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10 Minute Play Festival

May 2016
April 28th – May 1st, 2016
10 Minute Play Festival

Individual Order and Details


A Superhero Walks into a Bar

Written by Eric Moore

Directed by Jim Johnson


Zachary Leonard (Harry)

Jake Offen (Clark)

Jacob Mangum (Cop)
Troy Loftin (Bartender)

Right Choices

Written by Jeff Strausser

Directed by Carolyn Houston Boone

Kat Cordes (Jill Graham)

Ariella Hauser (Erin Hartigan)

A Little Death

Written by Nicole Zimmerer

Directed by Dr. Rob Shimko


Bonnie Langthorn (Carly)

Camron Alexander (Ned)

 The Estrangement

Written by Jeana Magallon

Directed by Rob Kimbro


Ronden Perrin (Natalie)

Jacob Mangum (Sean)

Last Month’s Minutes

Written by Colin Kane

Directed by Weston Twardowski

Jake Offen (President)

Kat Cordes (Carolyn)

Camron Alexander (Jeremy)

Troy Loftin (Jeff)

Eric Moore (Extra)

Kelsey Busboom (Extra)

Scott Searles (Extra)

Zachary Leonard (Extra)

Bonnie Langthorn (Extra)


Love and Other Diseases

Written by Faith Tenney

Directed by Lisa Villegas

Ronden Perrin (Vicki)

Bonnie Langthorn (Ashley)

Free Spirits

Written by Connor Woods

Directed by Jim Johnson


Eric Moore (Terrence)

Zachary Leonard (Seamus)

Ariella Hauser (Sarah)

Scott Searles (Jamie)

Alaina Gunter (Jessica)

Troy Loftin (Mark)

Jacob Mangum (Extra)

Jake Offen (Extra)

Gel Us

Written by Paige Zubel

Directed by Dr. Rob Shimko

Kat Cordes (Laura)

Kelsey Busboom (Kathy)

Jigsaw Cactus

Written by Caitlin Turnage

Directed by Dr. Rob Shimko

Jake Offen (Paul)

Alaina Gunter (Cherry)

Creators | Designers

Festival Co-Creators

Dr. Rob Shimko

Elizabeth Jordan

Kendall Kaminsky

Script Selection Committee

External play submissions evaluated by the students of the BFA playwriting/dramaturgy BFA program

Lighting Designers

Jason Cochran, Hudson Davis

Sound Designer

John Peeples

Production Stage Management

Rachel R. Bush*

Stage Manager

Jacob Mustain

Assistant Stage Manager

Tabitha Bounds


Bonnie Christiansen

There will be a 15-minute intermission.

Any taping, filming, recording or broadcast of this play is strictly prohibited. Please turn off all phones and other electronic devices as a courtesy to other patrons and to the actors.

*Proud Member of Actor’s Equity Association

Artist Bios

aCamron Alexander is a junior BFA actor. Previous UH credits include Joe Keller in All My Sons and Lowther in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Additional credits include: Lennox in Macbeth and Arragon in The Merchant of Venice (Houston Shakespeare Festival), and more recently a sextra in Cherry Muffins: A Demon Play (Cone Man Running Productions). He will also be part of the HSF cast this coming season. In his free time, he is working for Luciole International Theatre Company to bring interdisciplinary, international works to Houston.


kKat Cordes is a second year MFA actor. She received her BFA from the University of Wyoming, and was seen this summer as Witch 2 in Macbeth at Houston Shakespeare Festival. Other credits include: Jean Brodie in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Emily Webb in Our Town, Goneril in King Lear, Hero in Much Ado About Nothing, and Grace in Bus Stop.


kKelsey Busboom is a sophomore BFA actor. Previous credits include: Playboy of the Western World and The Miser (UH), as well as Henry V at Classical Theatre Company. She transferred from Tarrant County College in Fort Worth where she was seen in: The Good Woman of Szechuan, Dark of the Moon, and Crimes of the Heart, in which she played Chick. This summer, be sure to catch Kelsey at the Catastrophic Theatre in Tamarie for President. Kelsey loves to spend quality time with friends and is an avid supporter of The Good Wife’s, Alicia Florrick.

aAlaina Gunter is a junior BFA actor. Previous UH credits include: Anfisa in Three Sisters, May in The Philadelphia Story and Mrs. Armstrong in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Other roles include: Mrs. Savage in The Savage Dilemma, Jack’s Mother in Into the Woods, and Margaret in Much Ado About Nothing. In her free time, Alaina enjoys baking and visiting the local coffee shops.

aAriella Hauser is a junior BFA actor. UH credits include: Maxine in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Past credits include the Alley’s As You Like It, Radium Girls and The Merry Wives of Windsor. In her free time she enjoys paddle boarding, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.


aBonnie Langthorn is a sophomore BFA actor. Bonnie was most recently seen in the new play: Cuckoo. Over the summer, she was Rapunzel in Into the Woods (Temple Civic Theatre). Other credits include: Romeo and Juliet, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Secret Garden, and Amadeus. In her free time, Bonnie likes singing showtunes with her roommate and watching “Downton Abbey”.


zZachary Leonard is a senior BFA actor. Previous UH credits include: Fedotik in Three Sisters, John in Serious Money, Maxime in Paradise Hotel, and Tom in FingerFood. Other credits include: Soldier in Peace in Our Time (Main Street Theatre), Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors (The Berridge Conservatory), George in The Blackest Shore (The Catastrophic Theatre; Houston Press Breakout Performance Nominee), and Cursive Writing in The University of Tamarie (The Catastrophic Theatre). Upon graduation, Zachary can be seen in Unity Theatre’s production of Scapino!. This August, Zachary will move to LA to pursue a career in film and television.

Troy Loftin is a senior BFA playwright/dramaturg. He has had three of his original plays staged at UH, including Cuckoo. Credits include: assorted leads in Hype at the Alley Theatre and Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Duschene Academy), He is the Literary Associate for Landing Theatre Company, responsible for dramaturging main stage shows as well as organizing the “New American Voices Play Reading Series.” He also serves as Senior Partner for UH’s annual Ten Minute Play Festival and is the Ambassador for the Dramatists Guild – Houston region.


Jacob Mangum is a sophomore BFA actor. This is his first show at UH.


eEric Moore (Actor & Playwright) is a freshman BFA actor. Previous UH credits include: Leonelo in Fuenteovejuna. He has taken part in shows with Squee! Productions such as The Glass Menagerie, Never the Sinner, and The Awakening of Spring. When not on stage he enjoys spending time with Bella, his dog and soulmate.

Jake Offen is a first year MFA actor. He comes to Houston from Northern Colorado where he worked in the region’s theatre scene for eight years. UH credits include: Three Sisters and All My Sons. He recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, where he appeared in August: Osage County, Medea, and The Caucasian Chalk Circle. Other credits include: Hamlet and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, as Dr. Frank n’ Furter in The Rocky Horror Show, as well as Romeo and Juliet, Journey to the West, Othello, King Lear, and RENT.

pRonden Perrin is a senior BFA actor. She has been involved in numerous productions in the Houston area, most recently as Sandy in UH's production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and in University of Tamarie at Catastrophic Theatre. Other UH credits include: Elma in Bus Stop, Nelly in The Playboy of the Western World, Robber Girl in The Snow Queen, and Woman 1 in Ripley.


Scott Searles is a freshman BFA actor. He was most recently seen in Fuenteovejuna at UH.



Colin Kane wasborn in Philly, raised in Myrtle Beach, SC, and is now living in Brooklyn. Colin Kane just can't seem to stray far from the Atlantic Ocean. His hobbies include playing music poorly, college sports, and writing as well as he plays music. This is his first acceptance into a 10 minute play festival, and he is extremely grateful for that. 


Jeana Magallon is a freshman BFA playwright/dramaturg. Previous UH credits include: Jacinta in FuenteOvejuna and assistant dramaturg for UH’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her short play Pathetique was a featured play at the Texas Educational Theatre Association (TETA) Play Fest.

Jeff Strausser is an author, a playwright, and a freelance writer. His short stories have been published in various literary journals, and his articles regularly appear in magazines and online journals. In addition, Barron’s Educational Series has published four of his textbooks for middle school and high school students.  His writing textbook recently went into its third edition.

High school theatre groups across the country continue to perform his published plays, Somewhere Else Dreams (Brooklyn Publishers) and Last Stop for the A-Train (Eldridge Publishing). He has also enjoyed success with community theatre venues with the production of The Decorator (Overtime Theater in San Antonio) and Family Matters (Upstage Theater in Houston). Jeff is grateful to the Pittsburgh New Works Festival. In the fall of 2012, the Heritage Players performed The Promise at the festival. The play has since been performed in several theatres throughout the country, and will be performed this summer at Playhouse 1960 in Houston.

Of recent note, Theatre Southwest in Houston performed Jeff’s one act comedy, Peaks and Valleys, at their Festival of Originals. The play was highly acclaimed by Broadway World. Last summer Pigs Do Fly Productions performed There’s Still Time, a play exclusively featuring senior citizen actors, in Fort Lauderdale. Also last summer, Cultural DC performed Jeff’s most recent one-act, Manus Dei, receiving a positive review by Broadway World. Later last year, Leeds Play Readers performed the play in Leeds, England. Coming this summer, the University of Houston School Of Theatre and Dance will perform his most recent one-act play, Right Choices.

Jeff is a member of the Dramatists Guild. He lives in Houston, Texas with his wife, Beth.


Faith Tenney is a junior BFA playwright/dramaturg.


Caitlin Turnage is a senior BFA playwright/dramaturg. She's a co-founder of Ignition Theatre Productions, a student run group operating out of the University of Houston. Her play It's a fine day for a picnic was featured in the first ever University of Houston 10 Minute Play Fest, and her play To Charlie was featured in last year’s festival. Recently she was named as a National Finalist for the Gary Garrison National Ten Minute Play Contest for her play Jigsaw Cactus which will be read in Washington D.C. as part of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. She will also be attending the Theresa Rebeck Dorset Writer's Retreat this June.


Connor Woods is a junior BFA playwright/dramaturg. He currently works as an improviser at ComedySportz Houston and can be seen in their ComedySportz and Unscripted shows. Last semester, Connor’s play Round Points, Recoil, and You was selected to be a part of the Ten-Minute PlayFest at the TETA conference in Dallas, and he served as one of the two head student readers for outside submissions for the 10 Minute Play Festival. He also made his directorial debut with A Picasso performed in Studio 208. This summer he will be serving as an associate dramaturg for the Houston Shakespeare Festival and an assistant dramaturg for the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s play festival at their conference in Chicago.

Nicole Zimmerer is a junior BFA playwright/dramaturg. Previous UH credits include: Blood Wedding, The Philadelphia Story, and The Liar. She loves to read, write, and watch too much television.

Paige Zubel is a senior BFA in playwright/dramaturgy. She is a nationally produced playwright with works staged at Houston's own Alley Theatre (Sunday Flowers), to New York City (Gel Us, The Pull of the Moon) and as far as the Glasgay Festival in Scotland (Under Covers). While an undergrad, she has co-founded Ignition Productions, a student-run theatre company devoted to showcasing new work by local playwrights. She will be attending the Horizon Theatre Playwrights Retreat this June.



Carolyn Houston Boone (Director, Right Choices) is an Associate Professor of Acting and Directing in the BFA program. Ms. Boone has directed twelve seasons for HSF, including Titus Andronicus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet . She has also directed for Stages Repertory and Main Street. Most recently, she was seen as Kimberley in Mildred’s Umbrella; Kimberley Akimbo, and as Mother in Night, Mother at Unity Theatre in Brenham. Other acting gigs in Houston include Catastrophic Theatre’s Our Late Night, Crave and premiere of American Falls.  Other favorite roles: Chili Queen at Stages, and The Last Night of Ballyhoo for Main Street. Ms. Boone studied at the National Theatre Acting Programme. Next fall, Carolyn can be seen in The Catastrophic Theatre’s production of Buried Child by Sam Shepherd.


Jim Johnson (Director, Free Spirits; A Superhero Walks into a Bar) is the Director of the School of Theatre & Dance, where he teaches Voice and Dialects in the BFA and MFA programs. He works professionally as an actor, as well as a voice and dialect coach, and is a founder of He coached dialects for Houston Grand Opera's current production of Carousel, and this summer he will be teaching Original Pronunciation for the Prague Shakespeare Festival in the Czech Republic and recording accents in Southeast Asia and Chicago.

Lisa Villegas (Director, Love and Other Diseases) holds an MFA from UH's Professional Actor Program and a BA in Dramatic Arts from NYU. Her career spans theatre, film, voice-over, and TV. Favorite roles include: Jane in Fallen Angels (dir. Claire Hart-Palumbo) at Main Street Theatre; Gabriella in Boeing, Boeing (dir. Carolyn Johnson) at Unity Theatre; Phoebe in As You Like It (dir. James A. Bond) and Julia in The Rivals (dir. Deb Alley) at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. She teaches at Rice University, University of Houston, and is a private acting coach. Most recently, she played Maxine in 1946 at Main Street Theatre (dir. Patti Bean) and will be directing in Mildred's Umbrella's Museum of Dysfunction this summer.

Weston Twardowski (Director, Last Month’s Minutes) is completing his MA in Theatre Studies. Next year he will begin work on his PhD at Northwestern University. Previous directing credits include: Summit, Seussical: The Musical, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Frost/Nixon, Into the Woods, Arsenic and Old Lace, andWaiting for Heaven, among others. He has directed numerous staged readings and workshop productions of new works. As an actor, some favorite roles include Jonathan Sparks (A Free Man of Color, Regional Premier), Acaste (School for Lies), Mitch Mahoney (25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee), Enjolras (Les Miserables), and Antonio (Twelfth Night). His one act play, Summit, recently premiered at the New Orleans Fringe Festival.

Dr. Rob Shimko (Director, A Small Death, Jigsaw Cactus, Gel Us) is Associate Professor of Theatre History & Dramaturgy at UH and serves as head of the BFA program in Playwriting/Dramaturgy. He was recently named the incoming Director of the UH School of Theatre & Dance, as well as becoming the new Executive Director of the Houston Shakespeare Festival after serving as the Festival’s Literary Director for six years. He is also the Company Dramaturg for The Catastrophic Theatre, Houston’s leading avant-garde theatre company. Dr. Shimko’s professional dramaturgy credits also include productions at the Alley Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, Stages Repertory Theatre, Classical Theatre Company, and Harlem Stage. In 2013, he was the invited Dramaturgy Respondent for Region V of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. In 2012, he won the University of Houston’s Teaching Excellence Award. Dr. Shimko’s scholarly writing has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. He is co-editor of the book Public Theatres and Theatre Publics, the Book Review Editor for the journal Theatre History Studies, and a recipient of the Robert A. Schanke Theatre History Research Award. Favorite productions as a director include: The Rehearsal, Henry VI Part 2, The Government Inspector, and On the Verge, as well as the premieres of UH student-written plays The Narrator, Brick Wall, The End of Side A and Cuckoo. His own play, Specks, is available through Samuel French, Inc. 

Rob Kimbro (Director, The Estrangement) is a second year MA dramaturg. Past dramaturgy work includes: Fuenteovejuna (UH), The Miser (UH), Marie Antoinette (Stages Repertory Theatre), and Arms and the Man (Jean Cocteau Rep in NYC). His directing credits include: Neil Gaiman’s Odd and the Frost Giants (Stages Repertory Theatre); Ravenscroft and Dead Man's Cell Phone (Mildred's Umbrella); Deborah (14 Pews) and Love Loves a Pornographer and Gate of Heaven (Nova Arts Project). Rob was the founder of the Madison Young Playwrights Festival in Madison, WI, and has worked with young playwrights through McCarter Theatre’s YouthInk! Program and the Houston Young Playwrights Exchange at the Alley.  He currently teaches theatre at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart. 


Jason Cochran (Lighting Designer) is a junior BFA production major.

Hudson Davis (Lighting Designer) is a junior BFA production major. In addition to his work at UH, Hudson is a freelance lighting and scenic designer. He predominately makes his living as a stagehand.

Juan Saracay (Costume Designer) is a senior BFA production major with a focus in lighting and costume design. Previously, Juan worked on Three Sisters and Fuenteovejuna here at UH.

John Peeples (Sound Designer) is a senior BFA designer. Recent sound design work includes: Fool For Love (2016, The Landing Theatre Co.), Becky’s New Car (2016, Mildred’s Umbrella), The 39 Steps (2016, Queensbury Theatre), A Comedy of Errors (2015, HCC-SW Campus), The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore (2015, Actors Equity Showcase), Fuenteovejuna (2015, U H), The Miser (2015, UH), The Hunchback Variations (2015, Catastrophic Theatre) – one of three sound designs nominated by The Houston Press for best sound design in 2015. Other recent work includes: What Shall We Do Next? (2016, Diverse Works @ Mid-Town Arts Center), working as sound engineer at the Alley Theatre for The Alley All New Festival (2016), a summer audio internship at Miller Outdoor Theatre (2015), as well as working as the audio editor and sound engineer for the Houston Shakespeare Festival (2015). John is a member of USITT.

Bonnie Christiansen (Dramaturg) is a sophomore BFA playwright and dramaturg. She is from Alice, Texas.




Jacob Mustain (Stage Manager) is a sophomore BFA stage manager. He is an alumni of Clear Springs High School where he worked many shows including: Urinetown: The Musical, Curtains, The Drowsy Chaperone, and A Christmas Carol.

Tabitha Bounds (Assistant Stage Manager) is a freshman BFA stage manager. She recently assistant stage managed Three Sisters at UH. She has stage managed several shows including: The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds, 1984 and The Elephant Man. Her acting credits include: Izzy in Rabbit Hole and Child 3 in I Never Saw Another Butterfly. In her free time, Tabitha enjoys attending festivals, concerts, and drag shows, as well as spending time with her family.

Faculty | Staff | Crew


Director of the School of Theatre & Dance Jim Johnson
Assistant Professor, Voice & Shakespeare Sara Becker
Associate Professor, Acting & Directing Carolyn Houston Boone
Assistant Professor, Stage Management Rachel R. Bush
Associate Professor, Dance Teresa Lynn Chapman
Assistant Professor, Theatre Education Jackie deMontmollin
Assistant Professor, Theatre Education Gary Cooper
Assistant Professor, Performance Studies Dr. Keith Byron Kirk
Associate Professor, Design &Technology Jonathan Middents
Assistant Professor, Costume Technology Barbara Niederer
Associate Professor, Acting & Movement Adam Noble
Distinguished Professor, Theatre, Musical Theatre Stuart Ostrow
Assistant Professor, Technical Director Ken Poston
Professor, Scenic & Lighting Design Kevin Rigdon
Associate Professor, Theatre History & Dramaturgy Dr. Robert Shimko
Professor, Head of Dance Program Karen Stokes
Assistant Professor, Dance Rebecca B. Valls
Associate Professor, Makeup & Costume History Claremarie Verheyen
Professor, Scenic & Lighting Design Steven W. Wallace
Assistant Professor, Costume Design & Technology Paige A. Willson
Associate Professor, Graduate Acting Jack Young

Adjunt Facult

Shelly Calene-Black
Elizabeth Bunch
Michael Brucasco
Lauren Cohen
Ruddy Cravens
Jeanne Doornbos
Jon L. Egging
Chris Hutchison
Geni Lanfear
Jacqueline Anne Nalett
Firat Kazbek Ozsoy
Leslie Scates
Jennifer Sommers
Jon R. Stonks
Sophia L. Torres
Toni Valle
Lisa Villegas
Courtney Young

Professional Staff

Draper/Costume Supervisor Margaret Crowley
Scenic Artist/Prop Supervisor Lauren Davis
Asst. Director Business Operations Isaac Davis
Assistant Technical Director Michael Debose
Academic Advisor Erika Jimenez
Box Office Manager Joyce Murray
Lecturer, Theatre & Dance Melissa Noble
Marketing & Communications Manager Michelle Robinson
Office Coordinator Julian Waneck
Box Office Assistant Monnika Young

Production Team

Charge Artist: Lauren Davis
Scenic/Props: Daniel Regojo, Arnold Mayorga, Will Hedgecock, Elizabeth Nguyen, Zachary Givens
Electrics: Ariella Hauser, Trent Lira, Coralee Young
Wardrobe: Spencer Tolleson, Maddie Calais, Casey Magin

About SOTD

The UH School of Theatre & Dance produces pre-professional plays, dance concerts, studio productions, and Theatre for Young Audiences. Performances are delivered in in the Wortham and Quintero Theatres. The UH School of Theatre & Dance offers bachelor’s degrees in playwriting and dramaturgy, acting, design and technology, stage management and theatre education. Its graduate programs consist of a Master of Arts in theatre studies, a summer Master of Arts in theatre education, and Master of Fine Arts degrees in acting, and design and technology. Noted alums include actors Jim Parsons, Dennis Quaid, Brett Cullen and Robert Wuhl. Faculty includes award-winning playwright, television writer, and novelist, Theresa Rebeck, Tony Award-winning producer Stuart Ostrow and Tony-nominated designer Kevin Rigdon. Past-distinguished faculty are Edward Albee, Lanford Wilson, Sir Peter Hall, Jose Quintero, Patsy Swayze and Cecil Pickett. In 2012 and 2013, the school was named “Best College Theater” in the Houston Press Theater Awards. For details on UH's School of Theatre & Dance, visit

Special Thanks

Kindly Underwritten by Maurice Horwitz

UH Downtown

Alley Theatre

Puzzle Donators: Tabitha Bounds, Brandon Smith