A Ten Minute Play - The Proper Protocol

Ten-Minute Plays

And most Minute plays today are getting produced by theaters in festivals. 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?

Ten Minute Plays

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.

I believe I was asked to lead both seminars because of my small success as a Submitting Playwright in the national Minute play scene.

I also continue to serve as a reader on numerous selection committees. So I know just how 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!

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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. Make it stand for something.

Go as far as to try and make your play the definitive piece on a particular slice of life. For example, a great question I once saw a play ask was: Another great Minute play I saw will change forever how I see vultures. In fact, and this might be the most important thing I had to offer in the seminar, recognize that what your play is about the question and why your audience is watching the interest are two completely different things. Your audience is watching because, as a perhaps, they might want to see the romantic interest blossom HA between your mercurial government arboreal expert character and your demanding local industrialist character e.

Are you with me? What your play is about and why the audience watches are more often than not two different things and you have to know both. Just have your characters sitting around and speaking in deflective and vague utterances, until the purpose is slowly revealed in minute six and then unfurls by the end to entomb the audience within your monument of meaning.

Submission deadline is November 1 of each year. All plays are submitted to the Regional Playwriting Chair only. Ten Minute Plays are no more than 10 minutes long. Please refer to the minute guidelines below. It contains very good advice.

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“The secret to a really good ten minute play is a great middle. Something needs to happen around the four to six minute mark that both raises. Recognize what it takes to produce a Minute play festival and the Because I was right in guessing that the attendees, probably like . Recognize the smallest tweaks to your construct can have the most profound results.

The submitted plays will be read by at least two readers from a different region. The playwrights whose 10 minute scripts have been selected for the Region 6 festival will be invited to the festival and must be able to attend all dates of the regional festival. They will be assigned a director, stage manager, and group of actors. These creative teams will work on the scripts throughout the festival. Do not argue with the ushers about having to wait, they are just doing their job.

Highlands Little Theatre has a television screen in the lounge showing the performance while you wait. Be seated and listen to the announcements before the show. While you might see it as a commercial, we see it as communicating.

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Yes, we tell you about upcoming shows and events we hope you will buy tickets for and attend. But, we also relate safety information and sometimes include information important to the upcoming performance. Show the same respect you would want if you were up there doing it. At most performances, you will receive a printed program. Be sure to arrive early enough to read the program, so that you will have an idea of what to expect in the show. Also, you will find the names and information about people who are performing and helping to put on the show.

Cans Etiquette

Read the credits to learn more about the people and the performance. Leaving during the performance is considered highly disrespectful. It is not the same as going to see a movie. Patrons pay high fees to enjoy the theater experience, and leaving in the middle of a performance should never be done except in an extreme emergency. It may also be dangerous in the dark after the show starts.

Visit the restroom before the performance begins. Unless there is an emergency, plan to stay seated during the performance. Wait until the house lights come up before attempting to leave. Turn off your cell phone and any other electronic devices iPods, Blackberries, etc. The light and noise from cell phones and other electronic devices is a big distraction, so please, if you must Tweet, post to Facebook or text message, sit in a wall seat on the back row or in the lounge.

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Similarly, make sure that any watch alarm or on-the-hour beeps are turned off. If you have one of those clap-activated car-key locators, turn it off, as well. Never use a laptop during a performance. Can I take photos during the show?

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Audiotape and videotape recording is also forbidden. Flash photos are actually dangerous to the actors, who may be temporarily dazzled by the flash and step off the stage. And, there are copyright issues with the taking of photos and videos.