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The Mercer Players to present “11×10”

The+Mercer+Players%E2%80%99+production+of+%E2%80%9C11x10%E2%80%9D+will+feature+11+different+10-minute+plays%2C+all+directed+by+members+of+Mercer%E2%80%99s+current+Directing+class.+%0A
The Mercer Players’ production of “11x10” will feature 11 different 10-minute plays, all directed by members of Mercer’s current Directing class.

The Mercer Players’ production of “11x10” will feature 11 different 10-minute plays, all directed by members of Mercer’s current Directing class.

Courtesy of Scot Mann

Courtesy of Scot Mann

The Mercer Players’ production of “11x10” will feature 11 different 10-minute plays, all directed by members of Mercer’s current Directing class.

Mary Lathem, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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Mercer’s Theatre department has a night of eclectic entertainment in the works. Entitled “11×10,” the performance will feature the work of Mercer’s current directing class in 11 individual 10-minute plays.

The plays will be presented on Feb. 16-18 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 19 at 2:30 p.m. Admission is $5 or a donation of 5 non-perishable canned goods to be donated to the Middle Georgia Community Food Bank as part of the course’s service learning component.

Each student in the directing class was asked to select a play from a group of award-winning works from the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville’s annual Ten Minute Play Contest.

After sifting through a group of around 80 plays, each student chose their favorite, and the production process began.

“The choice of the plays that [the directing students] got really reflect their personalities,” said Mercer Theatre professor Scot Mann. “It was just [based on] what they’re attracted to.”

Mann equated the general feel of the production to a night of browsing videos on the internet.

“In a 10-minute play, you’ve got a minute to set it up and then the train leaves the station,”  Mann said. “You’re going down the rabbit hole of 10-minute plays instead of the rabbit hole of YouTube.”

The included plays will cover a wide variety of subject areas, such as death, cannibalism, relationships and family. According to production manager Annie Fair, the variety of subject material has proven to be a challenge in production design.

“One of the challenges is that you have 11 shows, but you can only hang one light plot,” said Fair. “It’s challenging to come up with [a lighting design] that works for 11 different plays.”

The set pieces, costumes and props will be minimal to accommodate the vast changes in subject matter and mood between each play.

An additional challenge has been coordinating the schedules of every actor, director and production team member to ensure that each group is able to rehearse in the performance space at least once a week.

“Some people are in two or three plays, or they might be directing one play and acting in two more, but [each person] only has a certain amount of free time,” Fair said.

Mann said that directing a short play will give his directing students a unique opportunity for hands-on learning.

“You really can’t teach directing from a book,”  Mann said. “[Directing is] not only just the hands-on work with the actors, but they have to work with their lighting designer. They have to choose a sound design. They have to make all of these things fit together in communication with each other and the production team. That’s the part of directing that usually gets left out of a directing class.”

“This is going to be a really accessible, exciting evening,” Mann said. “It’s going to be a wild ride.”

The performance will be held at the newly renovated Tattnall Square Center for the Arts. Tickets can be purchased at the door, but audience members can also reserve tickets by calling The Grand Opera House box office at (478) 301-5470 or visiting tickets.mercer.edu.

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The Mercer Players to present “11×10”