Charlotte Lucas by Shelby Ch’ng
Directed by Sarah Mendek-Walker

Clicket by Amanda Doig
Directed by Alison Miecznikowski 

The Lost House by Jordan Lehto
Directed by Amy Poetschke 

Letting Go by Michael Lehto
Directed by John Condon

Who Do You Think You Are? by Della Maki Bitove & Katja Maki
Directed by Julie MacCoy

Oakhurst by John Pateman 
Directed by Lilias Ayres 

Memory by John Pringle
Directed by Jim Hobson

Worth Less by Susan Rogers
Directed by Janis Swanson