“Variety, that’s the fun of this whole thing, right?”
I love short plays with a passion. But when I say that, what you should hear is: “I love 10-minute plays with a passion.” Because that was my limited frame of reference for short plays until Dominic invited me to crank out a few of these one-minute scripts.
I immediately thought the timing was going to be the hardest part. And it’s been a fun challenge to get my head around the time & production restrictions. But the comment that struck me most in the big explanation e-mail we all received was, “Also, while comedic plays are always a big hit, plays that tackle more serious themes are encouraged too!”
The timing concern actually fell into the background pretty quickly. And in an effort to land somewhere in between comedy and drama (or perhaps avoid worrying at all about tone) I started in with the simple idea of building each play around a specific item. What I ended up with were three plays respectively featuring hedge clippers, a mason jar and a shovel. These in turn resulted in a bloody update of a Greek monster myth, a gay revenge play with miniature jellyfish, and some guys in rural Maine burying people alive. All oddly menacing little stories. So my “somewhere in between” comedic and dramatic turned out to be just plain creepy. It shouldn’t be a surprise, but it would have been nice to end up with at least one play in the ballpark of inspirational or, I don’t know, at least a little up beat.
In the end though, I was happy to turn in my fun, dark little plays. Hopefully someone else has delivered up beat or inspirational and I can squeak by as the creepy counterpoint. Variety, that’s the fun of this whole thing, right?
Steve’s plays will be featured in both the LA and SF One-Minute Play Festivals
For LA: http://eastlarep.com/nowplaying.html
For SF: http://www.playwrightsfoundation.org/index.php?p=227