Eight times in the past 12 years, I’ve been a writer in the Overnight Sensations 24-hour play festival in Roanoke that Hollins University and Mill Mountain Theatre produce each summer. A few weeks ago, I saw where Ixion Ensemble in Lansing, Michigan was holding a 24-hour play festival and were looking for writers. I emailed to apply, citing my Overnight Sensations experience. They said thanks, but we’re already full. OK, no problem, moving on. Then last week they emailed me to say, oh, someone got sick and had to drop out, still available? I was. So over the weekend I took part in my first 24-hour play festival remotely.
About 10:30 Friday night I was emailed the prompts:
-Use at least one of these names: Chad, Melissa or Paige
-Words to use: Art, cheesemaking, urban and beat
Dialogue: “You can’t make me…” Or “It is if the cheese is talking”
Only real guidelines: ten minutes and you only have three actors.
By Saturday morning I had written and emailed in WAITING ON THE 10:15. I was under the impression all the teams were two women and one man, so I wrote it with two female gunfighters. Turns out my cast — randomly assigned — was two men and one woman so I’m guessing one of the guys played “Melissa.”
WAITING ON THE 10:15
Two female gunfighters appear to be ready to square off against one another in the streets of an old western town. They’re waiting on the undertaker to pronounce when it’s high noon – timed to the arrival of the 10:15 train, which is always late. We eventually learn, though, they were not gunfighters at all, but makers of cheese. Their batch of Swiss cheese hasn’t come out well, so they’re about to shoot holes in it. Cast: Three – two women, one man.
* Produced by Ixion Ensemble, Lansing, Michigan, Aug. 18, 2019, as part of a 24-hour play festival.