EAC’s Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center series will continue with a Stage East staged reading at 3 pm, Sunday, February 27, of Just Give Me Ten Minutes (3 one act plays and 3 monologues), a comedy by Tor Alexander Valenza. The cast includes JJ Arroyo, last seen in Stay, Carl Stay (2020); Anson Bergonzi, seen in It’s a Wonderful Life (2019); Ken Burke, who was in the recent production (2022) of Almost Maine; Missy Fredette, who played in the 2015 production of Almost Maine; and, new to Stage East, Ross Lawrence and John Smith. The group is being directed by Carolee Bier; Bernie Cecire is designer and operator of lighting and sound. 

Bier, who has directed several staged readings as well as full productions, notes that staged readings are a helpful format, saving actors the task of memorization, and requiring less time and effort. “At this point in life,” she noted, “my health doesn’t allow me the energy for a full production.”

Author Valenza, who spent most of his professional life as a film and television writer in Los Angeles, notes that in a ten minute play, “The conflict between the characters … must be clear, yet its resolution unpredictable. Finally, the audience must quickly learn who these characters are and what they want, yet have no clue how they’re going to get it within a mere 10 minutes.” This play was written after he had moved to Oxford, Mississippi (home of William Faulkner), where he was invited to submit a play to the annual Oxford 10 Minute Play Festival. “Just as the festival’s audience enjoyed it,” said Bier, “the EAC audience will find it worth their time.”

Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center programs are held in the Washington Street Gallery, downstairs at EAC. Admission is free; donations are gratefully accepted. The series will run at 3 pm each Sunday through April, skipping Easter Sunday. For more information, and to view the rest of the series lineup, please visit https://eastportartscenter.org/constituent-groups/the-concert-series/. 

Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport and eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible. EAC abides by State of Maine CDC COVID guidelines. Additionally, at this time, patrons are required to wear masks when in the EAC building. Weather-related program postponements will be announced by 11 am on the day of the event, on the EAC site and Facebook page, and on the Center’s answering machine: (207) 853-4650.