40+ black outs.
Growing up in Connecticut, when I saw ads or brochures for South Florida… playwriting wasn’t on them. When I thought of theatre I thought of the bad plays my high school did, Broadway of course, and “those people who can do what I’d never do in a million years.”
But after high school, where all I did was study and sports… I moved to Miami. Who would have thought this is where I would find the acting bug. I didn’t find it until I went to BCC and Debby Kondelik informed me this is what I was supposed to do. And being the green kid from Connecticut I just thought I was supposed to agree with her.
Looking back, when I first moved here there wasn’t a Gablestage, Mosaic, Promethean, Thinking Cap, City Theatre, Empire Stage, Ground Up and Rising, Infinite Abyss, M Ensemble, Mad Cat, Zoetic and Alliance. Just now as I type all those brilliant companies I can’t believe how fast this community has expanded in less than ten years, and how fortunate I’ve been able to be a part of it.
I had a very privileged 2011, and to be asked to be a part of this One-Minute Play Festival is an honor. There are only a few times a year this community is able to truly bond and collaborate, and I feel blessed that Dominic D’Andrea brought another one of those events to South Florida.
It comes at a great time, so many new voices in playwriting are emerging from this area, and the fight to keep talent here in South Florida has been an arduous one. I think the more small and modest companies doing really true and honest work will start to open the eyes of the newly graduated talent, and show that New York isn’t the only place to starve yourself while making good work, and you can do it without ear muffs.
As far as what I wrote, I don’t sit at my computer at the same time every day painfully deconstructing the human psyche and wondering why I ever started writing in the first place. (and wishing for death) I just write what I think would be entertaining, might make you think a bit, and what I know my friends and family would want to watch. When I reread something I wrote, and I say… my best friends would want to watch this at least twice, I know I got something.
The fact we have one minute to do it. This actually came as a relief more than a burden, and not just because I love constraints when I write. The attention span of the audiences now are so limited sixty seconds might even be too long. Giving them 40+ black outs might be a good thing so they have time to text their dog before the night is finished.
But I have a feeling with the amazing productions that have been popping up over the last few years, the audiences are starting to change for the better. And artists are demanding in a positive way for the theatre-goer to be taken away for a few hours from this social networking frenzy we live in now.
And to be taken away to the Deering Estate is a benefit in its own. I had the pleasure of doing a few readings there for the supremely talented local playwrights, Andie Arthur and Chris Demos-Brown, and wanted a great excuse to come back. This is by far the most ideal reason to do so.
I’m certain this first annual Florida event will be followed by many more. With the emerging talent and companies in this area, this is only the beginning.
The First South Florida One-Minute Play Festival will be held Sunday Feb 26th at 4:30PM and 8:30 PM at The Deering Estate. Tickets are $25 and proceeds will benefit SFTL’s playwright workshop programming. For tickets and info click here.