After The Fork’s very good night in the Echo 10, I was encouraged enough to see if it might be the sort of thing that other festivals would be interested in. Build its pedigree a bit, in anticipation of developing it into a full-length play, that sort of thing. So I started looking around.
One excellent resource I came across was nycplaywrights, which has an entire website devoted to helping new plays along. They frequently post calls for new plays, including short plays. You don’t even have to be an nycplaywright to enter. (Is this a great country or what?) And unlike screenwriting competitions, most play festivals don’t even have entry fees. (Is playwrighting great or what?)
I entered The Fork in a few that happened to be currently open. Most have long turnaround times, understandably. Like enter now, we’ll let you know in January and we’ll stage it next summer.
But one was called Short Play Lab, something that appears to have been going awhile in NYC. It had an amazingly tight turnaround time. I can’t quite remember the details, but it was something like 30 days from announcement to staging. There was only one catch: you had to produce the play yourself. I figured I’d enter, and if it got selected, we’d figure out the producing part later.
It got selected.
Yay! Followed closely by uh-oh. Ken and I discussed it. We looked at the possibility of whisking our amazing Provo cast to NYC for a weekend. That was the easiest solution. It would also be pretty expensive. (Not that the $75 prize for the top play wasn’t enticing, but still…) We decided it would be cost-prohibitive.
The other option was to see if any NYC contacts I had might be interested in participating. I sent out feelers to a few friends in the area. Given the short timeframe, I knew it would take a few minor miracles to bring this together. I was about to pull the plug when I heard back from Erik Orton, a writer/director/producer in NYC. I had seen Erik’s terrific show, Berlin, a couple of years ago, and we’d met (his brilliant kids happen to like Liken). He apologized for not getting back to me sooner (something about being in the middle of a month vacation at Cape Cod — poor fellow).
Erik said he’d be interested in directing. Minor miracle one: check. But not out of the woods yet. There was still the small matter of getting a cast. Unless Erik was interested in playing all the parts, too. And he wasn’t. I checked. But a few other NYC friends got back to me with other suggestions (thank you all), which I forwarded to Erik, who had some good contacts of his own, of course.
The cast is now assembled. Minor miracles two through four: check. On Thursday, we shipped off the giant meatball to the Big Apple, where it will seek its fortune and fame. Rehearsals are scheduled and the play runs next weekend. Yep, this very coming next right-around-the-corner in a few days weekend.
Just yesterday, Ken found out that he has to do some day job work in NYC the day after the festival, so he’s going to go a couple days early and see the show. It’ll be fun to see how somebody else approaches it and how an audience responds. Bonus minor miracle: check.
If you’re in the neighborhood and want to check it out (and vote!), here are ticket details. It’s not exactly on Broadway, but physically it is a stone’s throw. Provided you have a really good arm. Should be a fun evening.