If you don’t have much taste for the bizarre, then the Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga’s annual festival this year is probably not for you.

Then again, it might be just enough.

Each play in the festival is no longer than 10 minutes and features new works by 10 regional playwrights.


The company’s annual Short Attention Span Theatre Festival is now in its fourth year. The theme for the 2012 event is “exploring social norms.”

Festival director Casey Keelan said delving into what exactly could be part of a festival focused on “the bizarre” has been liberating.

“With the bizarre, you aren’t hindered by political correctness or social norms. The bizarre is just one big gray area. You can’t even define what is bizarre and what is not because it is so subjective. So I believe our bizarre-themed short plays will provide unique experiences for everyone who views them,” Keelan said in a prepared statement.

A call for new plays within the theme was put out across the country, and ETC received more than 100 short plays for consideration within 48 hours, according to playwright and ETC artistic director Garry Posey.

From a guy who thinks he is the star of a reality TV show while denying the actual realities of his life to why the Abominable Snowman is unsuccessful at speed dating, festival organizers have selected a suite of 10 ten-minute plays that deal with social norms in absurd ways.

Posey’s work is joined by regional playwrights Dakota Brown, John Patrick Bray, Mark Cornell, Dan Guyton, Janis Butler Holm, Brett Hursey, Nina Mansfield and Paige Mattox for this year’s lineup.

Local actors make up the cast, rotating roles between each short play. Cast members include Maggie Bradshaw, Kyle Dagnan, Evie Durant, Morgan Robbins, Jordan Williams, Jeremy Wilkins and Eric “Red” Wyatt.

The fourth annual Short Attention Span Theatre Festival will take place Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays beginning Aug. 17 and running through September. All performances take place at the St. Andrews Center in Highland Park.

More information is available on ETC’s website.