Dec
04

The One Act Play

For season two of  A Play, a Pie and a Pint® I have had over 70 script submissions. Playwrights from the UK, across the US and Philadelphia have submitted scripts. Most are set in restaurants or diners, eleven are in bedrooms, five require musicians, three need small children and one asks for an inside out badger skin as a central prop (it’s an incredible play). Cast sizes range from 1 – 8. Lengths vary from 15 minutes to 75.

To narrow choices down to just four plays is a humbling task. It will always be a subjective decision and there is the question of loosely fitting the four plays together within a season. But what a joy it is to read the scripts. . I like devouring a play in a single sitting. I like experiencing my characters lives in that one transcendent moment, glimpsing something of importance before everything changes, all in under 60 minutes.

As I read more and more plays, the one act play seems a fitting form for our world of ipads, tweets and fast paced existence. The perfect antidote to three hour Shakespeare with its’ quick fix theatrical high. There are no second chances, sub plots or lengthy expositions to contend with. Characters must be established within a few lines.

So what works for season two? I will be announcing the full line up in a couple of weeks. There will probably be a play with an inside out badger skin in there somewhere. In the meantime, whilst submissions are closed for this season, do keep sending plays along or let me know writers that you love. It is an honor to read your work.
Finally to The Guardian and a post by Alexandra Coghlan. “Every age, it is said, gets the culture it deserves. Surely the short play – the loaded miniature, Blake’s “world in a grain of sand” – is a genre fit for our babel age of isolated internet chatter and white noise.”

Served up with a pie and a pint, I think it works.