The ArtsCenter Features Theatrical ‘Mixed-Tape’

The ArtsCenter in Carrboro is holding its 14th annual “10 By 10 in the Triangle” program. Each performance features 10 different 10-minute plays performed back-to-back.

Director Jules James told “The Art Spot’s” Jeri Lynn Schulke the program is almost like a mixed-tape.

“It’s got to have some sort of sense of organization, as well as some sort of larger story that you want to tell the audience,” James said. “Not that every play means something immediately next to one another, but they’re going to mean something because they’re put next to one another.”

This year’s “10 By 10” features a whole new set.

Performances are at 3 p.m. Sunday, and Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m.

The ArtsCenter launches 12th Annual 10 by 10 Play Festival

CHAPEL HILL – On Friday, The ArtsCenter in Carrboro kicks off  its twelfth annual 10 by 10 play festival. Ten actors, led by ten guest directors, will take the stage  for ten ten-minute plays. Ron Stutts sat down with The ArtsCenter’s Artistic Director of Arts Center Stage, Jeri Lynn Schulke, to find out what viewers can expect from this year’s 10 by 10 festival.

Schulke says playwrights from all over the world sent their plays to The ArtsCenter for the chance to have their play performed. This year, The ArtsCenter received over 750 scripts this year.

“We get scripts from all over the country and in fact all over the world,” says Schulke. “We whittle that down to a fantastic ten plays.”

These plays range from an art installation by a bear in Sweden to a series of detective stories. Ten guest directors incorporate their own styles into each play, adding diversity than can appeal to any audience member, says Schulke.

“What I like about 10 by 10 is that you see these great actors play a variety of different roles, and then they get to work with lots of different directors,” says Schulke. “And if you don’t like one, wait ten minutes, and they’ll be another play, and you’ll love that one.”

The ArtCenter’s 10 by 10 festival holds historical significance, since it is one of the oldest ten-minute play festivals in the country.

“We are the third oldest ten-minute play festival,” says Schulke.

The festival begins this weekend and ends on July 21st. Vimala’s Curryblossom Café is catering the event.

“Audiences get to see ten great short plays and an evening of really great theater,” says Schulke. “Ten actors, ten directors, ten plays, ten by ten.”

For more information on the 10 by 10 play festival, you can go to The ArtsCenter’s website,, or call the box office for tickets at (919)-929-2787.

Wordsmiths Do Battle At Slam Poetry Finals

Set to compete for a trip to the Windy City, poets took the stage at The ArtsCenter for the Sacrificial Poets Slam Poetry Finals. There were 12 contestants and only six moved forward to make the international competition team that goes to Chicago in August for Brave New Voices. Always looking for adventure, Christin Hardy was there to document the evening.

The Stray Birds Play The ArtsCenter


Comrades and music lovers, heed a young music journalist’s call this Saturday, May 4th at Carrboro’s The ArtsCenter, as a trio of harmonious troubadours takes the intimate stage in what is sure to be an enchanting performance.  The Stray Birds, hailing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania will be in town and set to warm ears and hearts around 8pm.  Tickets are set at the moderate price of $14, and for those unfamiliar with The ArtsCenter (located at 300-G East Main Street in Carrboro) it really is a special place.  I can say from personal experience that the acoustics in the building are fantastic, and should lend nicely to The Stray Birds specifically.  Now, onto a tidbit about the Birds.

In a generation where music is progressively dominated by enhancements in technology, Americana has remained one of my favorite listening friendly genres.  This blend of folk, country, and bluegrass is rich; it is music for the soul.  The Stray Birds consist of Maya de Vitry, Oliver Craven and Charles Muench, and each member shares one vocal microphone in order to create angelic harmony.  The vocals are spun over stand-up baselines courtesy of Muench, and their latest album release, which is aptly self-titled, has received some strong praise, including the garnishment of being named one of the top ten Folk/Americana albums of 2012 by National Public Radio.

Unfamiliar with Americana? Let me try to jog your memory with some names you may recognize: Bob Dylan, Levon Helm, Jackie Greene, Alison Krauss, The Avett Brothers, Jerry Douglas, and Old Crow Medicine Show.  The list goes on, but the point I’m making is that Americana artists are special, they are storytellers and the genre itself is rooted in homey folklore; something residents of this part of the country should be keen to appreciate.  I have mentioned my attraction specifically to unique voices. They call to me more so than any other lone instrument, and this Saturday will be a chance for patrons to indulge in the type of singing that is hard to turn away from.  I implore you all to come and see an exceptional Americana group on the rise add their names to the aforementioned list of greats in their ascent to success.

Included below is a link to The Stray Bird’s “Twenty-Five to Life” — just one example of the homey melody and folk play that I have touched on above.  I hope you are looking forward to Saturday as much as I am, and as always, see you at the show!

The Stray Birds – “Twenty-Five to Life”

For more information regarding The Stray Birds or Carrboro’s The ArtsCenter, contact Charles directly at or on Twitter at @this_is_Bones.

Feature photo courtesy of The Stray Birds