The Fork / The Process / The Stage / Utah New Works Theatre Project / Writing

Write Something Already

If you’ve ever had a hankering to write something possibly for public consumption, but don’t feel like you can devote the next few months or years of your life to it, I’ve got just the ticket.

There’s this thing called the 10-minute play. The “ten.” It’s a real thing. There are entire festivals of these things all across the country. You can look it up. Theater groups like them, because they can put together an evening of these things relatively easily and bring in new audiences. Actors like them because they’re a smaller time commitment involving a lot less memorization. Audiences like them because in a festival of eight 10-minute plays, if one is not your cup o’ joe, stick around a few minutes and the next one might rock your world.

Rumor has it…

Writers like them because you can actually write a 10-minute play in an evening. This I’ve done. Not saying it was great. Not saying it is recommended. But it was written, by golly. If you’ve ever been mired in a months-long rewrite (thanks for bringing that up, self), you cannot imagine how refreshing it is to actually be able to jump into a project, write feverishly on it for a compact period, emerge with hot pages in your hand, and submit the darn thing.

You should try your hand. Worst-case scenario: you lose an evening. Best case: you get an email your play has been selected, you actually get to see your work on stage, you win an award (making you eligible to put “award-winning playwright” on all your email signature lines), and you reap the accompanying fame and riches (ok, kidding about the last part).

Having read a few dozen tenners in my time as a judge (on account of my “award-winning playwright” status), I can say this: there are techniques that make some 10-minute plays stand out (in a good way) from the others.

Which brings me to the point: I’m on the board of a non-profit called Utah New Works Theatre Project. We’re having a 10-minute play festival later this year. You should submit something. If you want to learn more about how to write a killer 10-minute play, we’re putting on an event, “Tackling the Ten,” featuring a killer panel of four people who really know their stuff when it comes to playwriting. (Rumor has it there’ll even be a guest appearance by a certain 10-minute play involving an eating utensil and a giant meatball – probably as an example of why you should spend more than an evening writing your ten.)

Which brings me to the point (for real this time): You should come. 7 p.m. Friday, March 24, 2017 at Pioneer Book in downtown Provo. Details, including our killer lineup, on the Facebook.

Best of all, because you’re one of my seven blog readers, just say my name at the door, and I can get you in for free. (Also, admission is free.) (Either way will work.)

Make 2017 the year of unleashing your inner writer.