Please Play With My Heart

Youngstown State University students are putting on the first Ten Minute Play Festival Friday and Saturday evening at the Youngstown Spotlight Arena Theater. The Valentine’s Day themed production includes four ten-minute plays, each followed by original, one-minute performances by YSU theater students.

Each play is directed by a YSU theater student. Auditions were held in a similar style to a main stage production and were open to students within and outside of the theater department. The festival is presented and produced by Alpha Psi Omega.

Zara Markman is the director of “Dear Girl” by Walter White, one of the ten-minute productions.

“I couldn’t be more excited for this weekend,” Markman said. “We’ve had a quick turnaround to get this show off the ground, and I’m very proud of what APO has put together.”

“Give and Take” follows two friends in the pursuit of losing their virginity. The two actors involved in the production are Quincy Carrier and Rachel Stanko.

“The other productions are wonderful,” Markman said. “I love the variety the shows have, even though they share the underlying theme of love. Some are about new love, some old, some confusing and some hilarious.”

Couples that attend the Ten Minute Play Festival on Saturday night will receive a flower and chocolates.

“I love that APO was able to involve even more of the student body by having the transitional material written by YSU students in a playwriting class,” Markman said.

Claudia Gage is the director of “Your Kiss is On My List” by Chris Lockhart, with actors Stefon Funderburke and Angelique Tanner being cast for the play.

“I’d say we put in just as much effort as a main stage production, while working on a different timeline,” Gage said.

The Ten Minute Play Festival was conceived in the third week of September. During the next meeting, APO decided on the stories and set a date for the production. After three weeks of organization and brainstorming, they began open auditions.

“My actors have great chemistry,” Gage said. “They have been incredibly dedicated to this production.”

Gage expressed an extreme gratitude for Nancy Anderson Wolfgang for overseeing the entire project.

“We owe her and the rest of the department for making this event a reality,” Gage said.

The Ten Minute Play Festival is open to the public. Tickets are $5 for students and $8 for general admission. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday evening, and 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.