Home > Playwright Posts > “Writing a one-minute play wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be.”

“Writing a one-minute play wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be.”

Erin Bregman


Six weeks ago I opened the longest, most exciting email I had ever received from someone I didn’t know–it was Dominic D. soliciting writers for the 1st annual San Francisco One-Minute Play Festival. (Actually, that’s only a half truth. The email was partially authored by the beloved Jill MacLean of the Playwrights Foundation, but we’ll let that particular detail slide for the sake of superlative.) Like any responsible person would do after receiving an emailed request from a total stranger, I wrote back immediately and accepted his proposition.


One day before my three one-minute plays were due, I added a few doodles to the short list of ideas I didn’t like, all scrawled barely legibly in green pen three quarters of the way through the cheapest notebook I owned:


• waiting for someone to come home

• can boys get pregnant?

• a haunted house destroyed

• 1 min total chaos/1 min total calm

• Smell this: (palo santo)   (smell-induced memory)


Luckily for all of us, I didn’t write from this list. Instead, I took a ferry ride to Larkspur, interviewed for a part-time job that wasn’t a good fit, got back on the ferry, cruised past San Quentin, and wrote three little one-minute ditties on entirely unrelated topics. Two of the three will have a short life this december, one minute each. The first minute is about a handshake. Or a friendship. The specifics are open to interpretation. The second minute is not open to interpretation–It’s about a dandelion.


Writing a one-minute play wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Maybe the flash fiction class helped. Maybe it was my ultra-modern attention span already fluent in the ultra-brief story. Maybe it was just the novelty of going from initial idea to finished draft in twenty minutes. Then again, I have never heard these plays aloud, seen them on their feet, or heard them in front of an audience. For all I know, the pieces are utter failures. Or maybe they’re pure genius. We’ll all find out for sure on December 18th.

-Erin Bregman


Eirn’s plays are part of the First Annual SF One-Minute Play Festival, December 18th 8PM, December 19th at 7PM at the Thick House: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/137981





Categories: Playwright Posts
  1. Vernitta G
    December 2, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    I am glad I came across this. I just may try to do a one minute play. HMMM

  2. December 3, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Lovely to read the musings of a playwright who also seems to be human, not some luminary being who does not deign to write for regular folks and believes their words to be the very stuff of life. Very best of luck with your future Erin!

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