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July 4, 2013

Laugh, cry and fall in love -- all in 10 minutes

Salem Theatre Company festival features short plays that don't shortchange the audience

(Continued)

The 10 finalists include three playwrights from the North Shore, including Emma Cavaliere of Salem, who has also appeared in several plays at Salem Theatre Company, “An Empty Plate at the Cafe Grand Boeuf,” “Swimming in the Shallows,” and a previous Moments of Play Festival.

Cavaliere’s play, “Crystal Clear,” is about a man and a woman who are attending a mutual friend’s 15th wedding anniversary.

“It becomes clear they know each other better than they let on at first,” Cavaliere said. “They have unanswered questions and unfinished business.”

Though this is her debut as a playwright, Cavaliere, who is originally from Brooklyn, studied creative writing, as well as theater, in high school and college.

“I try and develop character analysis before I start writing — who they are, what they want, what’s driving them,” she said. “I try and develop a very natural dialogue.”

Thanks to her performance in “Swimming in the Shallows,” Cavaliere made another debut recently, landing a role in the motion picture “American Hustle.”

She was sent to audition for the part by Ashley Skomurksi of Beverly, a casting director at Boston Casting, who had gone to Salem Theatre Company to see another actor but came away impressed by Cavaliere.

“She had great energy about her,” Skomurksi said. “She’s really versatile; she’s a strong actor. That speaks to anyone watching her right away.”

“American Hustle,” which will be released later this year, is about the ABSCAM scandal of the 1970s and ’80s, in which members of Congress were arrested by the FBI on corruption charges.

Directed by David O. Russell — who also directed “The Fighter,” about Lowell boxer Mickey Ward, and “Silver Linings Playbook” — the film features several major Hollywood stars.

“It was very exciting,” Cavaliere said. “I worked with Christian Bale and Jeremy Renner. They were very professional and very generous.”

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