Town & Gown Theatre in Stillwater, in conjunction with the Troupe d’ Jour Performing Artists, is excited to announce the 10th Annual production of the Stillwater Short Play Festival, taking place on Saturday, April 23rd and Sunday, April 24th at Town and Gown Theatre.  Over 70 plays were submitted for consideration this year, some from as far away as Great Britain, Ireland, and Canada; but only eight shows were chosen for the festival.  This year’s productions include a mix of side-splitting comedies and thought-provoking dramas sure to connect with audiences of all backgrounds.

All shows at Town & Gown Theatre are presented “in the round,” creating an intimate experience unlike that of traditional theater.  The viewer feels almost as if he or she is in the middle of the action – perfect for a series of “short stories” that quickly capture the imagination.  In addition, all plays presented during the festival will be limited to a small number of generic set pieces, creating an unusual challenge for the playwrights, actors, and directors.

The plays on offer during this year’s festival include Poetry, Prose, and… Pirates!, written by Ken Preuss of Oviedo, FL; Stolperstein, by Len Cuthbert of Mount Brydges, Ontario, Canada; Pole Position, by Michael Towers of Westford, MA; The New Me, by R.A. Pauli of Annapolis, MD; Dead Rabbit by Gene DeJoie of Los Angeles, CA; The Moon Is My Neighbor by Shadia Dahlal of Tulsa, OK; Bag of Bees by John Mabey of Atlanta, GA; and Familiar by Robert J. LeBlanc of Newburyport, MA.

The festival consists of performances of all shows on Saturday evening April 23rd at 7:30 p.m. and again on Sunday April 24th at 2:30 p.m. at Town & Gown Theatre, 3524 South Perkins Road.  This year’s shows are recommended for ages 13 and up. Tickets are only $10 each at the door and proceeds will benefit the Pleasant Valley School Foundation. 

The Stillwater Short Play Festival began 10 years ago when a group of Town & Gown members were asked to create a production as a fundraiser for Judith Karman Hospice. They had just attended a theatre workshop where members of Tulsa’s Heller Theatre had spoken about their theatre’s fundraising effort, a short play festival. The Town & Gown group believed that could work well in Stillwater too.

The first Festival opened on March 3rd, 2013, in the Sheerar Museum Auditorium. Ten plays were submitted that year and seven were selected for production. The festival was such a success, its organizers determined that they would produce it every year as a “thank you” to the community which has supported Town & Gown for so many years. Over the past 10 years, 100% of the proceeds from each festival have gone to such deserving groups as Judith Karman Hospice, Kickin’ Childhood Hunger, The Sheerar Museum, and the Stillwater Arts and Humanities Council.

This year’s recipient of all funds raised from the Festival is the Pleasant Valley School Foundation.  The historic schoolhouse, located at the corner of 19th and Sangre Roads in Stillwater, was originally built in 1899.  It was restored and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991. The Pleasant Valley School’s living history program focuses on providing Oklahoma students with the experience of a typical one-room country school day in the mid- to late 1800s.

The Pleasant Valley Foundation has begun a campaign to fund the addition of an ADA-compliant restroom at the facility. Your generous support will allow the school to provide restroom space which can be used by everyone, regardless of age, size, or ability.