Skinny Dipping With Our Clothes On

Skinny Dipping With Our Clothes On

This Is Water Theatre, Spring 2017

A 10-Minute Play Festival Featuring:

Assistant Director - Jacqueline Kana
Stage Manager - Jessica Cooper

Square Footage by Jessica Moss
Conception by Alex Dremman
Cut and Run by Allie Costa
Don't Look Back by Erin Lerch
I Own You Now Bitches by Drew Petriello
American Kids by Emily Kaczmarek
Soldier by Andrew Roblyer
Whatever by C. Kay "Andy" Landis (directed by Jacqueline Kana)

Photo Credit: Jacqueline Kana, used with permission

Why this show?

In our community, the idea of a "10-minute festival" is a foreign one, and we chose some intentionally challenging material. Among the challenges:

  • An onstage (simulated) orgasm
  • An actor needing to draw on their face with a "sharpie"
  • A piece about the effects of school shootings on the surviving youth (any conversation about guns that isn't 100% pro-gun in Texas is asking for pushback)

Concept

We received well over 400 submissions for this festival based on the them of "risk and vulnerability," utilizing the New Play Exchange as well as the power of Twitter and playwright forums. We boiled it down to 8 pieces that were incredibly delightful to work on. 

In addition to the pieces themselves, to help prepare the audience and prevent emotional whiplash, I made the decision to insert interactive games and activities between each performance. Additionally, to help engender a sense of community throughout the roller-coaster production, the actors sat and watched each other's pieces along with the audience.

Lessons Learned

The games and activities between each piece were incredibly well-received and were perhaps the most talked about elements of the production. The goal was to create an experience that felt simple and as unpretentious as possible, and focusing on the relationship between the audience and ensemble members that weren't performing at any given time was a surprisingly powerful way to do this. In some ways, our minimalism and relaxed atmosphere made many of these pieces the most powerful of our season.

Thankfully, the ensemble and intern company were up to the challenge.