The Tens

Various writers and directors

Review by Keith Waits

Entire contents copyright © 2014 by Keith Waits. All rights reserved

Louisville enjoys a surfeit of short play presentations, and The Tens is one I always look forward to with special pleasure. The annual evening of 10-minute plays is a showcase for the Acting Apprentice Company at Actors Theatre; an opportunity to witness young people ripe with talent strut their stuff in brief theatre concoctions.

This year’s batch was overall disappointing, but still managed a few memorable moments. The first half was dominated by rustic settings and cryptic dramatic scenarios that felt distinctly incomplete until just before intermission, when Sonny Dax’s Not Another 9/11 Play injects some satirical attitude into the proceedings. Yet even this tale of social media managers for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not nearly as topical and edgy as it wants to be.

The second half is much stronger, beginning with the sci-fi paranoia of Gary Winter’s So Unnatural A Level, complete with a deliberately ridiculous mutant character.

6,600 Volts, by Robyn Carroll, was a tease for unrequited romance that cleverly used an antique phonograph to connect us to an old-fashioned sense of the difficulty of love, and featured nice work from Casey Wortmann and Josh Bonzie. Two former lovers cross paths in Patricia Cotter’s The Anthropology Section, which mundanely allows same-sex marriage equal time in contemporary relationship pathos but is given an observant reading by Kayla Jackmon and Mallory Moser.

The evening finishes with the most memorable play, a farcical parody called The Blissful Orphans by Kyle John Schmidt. It plays for certain laughs by targeting the contemporary taste for 19th century period stories and provides opportunity for good performances from Taylor Abels and Cameron Benoit as the proprietors of an orphanage so successful that it suddenly has no orphans to place, and Blake Russell and Ali Burch leave us with the most vivid and offbeat characters of the night.

Truth is, the cast acquits themselves well enough: all are professionally adept and occasionally more. It’s just that the sum total effect of the program never reaches the giddy height of some of the past year’s line-ups.

The Tens

January 13-15, 2015 @ 7:30 pm
January 16 & 17, 2015 @ 8 pm

Performances are FREE, but ticketed. Call our Box Office at 502.584.1205 to reserve your tickets.

Actors Theatre of Louisville
316 West Main Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40202
502- 584-1205


Keith[box_light]Keith Waits is a native of Louisville who works at the Louisville Visual Art Association during the days, including being one of the hosts of PUBLIC on ARTxFM, but spends most of his evenings indulging his taste for theatre, music and visual arts. His work has appeared in Pure Uncut Candy, TheatreLouisville, and Louisville Mojo. He is now Managing Editor for[/box_light]