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Gone in 60 seconds: Actor’s Express bringing one-minute play festival to Atlanta

Actors hit their marks onstage at the Second Annual Chicago One-Minute Play Festival
Actors hit their marks onstage at the second annual Chicago One-Minute Play Festival.

Act fast — 60 seconds fast!

One-minute plays, which are extreme versions of the “flash drama,” a theatrical work no longer than 10 minutes, are all the rage. In partnership with the One-Minute Play Festival, a New York-based theater company, festivals dedicated to one-minute plays have sprung up across the country. After sold-out runs in Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, the list of cities keeps growing. South Florida wrapped up its first one-minute play festival in February, and now Atlanta is the latest city to get into the act.

The first Atlanta One-Minute Play Festival will open June 10 at Actor’s Express, which was instrumental in bringing it to Atlanta, and will conclude the next day with a live-stream performance on New Play TV. One-minute works from more than 30 established and emerging Atlanta playwrights, including Joshua Harmon, Laura Carson, Margaret Baldwin and ArtsATL.com’s own Steve Murray, will be performed during the two-night event. The plays, which are developed using a special playmaking process due to their short running time, will be directed by some of Atlanta’s best theatrical directors, including Justin Anderson and Ellen McQueen.

Freddie Ashley, artistic director at Actor's Express.

Founded by Dominic D’Andrea, a New York director and dramaturge, the One-Minute Play Festival is the only major American festival of its kind. With a focus on local artistic communities, it seeks to reflect local culture through playwrights of different ages, genders, races, cultures and points in career.

That sense of community spirit is what appealed most to Actor’s Express Artistic Director Freddie Ashley in his first discussions with D’Andrea.

“We strive every day to be a part of people’s lives in a very real way,” Ashley writes in an online statement. “This festival brings writers, actors and audiences together in a unique event that is mutually celebratory. There is huge capacity for community-building and community-serving in this festival, and we are super stoked to be a part of it.”

Tickets start at $20, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Actor’s Express’ new play development program, Turner Voices in the Works.

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