10 Plays, 10 Minutes, Tenfold the Local Talent
By Taylor Onski
Only at this year’s 10×10 Showcase can you find cowboys, talking parrots, and gods with too much power all in one venue.
A longstanding local theatre festival, 10×10 gives local talent the opportunity to bring an original play from script to stage. Local playwrights are invited to submit a 10-minute play. After being reviewed by a jury of Canadian theatre professionals, the 10 selected plays are handed off to 10 local directors, who cast local talent and then rehearse for about five weeks to bring the plays to life for the showcase.
Magnus Theatre’s education director Jordan Blaxill hints this year’s lineup will feature a wide array of plays audiences will enjoy. “We’ve got a mix of fun comedies and plays with more serious and weighty themes,” Blaxill says. “We’ve got a Western. We’ve got people dressed up as parrots. It’s going to be a lot of fun stuff.” Having acted in past showcases, Blaxill knows how great of a time 10×10 is for local theatre buffs. To Blaxill, 10×10 is a unifier that brings many people together, and that unifying power makes the festival a well-regarded, sought-after event in Thunder Bay’s theatre landscape.
But as much as 10×10 unifies local talent, it also gives people with little or no previous theatre experience the chance to dip their toes into theatre, whether as an actor, director, or playwright. “10×10 allows people to have a go at something they might haven’t done before, such as people who haven’t done a lot of acting and want to try committing to a short 10-minute play,” Blaxill says. “Or if you’re really into acting and want to try directing, but don’t want to commit to directing a two-and-half to three-hour long production, 10×10 enables you to give theatre a try in a safe and supportive environment. It’s a great starting point for people who then want to take what they’ve experienced and expand on it in the future.”
10×10 runs June 17–18 at Magnus Theatre. June 17 will be the gala performance at 7:30 pm, and June 18 will feature a matinee performance at 2 pm and an evening performance at 7:30 pm.
For more information, find Magnus Theatre and Magnus Theatre in Education on Facebook or visit magnustheatre.com/10×10.