By Ian Sloan
The 10 minute plays were presented on May 22 and May 24 at the Los Angeles Harbor College theater at 11 a.m. and ran for approximately an hour. These plays are written and submitted by students in the English 127 class . After submission, Juan Baez selects a number of them, choosing eight this year, and assigns them to students in the theatre department.
Mr. Stoddart teaches English 127 and usually gets about 15 to 18 plays. “The students are free to write about whatever they choose. In this class we just go over the basics of a play like conflict, plot, etc.,” Stoddart said. “However, most of the best plays do wind up being anecdotal, where the writer uses his or her own experiences to shape the writing.” When Mr. Stoddart receives the plays they are sent over to Juan Baez, whose students are made into the directors and actors.
Students who have both classes are not allowed to participate in their own play, if the play is accepted. According to Mr. Juan Baez, “It is important to have the writers step back from their work and see what kind of interpretation other people have. However, it is just as important that the writer’s message still show through.” The plays are predominantly made by the students, when directors have been decided it is their responsibility to gather talent, set rehearsal schedules, etc. This means the only time Mr. Baez steps in is to do quality control. This is so he can ensure that the group is following the writer’s intentions.
“The writers have their own ideas, and they are all very expressive. At the very start we get an opportunity for a Q&A, but other than that directors have little to no interaction with writers,” said Genesis Garcia, 24, Liberal Arts. The Q&A is made available so that directors are given a chance to make sure that their views do not conflict with that of the plays’ creators.
This year the plays are varied in theme. Michelle Mersman, 19, Liberal Arts, is directing a play about an argument between a mother and a daughter. Similarly, Richard Padilla, 18, English got assigned a conversation between a couple about frustrations regarding failure in acting careers. On the contrary Pravinesh Chand, 21, Theatre, has a large cast of seven doing a comedy with lots of exaggeration to get a rise out of the audience. They play itself is a parody of Cabin in the Woods mixed with Scooby Doo.
Entrance to the plays was free, and they were held in the Arena Theatre at 11 a.m., curtain rose at 11:10.