By Jason Ulrich, Broadside Correspondent

On April 23 and 24, the Department of Theater and the GMU Players presented the Fourth Annual 10-Minute Play Festival. Taking place on the TheaterSpace stage in the Performing Arts building, the show was broken up into two acts
Each act was composed of four plays, of which two tended to be comedy-driven and two that were dramatic. The plays covered a plethora of topics, ranging from imaginary boyfriends to a broken medical system.

There were three showings, which began with the premier on Friday, April 23 at 8:00 p.m., followed by a 2:00 p.m. Saturday matinee and ended with the final show at 8 p.m. that Saturday night.

The shows themselves were as varied in subject as they were in tone. Made up of 44 actors, the first act kicked off with Of British Mice, Simple Men & Squirrel Gangs by Philip Dallmann. This was a hilariously self-referential fairy tale that kept the audience in stitches.

Definitely one of the strangest plays, this performance also housed the largest cast; theater major Chelsea Withington gave a standout performance as the British Mouse, as did Mason O’Sullivan as the Broadway-savvy Head Squirrel.

The final show, You’ve Got Possibilities by Dave Joria, received similar reactions with a terrific performance by Michael Burgos trying to become reacquainted with his ex, who just so happens to be the secretary of the Superfriends.

Some other humorous shows were Why Cupid is Blind, an amusing and funny play by Rachael Graham about a couple who meet each other through a blind date, but there’s a catch.

Theater major Sarah Morrissey was uproarious as the chick flick-obsessed waitress. Perfect Love Vs. Real Life, by Missy Ann Wilmoth, was full of great physical performances, especially from Paul Laudiero as the perfect man.

The strongest show of all was Ice Man by English major Liz Long, which starred theater major Chris Aldrich as an old man whose heat has been turned off. The performance here is more than heartbreaking. Aldrich, who also starred in Madeline Muravchik’s ACCIDENTAL RENDEZ-VOUS, was “just happy to get the opportunity.”

Another show that left a huge impression was The Morphine Diaries by theater major April Brassard and starring Maxie Morales, which discussed the state of America’s medical system. Rounding off the festival was The Quiet Earth, by English major Joshua McCreary, which was about dealing with your past.

With all plays written, directed and starring students, this was a great festival that truly had something for everyone.

According to Maxie Morales, “This really was such a great process and with only a week to rehearse, everyone worked so hard!” It certainly was well worth it.