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story.lead_photo.caption From left to right, Giovanni Acosta, Tammy Acosta and Erin Lammers practice their lines during a Short Attention Span Theatre skit rehearsal Monday evening at Scene One Theatre. In the original skit, Rebekah, played by Lammers, meets three different men while speed dating who all come with their own flare. Short Attention Span Theatre's 12th performance opens Thursday, July 30. Tickets are $10 and reservations must be made. Greta Cross/ News Tribune

Scene One Theatre is ready to reopen its doors to the public with the 12th installment of Short Attention Span Theatre.

The evening of original 10-minute plays will include seven stories from seven local playwrights. Scene One has largely been closed since spring, when public health concerns about COVID-19 led officials to close nonessential businesses. Since then, Scene One has only held one event, a painting fundraiser, earlier this month.

Short Attention Span Theatre will open at 7:30 p.m. July 30. The planned plays include: "Library Love Seat" by Brian Bray, "Movin' Blues" by Stephanie Gladbach, "Couch: A Melodrama" by Ben Stumpe, "Hidden Treasure" by Barry Beach, "Two Peas in a Pod" by Ben Stumpe, "Dame Judy" by Mary Jo LaCorte and "Cupid at the Crab Shack" by Amy Pringer and Dave Bond.

Tracy Wegman, who is directing one of the plays with her husband and Scene One founder, Mark, said Short Attention Span Theatre has become a very popular event, and it fits right into the mission of Scene One, which is to showcase the work of local playwrights.

"It's an audience attraction," Wegman said.

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The emphasis on original work also gives them freedom to incorporate things like socials distancing and mask wearing into storylines, which a few of them do, Wegman said. It also allows them the flexibility to move to a digital platform, in case things change in the next couple of weeks and the theater cannot open to the public.

Wegman said the safety of the audience and actors is the top priority, so seats will be set up a bit differently, to allow for more distancing, not just between audience members, but between the audience and the stage. Usually, being a black box theater that focuses on minimal sets and costumes means having a more intimate performance, Wegman said.

Five of the planned plays were written with what Mark Wegman called "the theme of a sofa/couch in mind as a set piece to be used." All together, the plays feature 21 actors.

Tracy Wegman said those interested in seeing the show must reserve seats, as they are unsure if they will be able to accommodate any walk-ins. Audience members will be asked to wear a mask into the theater and to their seat, where it can be taken off. Masks should be worn when moving from the seat.

"We want to see our patrons back but stress their safety," she said.

Short Attention Span Theatre can be seen at 7:30 p.m. July 30-Aug. 1 and Aug. 6-8 at Scene One Theatre, 623 Ohio St. Tickets are $10. To reserve seats or for more information, call 573-635-6713 or email [email protected]

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