Each lasts about 10 minutes and was selected from 200 entries for the company's eighth Moments of Play Festival, which runs from
"This year, there's a lot of comedy in it," said
In a free event on Saturday, playwrights
"Video Death Chat" by
"It's sort of a dark comedy featuring two young girls," she said. "One's 15 and one's 12-ish.
"They're two sisters, and the older of the two is doing a video diary for when she dies. Her death is not imminent; she is just forward looking, and the little sister is kind of a witness to the video death chat."
Even 10-minute plays should have a beginning, middle and end, McAlister said, to distinguish them from a skit.
"It has a plot," she said. "Something changes, something happens. Two people standing and talking, that's more of a skit."
McAlister is from
"I was 16 years old, and I was in a play called 'State Fair' in
McAlister got involved with
"We as a group selected the plays we wanted to do. Then, it came to a bidding war, where the directors put in three names of plays that they wanted to do," McAlister said.
Festival submissions are limited to New Englanders, and along with "Video Death Chat," some other plays chosen include "Zeno's Arrow" by
The latter play also involves two sisters, 13 and 5, and may tell the darkest story in the festival.
"The 5-year-old has supposedly been molested by her stepfather," said director
The actresses in "Video Death Chat" are older than the parts they play, but in "Just Your Imagination," the age difference is extreme.
"The 5-year-old is played by a high school senior, and the 13-year-old is played by an electrical engineer," Baker said. "Part of the problem is to bridge that gap in the first two minutes, so the audience can understand what's going on.
"My job is to create the illusion of a 31-year-old being 13 years old."
To make the women seem natural in their parts, he initially thought of presenting them as adults who regress into younger selves during a course of therapy. But Baker discussed the play with
"I've directed 30 or 40 plays and always try to get rid of illusions," Baker said. "He said, 'Please leave some illusion in there for the audience. They enjoy it.'"
MOMENTS OF PLAY
What: Ten-Minute Play Festival
When: Performances Wednesday through
Info & tickets: www.salemtheatre.com
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