“And the first thing I had to do was say “fuck it” and abandon pretty much everything I think I know about writing a play”
Writing a one minute play is probably one of the craziest things I’ve been asked to do as a playwright. It seems impossible on the face of it. Sixty seconds is nothing for someone who’s allowed to ramble along for 60-100 pages on a regular basis. It seemed daunting. Luckily I enjoy economy, challenges, trust falls and freaking out about what I’m going to write so I agreed to give it a try.
And the first thing I had to do was say “fuck it” and abandon pretty much everything I think I know about writing a play. Most playwrights I know say that when they start a new play, they feel like they have to re-learn how to write a play every time because each play is so different. I totally agree and definitely felt that way here. So I embraced that feeling and just kind of went to town on it. I figured that even if I hated everything I wrote, it would all be over in a minute so I should just go for broke. Ultimately, I discovered that I loved writing these plays and I even enjoyed the process of editing it down to a minute (Note: I’m not a fan of editing.)
In the end I found myself really thrilled with these plays and proud of them. And happy about the fact that I can be brief (Note: I tend to go on. If we’ve ever had a conversation you know about my tendency to over explain. I mean, this entry is already longer than both of my minute plays).
There’s something really lovely about a play that’s so clean, sharp, messy and brief. And still manages to do everything you want. One of the pieces I wrote for this year’s festival is probably one of the best plays I’ve ever written. I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to write it and I’m thrilled that there’s a place for it to be heard. What excites me most about it is that it’s a complete play, not the start of something bigger. It stands there all by itself, fully formed in sixty seconds.
Jihan’s plays are part of the First Annual L.A. One-Minute Play Festival at East LA Rep which is playing THIS WEEKEND Dec 11th and Dec 12th, 2010 at 8PM. Tickets are $15 cash at the door for almost 90 new plays!