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.