FIVE MINUTE MILE
A fantastic way to introduce someone that isn't normally a theatre buff
A REVIEW BY H.G.WELCH
Start with thirty plays of five minutes or less, grab twenty of them at random and leave the remainder for the next performance. If you want to see all of them, you have to go back and attend the show multiple times. That's the premise of the Five Minute Mile, the latest offering from Cone Man Running. It's effectively a theatrical pack of baseball cards.
You don't know what you are getting until you open the door and walk in. Some of the performances that will be shown are predetermined, some are voted on, and some are left to chance. If you want to watch all of them, you will need to come back for more.
The plays themselves are very much short attention span theater. The plays are presented rapid fire with little pause. As one finishes another is already queued up and ready to go. Each one has a different writer, so there is nothing connecting them to each other.
Most are funny, but some are serious, and others are down right tragic. A few seem to be taken from larger stories, making you wonder if the needed more context. But for everyone you don't get, another one is right around the corner to make you laugh or choke up.
The performances I saw were a huge mixed bag. Some were clever like a play written very much in literal clichés. Another was packed with as many puns as they could fit in their short run time, with Bryan Maynard and Lance Zierlein daring the audience to groan. Dating seemed to a theme this year, with Whitney Zangarine and and Kacie Adams both trying their own versions of speed dating in different performances. Monologues were scattered throughout, featuring Ash Slaughter pining over a firebug ex, Calvin Hudson in an excellent turn in a Shakespearean tale of unrequited love in modern times and Sam Denomy takes a turn as the world's worst motivational speaker.
Other performers include Brittny Bush, Kelsey Finstand, Elizabeth Grant, Ceramie Hopper, and Renata Smith. Because of the randomness of the play selection not all of them were in as many plays as the others, but all appeared at least once.
Five Minute Mile is definitely not your regular theatre experience. It's a fantastic way to introduce someone that isn't normally a theatre buff. There is enough variety to entertain anyone no matter their tastes. Some of the language can be quite raw, but it's all in good fun. As a bonus if you want to see all the plays, there is a discount for repeated showings. The Five Minute Mile runs through November 19 at the Obsidian Theatre at 3522 Obsidian Theatre.
Returning again after our successful premiere, THE FIVE MINUTE MILE is a unique night of theatre where any given night you can see plays about meeting the parents, superhero problems, the Friend Zone, the realities of being a refugee, salesmen’s schtick, accepting yourself, fictional relationships, and the crazies that come out of the woodworks everywhere. Comedies and dramas, plays and monologues - you will get to see slices of all kinds of lives - five minutes at a time. The best part is that you get to help decide what you see! 32 plays are selected for the production. Eight are scheduled to perform each night. The next six are drawn at random at the start of the show. The last six are voted on by the audience based on the title, descriptions and the actors involved! It’s a different line up every single night! From a submission pool of almost 400 short plays and monologues, this festival features plays from 32 playwrights across the country. ENSEMBLE: Kacie Adams, Brittny Bush, Sam Denomy, Kelsey Finstad, Elizabeth Grant, Cheramie Hopper, Calvin Hudson, Bryan Maynard, Ash Slaughter, Renata Smith, Whitney Zangarine and Lance Zierlein
DIRECTED BY Renata Smith and Christine Weems
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: Michael Weems
November 10 - 19
Thursday - Saturdays at 8PM
Sundays at 2PM
Obsidian Theatre 3522 White Oak
Tickets: $18 Tickets: 5mm2016.brownpapertickets.com
www.sro-productions.com for tickets or at the box office.
Arrive early as parking was an issue.