Call for playwrights, directors for Festival 10

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Finetti

John Ruzicka (Hansel) and Ana-Carolina Lustosa (Gretel) perform the play “Open to Interpretation,” written by Ken Bradbury at the inaugural Festival 10  A Treasury of 10-Minute Plays, held at the Brentwood Community Center in March.

Local writers, performers and directors are invited to become involved in Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble’s upcoming second annual Festival 10 — A Treasury of 10-Minute Plays.

“We are so excited to be able to bring Festival 10 to our community again, but this time the event will be bigger and better,” said Jennifer Finetti, marketing and media director for Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble. “We all know that great theater can be found in San Francisco, San Jose, Walnut Creek and Berkeley. But great theater is also happening right here in our own community.

“Last year, we piloted our play festival as a one-day event to gauge our community’s level of interest, and we were blown away by the response. And now, for our next Festival 10, we are expanding to a three-day event, to be held on March 27, 28 and 29, at the Brentwood Community Center.”

Ghostlight will be marketing the event both locally and throughout the Bay Area, with the goal of bringing larger and broader audiences to come out and see what is happening in Brentwood’s performing arts scene, enabling event-goers to also enjoy all of the other amenities, restaurants, pubs and wine bars available in the area. Finetti credits their recently awarded City of Brentwood Economic Development Grant for helping to bring their plans to fruition.

Artistic Director Helen Dixon says that the Ghostlight Board of Directors already had plans in the works for future festivals, and for this second year of the event, those plans are now coming to fruition - not only through the event expansion, but also through the theatre company’s plans to produce local unpublished works.

“This year, we are putting out a call for local writers to submit their scripts for 10-minute plays so that our festival features original, unpublished works from local writers, as well as some published works,” she said. “This is an amazing opportunity for Bay Area writers to have a chance to see their own pieces produced and enjoyed by all who come to the festival.”

Dixon is looking for play submissions that take approximately seven to 10 minutes to perform, with a limited number of characters in each play. Plays will be performed ‘in the round’ in an arena-style, black box setting, with minimal props and set pieces. She suggests that writers keep these guidelines in mind when developing and submitting a script for consideration for the festival.

“To ensure your submission is a strong contender, your play should include urgent conflict, resulting in one of the characters undergoing some sort of change in their perspective,” said Dixon. “Comedies, dramas and dramedies are all great options. We especially love plays with a twist at the end. We are also seeking directors and performers for the festival. Last year, we had 10 directors, and we would like to see that number grow. Returning Festival 10 directors are encouraged to apply to direct again, but we also want to see new faces. If you are a performer who has always wanted to direct, this is the perfect opportunity, and if you are a seasoned director, Festival 10 will be an experience unlike anything you’ve been involved with before.”

Each play will have its own director and cast, with some cast members potentially appearing in more than one play. Directors may also audition for roles in other plays being produced.

Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble will coordinate auditions for all plays in the festival. Auditions will be held in January, but directors will need to be selected prior to the auditions, so all who are interested in directing are encouraged to throw their hat into the ring now, rather than waiting.

Those who would like to direct a play should contact Helen Dixon at and include a cover letter explaining your interest in directing for Festival 10. Attach a resume detailing your experience with theater  including any directing experience, if applicable  as well as detailing your experience as a performer or background in technical theater, stagecraft or production. Be sure to include your email address and cell number, so that you can be contacted.

For more information or to submit a play for consideration, email Helen Dixon at to indicate your interest. Once your play is complete, submit it to Dixon via email. Note that plays must be submitted by Oct. 31 to be considered.

All materials will be reviewed and Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble will contact the playwrights and director candidates once plays and directors have been chosen.

For more information about Festival 10 — A Treasury of 10-Minute Plays, visit