Union County

Waxhaw’s Storefront Theatre gears up for 10-minute plays

Paul Lewis from Bainbridge Island, Washington was the winner of the 2015 short play competition conducted by Storefront Theatre of Waxhaw.
Paul Lewis from Bainbridge Island, Washington was the winner of the 2015 short play competition conducted by Storefront Theatre of Waxhaw. COURTESY OF JUDY SIMPSON COOK

“Who would have imagined that Waxhaw would be the home of an international play festival?” Judy Simpson Cook, Storefront Theatre’s founder and director, recently captured my attention by asking.

Three years ago, Storefront added a performance of 10-minute plays to its season under the title “We Like Short-Shorts.”

This year, “We Like Short-Shorts: A Festival of 10-Minute Plays” will be presented March 7 at 7:30 p.m. and March 8 at 2:30 p.m. at Waxhaw Presbyterian Church, 8100 Old Waxhaw Monroe Road, Waxhaw.

Tickets are $12.50, plus state tax, and are available at http://thestorefronttheatre.org.

As Simpson Cook talked about the upcoming 2015 version of the 10-minute plays festival, she told me about the event’s origins.

“The first year, we had 20 or 30 submissions, and I chose the ones I liked and that worked together best,” she said. “The second year, I decided it would be more fun as a competition, with judges and a small cash prize to the first and second place winners. We had 36 submissions and three judges, and the plays came from as near as Charlotte and as far as Ohio.

“This year, I assumed we might have a few more submissions but not many. Wrong. Really wrong. Three-hundred-and-sixty-two submissions arrived from all over the country, including Alaska and Hawaii, as well as Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Great Britain. The four judges were quite surprised as the scripts just kept coming.”

The judges ultimately named Paul Lewis from Bainbridge Island, Wash., as first place winner, and Stephen Kaplan from Bogota, N.J., as second.

“The real fun for the audience is experiencing the variety of plays, styles (and) ideas that are presented during the evening,” Cook said. “Also, I cast only 6-8 actors to play all the roles, so acting skill is really on display, too.”

Heart Health awareness

Carolinas Medical Center–Union is harnessing social media to raise awareness about heart health.

Caroline Lilly of Carolinas HealthCare System said February is known as heart month, a month dedicated to raising awareness for heart disease.

During this month and beyond, Carolinas HealthCare System is encouraging people to share what motivates them to stay heart healthy by using the hashtag #MyHeartBeats4U on social media.

Lilly said readers can get involved by:

▪ Download a sign from CarolinasHealthCare.org/HealthyHeart.

▪ Fill in the blank line on the back of the card with whatever motivates you to keep a healthy heart every day.

▪ Take a picture posing with the completed sign and post the photo to any social media site – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – using the hashtag #MyHeartBeats4U in the caption.

John Anderson is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for John? Email him at jafortrel@aol.com.