By: Sam Fatula | A&E Editor
As the city of Pittsburgh continually evolves through its cultural renaissance, additional forms of artistic ability and entertainment have begun to develop exponentially. The traditional Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra perform their renditions of classical compositions nearly every week. A local up-and-coming act can be seen debuting its talents at the Byham Theater. Truly, the Cultural District is becoming the borough that never sleeps.
Future Tenant has proven to be one of the numerous groups in the District that have displayed an innovative concept to the local community and continues to churn out successful events annually. On Friday, the organization will put together their most popular event known as the Future Ten Play Festival.
The Festival is celebrating its 11th annual exhibition that showcases the talent of prospective producers and directors by giving them a unique platform to express their ability and creativity. Although this may sound like any other playwright event, Future Tenant’s festivities have a challenging twist that demand the attention of potential audiences and especially the strengths of the producer. Each play must be eight to ten minutes in length. No more, no less.
Every year, Future Tenant receives hundreds of submissions from various artists, though only ten are chosen from a panel of anonymous readers. This year’s Festival ranges from playwrights that cover different parts of the country and some that call Pittsburgh home. Even though they may not come from the same area, most of the plays that will be performed Friday evening will have one clear theme: pure fun.
Most of the productions that will be seen this weekend evoke comedic tones simply by their titles, which is necessary given the short amount of time each performance lasts. Many of the plays are centralized around casual jokes and comedic values that are easy to understand in rapid succession.
In the self-explanatory short titled Pee Buddies, a pair of friends take bathroom jokes to another level. Written by Shane Murphy, the actors of the production explore the masculine mind frame of using a urinal with friends. Another act that is fueled by laughs will be Proposition 324, which takes the ongoing trend of zombie apocalypse and science fiction cinema with a satirical point of view.
This production, penned by Tina L. Bubonovich, sets the scene with three zombie characters that reside in an anti-zombie community, which put together a plan to request equal rights for the undead. The play features everyone’s desire to be more socially conscious and also takes a laugh at a parody of The Walking Dead.
Other productions during the evening follow a much simpler plot, but also apply a similar comedic sense. This can be seen in the play called The Writer. The basic plot examines the lives of a playwright with his significant other in a cafe, when suddenly they realize that their lives are not exactly what they seem, as the pair undergo the reality check of starring in their own play, i.e. “breaking the fourth wall”.
The rest of the Festival include multiple original concepts that are arguably classified as strange. Jo Morello’s play titled Talkback stars a young William Shakespeare who uses grant-sponsored technology, only to be criticized for his poor tech savvy abilities later on.
Whatever the premise of the play may be, Ten 11 will be sure to make you laugh from the outrageous writing. Attendees can check out all ten productions for a fee of $10.