LAFAYETTE — Evan Myers is the only member of his National Guard unit who has written a play and had it produced on Broadway — well, Broadway Street in Greenfield, that is.
Myers, a Greenfield-Central High School grad and currently a senior political science major at Purdue University, continues to find success as a playwright. “One Good Cell,” his most recent play, is currently being produced as part of the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette’s fourth-annual 10-minute play competition and festival.
Myers learned about the competition through a fellow playwright, Scott Haan. A published playwright with two plays in this year’s festival, Haan has been something of a mentor to Myers over the years. They met when Myers auditioned for a play that Haan had written to be performed at the Indiana Thespian Society state convention.
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Myers enjoyed getting to know Haan at rehearsals and often teased him about the puns and jokes throughout Haan’s script for “Storybook Reunion Murders.”
“It was impossible not to like him,” Myers said. “He had written his own play, and I thought, ‘I could do that, too.’”
Following that production, the two resumed their friendship when Myers invited Haan to a theater performance at Greenfield-Central High School (the one on Broadway Street). A one-act written and directed by Myers called “Knight School” and one of Haan’s plays were both being performed as part of “An Evening of One-Acts” at the high school.
As a student at Purdue, Myers was in the right place and the right time to not only submit a script but perform in it as well. His one-act, “You Don’t Work Here” was selected in 2014 by the committee with his mentor, Haan, as director of the show. Haan ran into some casting issues early in rehearsal and went to Myers for help. Myers ended up playing the lead character in his own play.
“He knew the material,” Haan said, “so it was kind of a no-brainer. It turned out that he was the missing piece and once he joined the cast, everything clicked.”
The theme of the 2016 ten-minute play festival is 10 x 10 x 10, meaning 10 plays at 10 minutes each for a $10 admission fee. Attendance for the play festival has grown every year, Haan said. This year, the run for the show has increased to include a third day of performances with a Sunday matinee.
“My parents came to see my show last year,” Haan said, “and they got turned away at the door because it sold out.”
Myers said he is excited to see a second script of his come to life on the stage this weekend. The inspiration for “One Good Cell” came from an anecdote he heard from a friend who encountered bad weather while traveling in Norway.
The friend wandered into a police station and begged them to arrest him so he would have a warm place to spend the night.
“I’m really grateful that the civic (theater) has a program like this,” Myers said. “It gives me a chance to take part in a hobby that I love but don’t usually have time for.”
10 x 10 x 10
What: Ten ten-minute plays
Who: Presented by the Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette
Where: 313 N. Fifth St., Lafayette
When: June 3 & 4 at 7:30 p.m.; June 5 at 2:30 p.m.
Visit lafayettecivic.org for more information or to order $10 tickets