(Lights up stage right to reveal the fog of an overactive smoke machine. BLAKE enters carrying a lantern. He wears a cloak over Victorian era clothes. He waves away the smoke and steps downstage. He holds up the lantern, looks out at the audience and then at himself. He grimaces at his attire.)
BLAKE: Ridiculous! (Turns left, then right and calls out) Is this really how you want to start things!?
(Lights up center stage where the vague outline of a desk is revealed. Hands poke through the smoke and tap on a keyboard. BLAKE turns towards the sound.)
BLAKE: You’re writing your introduction as a play?
MOSS: (A voice from behind the smoke.) Yes.
BLAKE: (Hand waving away smoke) This is a rather cheap pretentious gimmick.
MOSS: If I made you say so.
BLAKE: It’s egotistical and suggestive of deeper psychological issues.
MOSS: Psychological issues – I like that! Makes things more compelling.
BLAKE: Eight lines already and you haven’t said a thing about yourself.
MOSS: That’s ‘cause I’m Arting: creating art
BLAKE: You forgot to type the ‘F’
MOSS: You’re rather uppity for recently created character.
BLAKE: Twelve lines now and you’ve revealed nothing.
MOSS: Ah! But if you read between the lines-
BLAKE: You’re supposed to be introducing yourself! Why are you here? Where are you from? What have you done?
MOSS: (Sighs) You’re right. Best get on and eliminate unnecessary characters.
BLAKE: No! Don’t kill me! Let’s keep making bad jokes!
(A hand pokes through the smoke and hits a button on the desk. A trapdoor opens below BLAKE and he falls through.)
BLAKE: (Falling through trap door) You’re a JERRRRR-
(A crash sounds.)
MOSS: Journeyman. He meant to say I’m a Journeyman playwright. I journey while I write – mostly pacing circles in my living room. ‘Cause I want my words to live. Can’t pace the dining room ‘cause I’d end up eating them, or the bedroom where they’d fall asleep.
BLAKE: (Off-stage, shouting from pit) Nineteen lines and you still haven’t-
(A hand pokes through the smoke and hits the button a second time. The trapdoor shuts.)
MOSS: I’ve written over a hundred one-act plays and one of my new years resolutions is to send out a hundred submissions this year. I recently completed the Red Theatre challenge. It kicked my butt. I took it seriously and worked on every theme presented (which I can’t say for many of the other competitors.) It wasn’t until the contest ended that I was able to go back and check on the work of the competition. There were only four other writers that showed consistency and talent in sticking with the daily theme. Of these four, Paddy was the best. I was particularly impressed with her “Deconstructing Desdemona.” I did a little online snooping – I mean research – to see just who this Paddy person was, and it lead me to this forum. So I joined - this looks like a good place to keep abreast of production and publication opportunities, and to network with other writers. Playwrights need all the help they can get.
Oh those fog machines! Ever try to rent one? Highway robbery, if you were to ask me. Welcome to our forum, most clever one. Most welcome to our forum. It's been way too quiet lately. Maybe you can do something about that. Good to meet you, Moss.
A big fat welcome, and I'm flattered. Like you - I took the challenge seriously, and stopped reading other people's work, as there was no attempt to...well, much of anything.
Deconstructing Desdemona is something I want to work on - hopefully more than just I really like the title. This weekend, we'll be doing She Speaks - women's work in theatre - where my play from that challenge, Equal Librium. I barely remember writing it...barely remember writing most of the plays. It was intense!!! I found the challenges too fluffy. You?
Again, welcome....and send me a message so I can read some of your plays from the challenge...or is it Moss?
I can’t say I found the challenges too fluffy. While a few annoyed me, my bigger beef was with some of the participants, who often ignored the theme, and at times posted barely enough to form a haiku - but still got to share the profit.
Yet earnest work is its own reward. I got a few good plays out of the challenge, and learned some things about myself as a writer. The variation of themes also forced me out of my comfort zone into topics I never would have chose to write.
You want to read some of my challenge plays? Well, thank you. I’ll message you the dropbox links to my 4 or 5 best.
Feel free to send me some of your best challenge plays too. It’s only fair to trade.
A couple of days after the contest ended I had a little time to check out the competition. I read all the entries in challenges 24, 25 and 26 (so I could sneer at the pitiful, sloppy attempts and appease my ego.) While this may sound like a lot of reading, much of the stuff was under two pages. I had just begun to identify the best writers in the challenge (which included you and 3 others) when Red Theatre closed the forums.
I should mention that I’ve already read: “The Ass, The Poacher, The Asses Wife & a Good Merlot, ” (which I liked.)
Great post. One of the best yet on The Forum and I've been around - like so many others - for a looooong time. Welcome.And Thank you!
Here are my favorites from the many of which all are good!
1. MOSS: Journeyman. He meant to say I’m a Journeyman playwright. I journey while I write – mostly pacing circles in my living room. ‘Cause I want my words to live. Can’t pace the dining room ‘cause I’d end up eating them, or the bedroom where they’d fall asleep.