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Update 2007-05-23

Word from Brooklyn has come in - they will be performing Matthew's play "The Red Telephone."

Congratulations to Matthew; commiserations to other authors who weren't chosen this year. Thanks to everyone for taking part!

Update 2007-05-15

The Harrogate play was performed (see Apollyon's w/u below for a review!) and, with what amounts to miraculous lightning speed compared to last year, a video stream of the event is online already at http://video-2.leedsmet.ac.uk/Asx/?mswmext=.asx&id=604%7C3x%7CfD6brX*.

I'm still hoping to get a DVD copy of it as well, so I can send that to anyone who can't view the stream for whatever reason.

Update 2007-05-05

Harrogate's choices are in - of our plays, they will be performing:

Congratulations to all the above!

The performance will be on Friday the 11th of May (sorry for the short notice!) at Harrogate Theatre in North Yorkshire, England.

Details on the Harrogate Theatre site at http://www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk/ht05/production.asp?prodID=141. Box office phone number 01423 502 116.

No word from Brooklyn on their choices yet, so there's still a chance that more E2 plays will be chosen.

It's theatre quest time!

Write a sixty second play by 14th April. The best entries will be performed on stage, in front of a paying audience.

Details

Each year, the Harrogate Theatre (in the north of England), and Brooklyn College (in the eastern USA) collaborate on the Gone in Sixty Seconds project. They request submissions from writers anywhere and everywhere. Each selects 50 plays, and they are performed on stage by a mixture of drama students and semi-professional actors. The plays are filmed, and eventually a DVD will be sent out to those lucky people whose plays where performed, so you can see your work. I say "eventually", and boy do I mean it - the DVD for the 2006 production has only just been sent out. Theatre folk mean well but can't get anything done without a deadline.

Rules

  • Plays must last no longer than 60 seconds
  • All work must be totally original and the author's own work
  • The cast size may not exceed 12 actors
  • Submit your entry to the Gone in Sixty Seconds 2007 - Theatre Quest Entries node.
  • Deadline 14th April. (it's been extended!)
  • Include your name, location, and the play's title

That last rule is because when each play is performed, they like to display e.g. "The Infuriating Penguin, by Joe Bryant (London)" behind it on a screen. If you don't want to publish your name and location here on E2, either make up a pseudonym, or send me the information by /msg, and I'll pass it on to the theatres if your work is chosen.

Guidelines

  • Most obviously - check out the previous three quests and look at the ones that got chosen to be performed.
  • Don't write anything that depends on elaborate costumes, sets, or props - there's little time for these things when you are performing 50 sketches in succession. A fireman's hat is okay; a Big Bird costume is not. Think practicality.
  • Recall that the audience haven't read the script and so don't know that the guy up there is supposed to be e.g. Paris Hilton unless it's apparent from the dialogue. (Sounds obvious, but it escapes people surprisingly often.)
  • Read the thing aloud with a stopwatch to make sure it really fits into sixty seconds. They aren't kidding about the time limit.
  • If you have doubts - ask me! I used to perform these things, I like to think I've got a good idea of what will fly and what won't.

I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with this year! Last year, E2's contributions accounted for a huge portion of those performed; we wrote about a third of the Brooklyn show, which is fantastic. I'd love to do better though: maybe one year I'll be able to say we wrote the majority of the material...

This year the quest sponsor is the lovely paraclete, who hasn't yet realised that being the quest sponsor means she is obliged to submit something.

Gone in Sixty Seconds 2007 – An experience report.

I didn’t quite know what to expect when I travelled to Harrogate to see Gone in Sixty Seconds 2007. Obviously my Mum was really proud because one of my plays was being shown and had been telling everyone she knew.
The fact that the play was only one minute long and that I had to pay to see it never passed her lips of course. I shall stop rampantly publicising myself now because there were three other E2 plays on show, and I have to represent the Everythingian front as a whole.

The production rather cleverly set the scene for the entire evening by starting the first performance in the bar beforehand. A poster on the way in announced that a play was going to happen, of course this made everyone wonder who the actors were, until some overly dramatic and thespian “bar-goers” started trying to guess where the real actors were hiding, thus revealing themselves to be the actors in question.

Avant garde? Postmodern? Interactive? Confusing? Yep, I was probably in the right place!

All the E2 plays came really late in the performance (because, you know, they want to finish strong). So I was getting more and more excited all the time and wondering if mine was ever going to come up, (internal monologue: “surely someone had made a mistake, my play couldn’t have been chosen, it’s an error, I’ve been screwed by bureaucracy yet again.”).

**mild spoilers**

In no particular order, Earthling (52 mins in to the performance) by Strawberryfrog was well received, mostly because the actors really got into the alien roles and did some crazy walking and funny voices. I think it was acted in the spirit that was intended and got quite a few laughs.

Role switch (33 mins) by footprints was quite interesting, it initially made everyone feel a little uncomfortable, but then the audience started having a shouting competition, (everyone in the audience knew someone involved in the play so the play was effectively: “HELLO SARA” etc.)
(I was going to invent something myself because I was in the enviable position of knowing what was going to happen. I came up with something about breaking the fourth wall too many times and causing an inter-dimensional rip. However I thought that if I prepared something it would break the spontaneity, and therefore the purpose, of the play.)

Intervention (49 mins) by UncleM was fortunate to be acted by the most outwardly enthusiastic actors there, they managed to bring out the humour in the situation really well and I think the characters really worked on stage.

And last but not least (ok, I’ll start the shameless self-promotion again) was Your Call May be Recorded for Training Purposes (60 mins) by … ME!
It was so exciting to see my work on stage. The guy fluffed a few of the words and they spelt my name wrong but I think it touched a nerve with the audience who seemed to like it a lot. I must have looked stupidly happy when I was leaving because the guy behind me (who probably saw me mouthing along) congratulated me. I ended up back stage (the glamour) and thanked the actors for performing my play and it felt like the whole evening rounded off properly.

Other memorable plays involved discussions between bags at a baggage carrousel in an airport (there were lodes of plays set in an airport for some reason) There was a great one about global warming, an alien joke that somehow seemed familiar, and an addictively persistent goodbye song (which should never be used in an advert!)and a brilliant one called "run" about cricket.

**end spoilers**

All in all I’m really happy, it was a good night and another reason to be pleased that I started writing for Everything2, and so I would like to thank TenMinuteJoe for running the quest: Cheers! Everyone else who submitted anything: Cheers! And E2 just for being here: Cheers!

Keep your fingers crossed for the Brooklyn announcement everyone!

Oh no! Now everyone can see how bad my memory is!

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