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The Asheville area’s explosive music scene gets the lion’s share of national attention, but the arts-intensive atmosphere also nurtures a thriving theater scene. The dramatic arts will have their turn at center stage as a new event debuts at the White Horse Black Mountain with three consecutive nights of new works selected for performance during the Asheville National 10-minute Play Contest and Festival, April 7-9.

“It’s going to put Asheville on the national map, theatrically,” said Richard Handy of Asheville-based, Meisner-method conservatory NYS3, who has worked with LEAD Productions to produce the festival.

Playwrights were invited to submit their best, original plays of 10 minutes maximum for the chance to have their work performed by theatrical professionals. Over the course of the three-night festival, the 10 winners, selected from more than 220 submissions the country over, will see their plays brought to life in the intimate setting of White Horse Black Mountain by Asheville directors, actors and stage crews.

The playwrights will also receive a $100 prize, a video copy of the performance and a hard copy of their scripts in a published anthology. Scenarios range from fantasy visits with two unicorns who missed the Ark to Alice’s White Rabbit receiving counseling for chronic tardiness, all of them being performed in public for the first time.

A full list of the plays can be found at nys3.com.

Play on words

What: The Asheville National 10-minute Play Contest & Festival

When: 7:30 p.m.

April 7-9

Where: White Horse Black Mountain

Cost: $20 advance, $23 door

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