Ten-minute theater is a strictly take-no-prisoners affair. And if it looks easy, you try jamming an introduction, exposition, complication, crisis, climax and denouement–plus a decent punch line or two–into 600 seconds or less.

For the third year, Lynden Harris and company have culled 400 submissions from around the world into a summer evening’s theatrical dim sum tray: ten ten-minute plays–by a company of ten actors–for ten bucks. Ten little worlds that undergo ten fundamental changes in less time than it takes to wash the car. Here’s the countdown:

In Measuring Matthew, a young man with obsessive-compulsive disorder is torn between his girlfriend’s exasperation and an open window, before two women get in a bit of role-playing–while adrift in a lifeboat–in Ship of Fools. Playwright John Yearley makes the case that some things are worse than death in Hating Beckett, before Sacco and Vanzetti face off for true–and unexpected–confessions in Night Before Last.

A married couple faces social contretemps when a dead clown shows up in the living room in Something Went Wrong, before the woman in A Thorn in Her Side attempts to elude her 25th wedding anniversary party. Woodbridge Kelly ponders a reinvented wheel in On the Natural Form. Apparently there’s been some misunderstanding, when unknown inquisitors prepare to grill a subversive artist in Interrogating the Power of Art. Then, in The Rental playwright Mark Levine offers “the man of your dreams. On your birthday. For a very affordable price,” before mom’s teenage daughter helps her prep for a first date in Jay Hanagan’s Young Love. Yearley and Hanagan will be on hand for an artists’ reception Saturday night. For info, call 929-ARTS.