Essential Theatre celebrates its 10th anniversary with POWER PLAYS FESTIVAL, another triple header of local and world-premiere plays. This year's lineup, selected by artistic director Peter Hardy, includes Paul Rudnick's comedy Valhalla, featuring Topher Payne as Mad King Ludwig; Gina Gionfriddo's heavyweight drama After Ashley, opening Wed., JULY 2, about the media circus surrounding a mother's murder; and Atlanta playwright Letitia Sweitzer's award-winning West of Eden, a comedy about Adam and Eve in middle age. Through July 27. $15-$25. In repertory Mon.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; no 2 p.m. show Sat., July 5; no show Mon., July 7. 7 Stages Backstage Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave. 877-840-0457. www.essentialtheatre.com.