If you go:
What: Evening of short, original one-acts
Where: Shelterbelt Theatre at SNAP/Shelterbelt, 3225 California St.
When: 8 p.m. Aug. 3 and 2 p.m. Aug. 4 only
Tickets: $10 all seats
Information: 402-341-2757 or shelterbelt.org
Not much time, not many resources — but lots of creativity, discipline and talent.
That describes the Shelterbelt Theatre's annual Instant Theatre, in which a group of writers, directors, actors and technicians come together to create an original evening of theater in just eight days. This year's show, four short plays, will be performed Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
The process began last Friday, when the eight writers met. They were combined randomly into four writing pairs, each of whom would write a 10- to 15-minute play.
This year's theme for the plays is “anniversary,” in honor of the Shelterbelt's 20th. Before they began writing, the playwrights were given a small box of “resources” to use and inspire their script: a trench coat, a remote control, the sound effect of a cat meowing and a few other things.
“These are the only resources they can use,” said Ben Beck, who will direct all four plays. “It's sort of like those cooking shows where you can only use specific ingredients to make your dish. A character can't pull a gun in a scene if we don't have a gun in the resource box.”
The writers are limited on characters as well. Four men and four women will be available to play all the parts. The writers can't write for specific actors, since they don't know who the cast will be. In some cases, they've never met these actors.
Scripts were completed Sunday, casting took place overnight, and rehearsals began Monday. Each play gets about four hours of rehearsal. The writers do not sit in on any rehearsals.
The playwrights are Beaufield Berry, Brendan Reilly, Liz Webb, Max Sparber, Kaitlyn McClincy, Kaitlin Smith, Rhea Dowhower and Chris Cahill.
The cast: Deanna Anderson, Mara Cortona, Jon Roberson, Eric Green, Greg Harries, Katie Beacom Hurst, Kris Fleeman and Julia Hinson.