Posts Tagged five-minute scripts

Short script “Can I?” to be produced in Ontario in September

Just got word that my short script “Can I?” will be produced in September as part of Asphalt Jungle Shorts XI, an annual walking-tour theatre festival in Kitchener, Ontario.

Performances dates are Sept. 18, 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27th.

This is a site-specific festival, where patrons sign up for a walking tour and encounter theatres at various stops. “Can I?” is set in a restaurant.

A lesson in both grammar and assertiveness. A restaurant customer asks: “can I have the daily special?” A bossy waiter or waitress says “no.” Cast: Two, non-gender. Running time: Five minutes.

I’ve had pieces in this festival before. Here are some photos and video from previous ones:

* Photos from “Requiem for a Buzzard” in June 2013 and again in September 2013.

* Here’s video of “A Nice, Relaxing Cup of Tea” in 2009.

It joins this list of upcoming productions:

* August 1-3: THE OTHER SIDE OF OZ, full-length script, Backyard Theatre, Billings, Montana.
* August 16: THE FACE ON MARS, ten-minute play, Suffield Players, Suffield, Connecticut
* September 6: THE SKY IS FALLING, ten-minute play, Piano Fight Productions, Lagunitas (Marin County), California.
* September 18, 19,20, 25, 26, 27: CAN I?, five-minute script in Asphalt Jungle Shorts XI, Kitchener, Ontario.
* September 22-24: SOMETIMES ELEPHANTS DIE STANDING UP, ten-minute play, Ghost Dog Productions, The Horse and Stables, London, UK.
* November 7, 8, 14, 15, 22, and 23: A MARTIAN WESTERN and DEMOTING PLUTO, one-acts, Short Science Play Showcase at the Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

And here’s a partial list of productions this year:

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Video: “A Spork in the Road” at the Liminal gallery

The February reading at the Liminal gallery in Roanoke dealt with “intersections.”

For me, that meant my short piece, “A Spork in the Road.”

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“The Ring” to be produced in new works festival in New York

A few years ago, I attended the state high school basketball championships — a series of games all day long in various size classifications. I was particularly struck by one of the girls’ games, which pitted a team with a star player destined for college hoops against a team with unheralded players. Out of that came “The Ring” — a look into the future in which those two players meet again.

There’s a five-minute version (set in a nursing home) and a 20-25 minute version (in which the unheralded player breaks into the star’s home to steal the ring she felt she deserved.)

I’m thrilled to report today that the five-minute version has been accepted into the 3rd annual NFA New Works Festival at the Newburgh Free Academy in Newburgh, New York. I’m also excited to hear one of my works is being produced, but this is especially gratifying because in this case it was the students themselves who picked this script to be produced. Mine was one of 14 pieces picked for production out of 100 submitted.

The festival will be May 30.

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Video: “Choose Your Companions Carefully” at the Liminal

A few years ago, I read a book about Antarctica, which inspired several pieces — a one-act called “Lionized,” and three short pieces called “Countdown to 2041” (when the treaty governing the continent is set to expire), “Fairweather at the Pole” and “Choose Your Companions Carefully.”

Most of those pieces (“Countdown to 2041″ is the exception”) deal with the same uncomfortable topic — explorers forced to resort to cannibalism to stay alive.

On January 27, the Liminal gallery had one of its regular readings, with the theme “A Midwinter’s Night Dream.” I didn’t really have any odes to winter, but I did have “Choose Your Companions Carefully.” If Antarctic exploration isn’t winter, what is?

Mike Allen read the piece for me — putting on a full-fledged shivering act. Weeks later, I still have people who were there talking about it. As for the people who were there, you’ll notice an empty auditorium in the video. That’s because the audience was on the stage, and this video was shot from a side view.

Bon apetit.

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“A Woman’s Word Versus the Machine” wins award at Subversive Theatre


I’ve just learned that my short piece “A Woman’s Word Versus the Machine” won the Plebian’s Choice Award at the Subversive Theatre in Buffalo, N.Y. this summer.

Audience members voted each night on their favorites and in the end, mine emerged as the winner for the “alpha” night. (The theatre had two different shows, which alternated.) Mine was described as “a very well written little gem.”

Here’s my synopsis of the piece:

A dark, serious piece about rape. A woman alleges she was assaulted by her household robot. But the company claims it was not a fault of product design. Cast: Two — one male, one female. Running time: Five minutes.
• Staged reading at No Shame Theatre, Roanoke, Va., spring 2012.

(I had a previous post about other work I’ve had at Subversive here.)

This is the second time this year one of my works has been voted an audience favorite. In June, my 10-minute script “Follow The Money: A Modern-Day Fairy Tale” was voted the audience choice at the New Voice Theatre Festival in Charles Town, West Virginia.

Suffice it to say this dark piece about a woman raped by a robot is very different from a frothy little piece about the tooth fairy.

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Audio of “Catch of the Day” on Falcon Radio Theatre

The radio station at Seattle Pacific University produced my one-act “Catch of the Day” as a radio play on April 23, 2013.

The audio is just now becoming available.

On that same show, Falcon Radio Theatre also produced one of my five-minute scripts, “Zucchini Are Planning to Take Over the World.”

A nervous mother is preparing to entertain her daughter and the daughter’s new boyfriend. She’s eager for the match to succeed. She’s instructed her husband to pick up some fish on the way home for dinner; he mistakenly acquires a fugu, a type of fish prized as a delicacy in Japan — but which is also highly poisonous, if improperly prepared. Naturally, the woman succeeds in poisoning the daughter and her boyfriend — sending them into a trance. Comedy ensues, while the pair are frozen in position through part of the play. Cast: Two males, two females. Running time: 30 minutes.

Here’s a list of audio to some of the other pieces I had on Falcon Radio Theatre:

* “The Angel of Brooklyn” (one-act)
* “Lucy” (one-act)

* “God and the Devil Meet for a Business Lunch” (ten-minute script)
* “Somewhere Tonight, the Washington Senators’ Last Game Plays On” (ten-minute script)

* “Cat and Dog” (five-minute script)
* “If Cats Had Lawyers” (five-minute script)
* “The Last Day of School” (five-minute script)
* “The Liberal Arts Pirates” (five-minute script)
* “The Secret Lives of Goldfish: Breakout!” (five-minute script)
* “The Secret Lives of Goldfish: Pirates!” (five minute script)
* “The Viking Funeral of Harold Olafson” (five-minute script)

Falcon Radio Theatre also did my one-act, “Occupations,” but there doesn’t seem to be audio available of it.

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“Requiem for a Buzzard” is reprised in Ontario

Photo by Paddy Gillard-Bentley

Photo by Paddy Gillard-Bentley

My short piece “Requiem for a Buzzard” was produced this summer in Kitchener, Ontario as part of the Asphalt Jungle series. It’s an annual festival of outdoor theatre, in which the audience is taken on a walk around downtown and encounters short pieces of theatre at various venues.

The group is now holding a 10th anniversary festival — a “best of” its first decade, and I was honored to have “Requiem for a Buzzard” included. Artistic Director Paddy Gillard-Bentley shares this photo of the audience as it assembles at the staging point for my piece.

* Photos from the June production
* Poster for the June production


What do buzzards do when one of their own becomes roadkill? They say a few words of remembrance, then they eat him. Cast: Three, non-gender, but perhaps best as two male, one female.

This is one of many short pieces I have which are available royalty-free.

UPDATED: Here are some more photos from Paddy of the actual performance:


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