“I just thought it would be interesting to see if you could do a poetry slam but with theatre — I had no idea if it would work,” she said.
Jeri Lynn Schulke, who replaced Harris as the artistic director for the ArtsCenter stage, repeatedly used one word to describe the performance: fun.
“It is so different because it is so lightly rehearsed, just a little above improv,” she said.
It turns out to be a real quick-paced, fun-filled evening.”
The audience members judge the slam. The popular vote decides which plays move on to the second, and final, round, along with who ultimately wins the prize of one hundred single dollar bills.
Harris said that though PlaySlam! is certainly entertaining, there are many more benefits of the competition.
“Not only is it a great way for people to get interested in theatre, but it’s a great way for directors to find new actors,” she said.
“And it helps playwrights hone their craft. The actors really enjoy it too because they are always on their toes.”
Barbette Hunter, who performed in last year’s PlaySlam!, said she enjoyed last year’s competition.
“The performance for me is a real blast,” she said.
“It’s like an actor’s boot camp. With such a small script, you really have to draw on your abilities as an actor to bring the words to life on stage.”
Schulke said the community aspect of PlaySlam! makes the production a great fit for the ArtsCenter.
“All the playwrights, actorsand artists are local. And most of the audience is local, too,” she said.
“Everyone is pretty much from the Triangle, and the best part is just to get them together for some art.”
See the slam tomorrow at 8 p.m. at the Carrboro ArtsCenter. Tickets are from $8 to $12.