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A Rich Vein

Metroland

Ten plays @ 10 minutes each = comic gold.

That equation is true this year at Barrington Stage Company’s annual New Play Festival, now in its third year. Directors Julianne Boyd, Christopher Innvar, and Kristen van Ginhoven rotate directing the 10 plays, and whether the one-act is a character study, a look at contemporary issues, a riff on a classic improv exercise, or SNL-worthy sketch comedy (with just a touch more soul), this year’s 10 X 10 New Play Festival pulses with a quick pace, tight timing, and laughs that occasionally deepen to something richer. Aided by an able cast of Emily Kunkel, Matt Neely, Dina Thomas, Peggy Pharr Wilson, John Zdrojeski, and Robert Zukerman, BSC’s 10X10: New Play Festival approaches the excellence of StageWorks/Hudson’s annual Play by Play series.

The Possethsion by Ron Burch kick-starts 10 X 10 by leaping headlong into a three-person sketch on the demonic possession of 12-year-old Megan (a sprightly Dina Thomas) by the demon Sethamongus (a deeper-voiced Thomas); that the bewildered parents (Emily Kunkel and Matt Neely) might prefer the demonic possession as less disruptive fuels theSNL-worthy comedy, especially as the “Live from Pittsfield, it’s 10X10” intro follows the opening play.

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