all that can happen in a hot minute.
The stuff of great drama is composed of more than long arcs and building suspense. Life can change in a heartbeat. A random act of kindness, a slip of the tongue, a sideways glance, a bit of word vomit – these things can profoundly affect the journey as a whole.
Think of when Peter invites Heidi to hully-bully when “The Shoop Shoop Song” plays at the school dance. Or when Joe hands the sobbing Louis a wad of toilet paper in the Court of Appeals bathroom.
These tiny, seemingly minor gestures change everything within the larger play. And if you rip these small moments out of their context, they are brilliant sixty-second micro-plays with first, second, and third acts; gorgeously drawn, full-bodied characters; and delicious dalliances in storytelling.
The Heidi Chronicles and Angels in America are, of course, masterpieces far greater than the sum of such scenes, but Heidi’s heartache and Joe’s self-discovery could arguably be traced back to these prescient few seconds of text.
The One-Minute Play Festival celebrates these seconds, challenging writers to focus entirely on those meteoric, self-contained flashes.
I’m thrilled that the Festival has chosen the Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts (ESPA) to be its beneficiary this year and that the greater Primary Stages family – Pulitzer and Tony winners, ESPA faculty and the emerging writers from our student body – is involved in the writing assignment. A combined 100 artists are collaborating on the event, demonstrating how a community can rally around even the tiniest of art forms.
To say the artists ponied up would be a colossal understatement. Each of the 75 microplays we’ll produce this year through the Festival is like an amuse-bouche, invigorating the patrons’ palates and leaving them craving more. Playgoers should prepare themselves for a veritable tasting plate of sentiment and spectacle.
I hope you’ll join us in benefitting ESPA on October 16 at 59E59 Theaters. We’ll spend a few hours applauding the artists involved and celebrating all that can happen in a hot minute.
-Tessa LaNeve, Primary Stages Literary Manager and Director of ESPA