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It’s hard not to root for the Source Festival. The theater company received over 660 original compositions for this year’s event. It chose 25 of those to develop into ten-minute vignettes, full length plays, and artistic blind dates. All of the artists actually get paid. How could you not like artistic people trying new things and make at least some money for their work? A lot of work went into staging three weeks of entertainment. On opening night, it showed.
“Lovers & Friends” featured six 10-minute plays about relationships, ranging from a story of two balloons courting, digital love, and tornadoes ripping the world apart. Each production seemed to be aimed at a certain age group, from Pixar-appropriate audiences to young couples in the twilight of their love. While none of the plays were offensively bad, there are flaws that could be worked out—-specifically, a pointless 20 minute intermission. Whatever productive flow the production had was lost during the break. But the evening’s highlights came in the form of Christine Hodak‘s Dance with the Devil and William Cameron‘s A Disturbing Encounter at the Calhoun Residence Involving Sex, Marriage and the American Musical Theatre.
Though its title isn’t great, Dance with the Devil is the one 10-minute play that I wanted to see for another 80 minutes. In it, a state senator and his wife are driving to their summer vacation. He isn’t the best of men, and his wife has thus far been a saint. The coldness and bickering between actors Robin Covington and Doug Krehbel is believable. Within a few minutes I was squirming in my seat, but I wanted to stick with this couple to the bitter end. Hodak did an excellent job giving us a glimpse into a decade-plus-old marriage; not one word was wasted, and I’d love to see what she could do with more time.
A Disturbing Encounter at the Calhoun Residence Involving Sex, Marriage and the American Musical Theatre has found its perfect venue. Extremely witty, fast-paced and fun, the work is an excellent way to end the program. With its scathing satire of ’50s family life littered with ’80s pop culture references, the play could appeal to anyone with NPR as his or her radio preset. Once again, actor Doug Krehbel steals the show and Sara Barker is pitch-perfect as his wife. This one used its ten minutes better than most.
If you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes. Apply that philosophy to “Lovers & Friends.”
“Lovers & Friends” runs June 19 at 1 p.m., June 24 at 6 p.m., June 29 at 8 p.m., and July 2 at 1 p.m. at Source Theatre, 1835 14th St. NW. $20. sourcedc.org.