What can happen in a single goddamned minute anyways?
So before being chucked out of UCLA’s Graduate Playwriting Program, I had the good fortune of coming into contact with playwright Rose Martula, who writes these gritty, strangely lyrical plays with such a unique tongue that it made a lasting impression on my own voice, long after I fled the freeways City of Angels for streets and subways of New York City.
I haven’t seen Rose in almost ten years, but I’ve kept in contact, we’ve passed scripts back and forth through the U.S. Postal service, I’ve even managed to catch a play of hers when I was visiting California. Yet, at the end of this month (Sep. 25 & 26), she happens to be on the East Coast and we’ll both be drinking in Astoria before, after, and maybe during, the One Minute Play Festival.
Also on the bill (among many) is Chicago playwright Tanya Saracho, who is getting a lot of national attention this year and who I’m just beginning to get to know via the electronic age as she is organizing her own event to bring together Latino writers from across the country. I’ve never met her in person.
Yet, there it’ll be, Los Angeles playwrights, Chicago playwrights, New York playwrights, etc., all sharing the stage in a single evening with the unique challenge of putting Lights Up and Lights Down in the span of 60 seconds cuz creator/curator Dominic D’Andrea thought it would be a good idea to give playwrights yet another challenge, as if we didn’t have enough.
And what can happen in a single goddamned minute anyways? Really. A joke? A moment? A kiss? A situation? A fuck? A disappointment?
Maybe even the more I think about it, some of the best or most exciting moments in our lives have taken place in a minute. A look, a touch, the first beautiful notes of an earthquake or song, the moment you pull yourself up on a surfboard over a peaking wave, the sound in the Labor/Delivery department of a hospital as a new life makes a sound, that swirl in your blood and body as alcohol hits your system, the thump as you are laughing so hard you fall to the floor and don’t even care, the wag of a tail as you bring home a dog from the Humane Society.
And this is just my own personal shit. Think about yourselves. What are some of the most memorable, scary, beautiful, fucked’up, amazing, regrettable, romantic, smile’inducing 60 seconds of your lives?
Always, I daydream about what the fuck do other people think about. And I don’t mean family shit, or relationship drama (or bliss), or work worries. I wonder what fleeting thoughts pass through people’s minds. Sometimes on the subway, I wonder what would happen if I just up an slapped somebody across the face. Would people stop me? Yell at me? Ignore me? Or I sit in social situations and drift off wondering what everyone would do if I said something amazingly offensive, would anyone laugh along with me? Or would I be shunned?
-Matthew Paul Olmos
80+ plays. 30+ actors. 7 directors. 1-minute.
The 4th Annual NY One Minute Play Festival
Saturday, Sept. 25th & Sunday, Sept. 26th at 8pm
At Astoria Performing Arts Center
Buy your tickets here: http://bit.ly/1-minute-tix