Advice from Playwright Jessica Bylander
How to write a minute play Writing tips Sam Graber Originally published January 26, on samgraber. Writing a Minute play is easy!
All you have to do is come up with an ingenious idea, figure an inventive and enthralling stage mechanism, employ riveting and tender characters, serve boiling hot action, and implant sensational dialog.
And get it under 10 minutes. So you can stop reading now.
Oh wait, sorry, when I wrote that it was easy, I meant hard. Rife with the potential danger of turning you into a psychotic mess.
And if you thought writing a Minute Play was all this…try teaching it! Last week I twice taught a seminar on writing the Minute Play. I would gauge both sessions as not a total failure since 1 only 5 people fell asleep during my presentations, and 2 no one walked out on me.
Anyway, the seminar teaser copy used to entice… The Minute Play. The short one-act is the bolt of theatrical lightning which has become a prevalent form of theatrical expressiveness.
We will explore the variations of structure, the positing of character and the emotional impact that make up a tantalizing 10 minutes. And beyond exploration…we will dabble with creation! The youth of America at the theater festival session gave me grim, impatient glares.
I am so not hip. But I became instantly hip once I introduced the framework of the Minute Play. Because I was right in guessing that the attendees, probably like most of you reading, are not writing the Minute play in an isolated vacuum. And most Minute plays today are getting produced by theaters in festivals.
You are more than likely writing for acceptance into a Minute play festival.
So what happens in a Minute play festival? A theater company, seeking to either expand revenue streams or grow audiences or broaden a base of artistic contributors, will decide to produce a Minute play festival.
They will put out calls for scripts. They will get inundated with submissions not unlikely totaling around Those directors will cast and then spend a few rehearsals before rushing and sweating through a quick, single Cue-to-Cue run by an overworked and stressed technical director all before each individual play is rushed onstage for a single performance.
This is stereotypical of the fast and frenetic factory of theater fun that is the Minute play festival. A cast of 15 with lavish set required? Small cast and minimal props only? Again, if you are building your own personal repertoire, or looking to go straight to publication, or your name is Tony Kushner and you can have staged whatever you write, then disregard.
Otherwise, understand the framework of production constraints for which you are writing. Understand what an audience goes through watching a variety of short plays in back-to-back fashion.
Because you are no longer getting automatically produced in the campus festival since you paid tuition. Oh yes, I see the college kids are listening now.
I also continue to serve as a reader on numerous selection committees. So I know just how to screw up a Minute play. Want to screw up a Minute play? The easiest way to screw up a Minute play is to pen what I call the Talking Speaking play.
This is the play where two people sit around an NYC apartment kitchen and drink and attempt to discuss an entire universe of backstory until one of them reveals…a secret! Folks, this is half the pile of scripts coming in. Totally up to you.
Does your play ask a question? Make sure your Minute play is more than just an interesting scenario with interesting characters. Let us feel the play beyond the final bows.Recent Examples on the Web.
In fact, the playwright goes even further by relegating the defining events of that life mostly to between-scenes interludes. — David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Mary Page Marlowe': Theater Review," 13 July When the Viennese playwright Arthur Schnitzler staged his ten-act play Reigen, better known as .
The Writing Style of William Shakespeare The playwright, poet, and actor, William Shakespeare, was born in Elizabethan England in the 16th century. He wrote plays that appealed to both the commoner and the queen, and he wrote as well as performed in his plays.
Top 5 Tips to Write An Interesting Narrative for Any Story.
Playwriting Introduction This playwriting tutorial was written by playwright and screenwriter Jonathan Dorf, whose plays have been produced in every US state and on every continent but Antarctica.
THE STANDARD STAGE PLAY FORMAT What follows is a guide to “professional” stage play script formatting. These pages are playwright knows something about submitting plays. “How good could the play and two spaces below it write the scene or place where your play takes place. Playwrights are writers who create stories that take place on stage.
They develop characters who are then brought to life by actors, and the words they write, once performed, create a piece of art.
WRITE A PLAY is a year-round comprehensive arts integration program with a unique blend of professional plays, exciting theatre experiences, and in-class workshops. Through participatory learning with a special emphasis on literacy, this program has developed an impressive record of success, reaching over 50, students annually.