A SLIVER WITH A SHIFT
I used to run kicking and screaming at the thought of writing a ten-minute play. I’m old; I don’t have time to write just any ol’ thing. I get embarrassed asking friends to leave the comforts of their homes, get a sitter, and pay to see less than a quarter of an hour of my work. That’s more than just calling in a favor.
So the thought of writing a one-minute play …
A few years ago, I went to a Seurat exhibit. I know and love his larger pieces very much. But Seurat only made a few of them. The exhibit was curated in a way that you’d see all the studies and sketches that Seurat created beforehand – and then you come upon a master work and see them all organically composed on one glorious canvas.
And I got it. That’s a very useful way for me to consider one-minute short forms, as studies and sketches for potentially larger pieces. Little experiments, dabbling with ideas that someday might become a great big play of enduring length and value. And that’s how I embraced the one-minute assignment. More like a coffee date with some characters I might want to have a substantial relationship with later.
In the end, the only rule I gave myself was that something must shift by the end of the scene. A sliver with a shift. Sounds like something you’d put in a cocktail. But that’s what I sent Dominic. Lean little studies that promise so much more.
A sliver with a shift.