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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: September 5, 2017

Crowbait Club short-play festival opens Thursday

Written by: Bob Keyes
From left, Owen Keller, EB Coughlin, Molly Eliza Donlan and Darby DeFilippis rehearse "No Escape From The Little Green and Purple People," written by Kat Loef, with musical direction by Victoria Stubbs. Photo courtesy of Crowbait Club

From left, Owen Keller, EB Coughlin, Molly Eliza Donlan and Darby DeFilippis rehearse “No Escape From The Little Green and Purple People,” written by Kat Loef, with musical direction by Victoria Stubbs.
Photo courtesy of Crowbait Club

The Crowbait Club, a low-barrier social group for playwrights, hosts its annual short-play festival beginning Thursday at the St. Lawrence Arts Center in Portland. The festival of fully produced 10-minute plays continues through Sunday and features the winners of Crowbait’s monthly Theatre Deathmatches.

The Crowbait Club hosts monthly play competitions where people bring a script, and plays and actors are chosen at random. During those competitions, actors get two minutes to read the script and 10 minutes to perform.

At the festival, they get the scripts in advance.

This is the fifth festival the club has hosted. It began as a gathering of friends as a way to make the performing arts accessible to newcomers. The less experience of those involved, the better. The audience votes on the winning play, which advances to the annual festival.

This year’s playwrights and plays: Brent Askari, “The Other Flight”; John Bowker, “Everything Goes Awry”; Michael Cheung, “Mother Nature”; Lynne Cullen, “Aunt Viola”; Sally Hinckley, “Poles Apart”; Jay W. Jones, “Save the Beer!”; Kat Loef, “No Escape from the Little Green and Purple People”; Katy Rydell, “Truck Driver”; Doni Tamblyn, “Give Til It Hurts”; and Michael Tooher, “180.”

The plays include drama, farce, comedy and others that defy easy categorization. The content of some of the plays makes the festival inappropriate for kids. It’s recommended for people 13 and older.

“King of Crows: The King Comes Here Tonight,” Crowbait Club’s short play festival

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: St. Lawrence Arts Center, 76 Congress St., Portland
TICKETS & INFO: $15; brownpapertickets.com or thecrowbaitclub.org

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