28 Plays Later

Published

Yes I’m attempting another writing challenge.

No I can’t promise to complete this one either.

But I’m going to give it a go.

Click the titles to read the plays.

1 – Here and Now – the prompt was to write something about “now”. So here’s where my brain was at at the time.

2 – Tiger Stripes – the prompt was Tiger, in celebration of the Lunar new year. Trigger warning for traumatic birth discussion (it’s quite uplifting at the end, I promise). It’s a monologue, and pretty autobiographical.

3 – I Hate Improv – so the prompt today was incredibly vague “Emancipate your actors”, and had whifs of choose your own adventure writing, which my brain isn’t clever enough to do in 24 hours. So I’ve written a script where lots of it needs to be improvised for each performance.

4 – Sports Commentary – the prompt was sport. I don’t really know all that much about any one particular sport, so this is two commentators, commentating. It’s not on a sport. Not really.

5 – The Chase – prompt was to be cinematic, and the first thing that came to mind was a good old fashioned police chase.

6 – We Don’t Talk About It – the prompt here was for nothing to happen. This is more about unspoken things – I didn’t really hit the brief in terms of lack of conflict, cause there’s something going on between these characters, but neither of them acts on it.

7 – Slept Like A Baby – the prompt was to contradict an idiom that is a lie i.e. peas in a pod aren’t identical, the grass isn’t always greener… This is mostly a monologue. If you’ve read the previous scripts, you’ll notice a format change here – at the request of our play prompting overlords at The Literary Challange we had to change it up.

8 – Randomly Generated – this one was hell. First time I’ve really come up against a block. I tried lots of different ways to randomly set the direction etc – I even tried writing a choose your own adventure date (which just got too tricky, but I think it’s a device I might come back to in the future). Instead, this is what happens when you have a random word generator and a Yes or No wheel, and let them loose. The bold words are what was generated.

9 – No One Is An Island – what happens when you get unspoken sexual tension, alcohol, karaoke and Dolly Parton? This short bit of nonsense, apparently. I have a feeling I might come back to this, or it might pop up in something longer. Which is a nice sensation, as nothing else I’ve written so far as inspired that feeling!

10 – A Backstage Mystery – which I now regret not calling A Mystery Backstage, but there we go. Prompt ten was about Mystery or Miracle plays – now if you know me you know Christianity isn’t really my thing, so I didn’t really want to venture too much into any particular story. What is my thing is theatre so this ended up being a small, low budget but experienced cast production, preparing to go on stage to perform a non-specified Mystery Play. Involves beard glue and a stressed company stage manager.

11 – It Doesn’t Matter – prompt was to play with or explain Nihilism. I think this one page play proves I can do neither of those things but it doesn’t matter, as I’m just a lump of some-what sentient meat clinging to a rock spinning around in a mostly empty universe, right?

12 – Puzzle – the prompt today was technopaignia – shaped poetry. This was not my bag at all, and I’ve very much done a quick and dirty job on it. Wedding vows between two jigsaw lovers, shaped like a puzzle piece.

13 – The Pre-Party – we were given a starting line and and ending one. This makes literally no sense, but there we go… I also stupidly forgot to submit yesterday’s in time, so I’m off the timed route now – boooo – but I’m going to continue as if I were.

14 – Textual – write a play that is entirely accessible to d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences. This is a late night text conversation between colleagues. There’s no spoken dialogue, and all the texts and actions are on the screens behind them.

15 – 30 Words – literally limited to 30 words. I picked words from a “most common English words” list and this is what came out. Something to do with oil.

16 – Listen In – the prompt was to write something imagining we lived in an oppressive state where you can’t criticise the governement. I’m not that clever, not with only 36 hours to play with anyway, so this is a play set in a world with an oppressive state.

17 – What The Fates Allow – I can’t explain the prompt. It was many, many, bizarre rules which I believe I have managed to stick to (although the one about quick fire dialogue is dubious at best.) I’ve spent almost 12 hours on this, which considered I usually dash other ones out in an hour, makes this a monster.

18 – We Need To Talk – as few words of dialogue as possible, but still tell a full story.

19 – Six – so we had to re-write a musical without the songs. I saw Six yesterday, so I’ve basically paraphrased the lot. This one really didn’t inspire me at all, and I’ve kind of just lobbed this together. The next one will be better…

20 – Shoe Town – the musical these continues, but this one had me entirely stumped. The idea was to write a Género Chico (I dunno, honestly, I googled it and it didn’t help) but the gist is that it is a boy want to marry girl, something gets in the way, but they live happily every after, and set in a specific place. But with songs. I am not musical. So I wrote a short play with songs to the tune of popular songs that sort of make sense with the context, and set in Northampton. So yeah.

21 – Libretto – honestly, not a clue. Lyrics are not for me!

22 – 2’s Company – inspired by the date (22.02.2022) this is all about 2. There are 2 people. Each line on page one increases by 2 words. Each line on page 2 decreases by 2 words.

23 – A Mind At Rest – this was all about tapping into your subconcious to do some automatic writing. Fact is, my mind is rarely quiet enough to manage meditation or getting into any sort of self-hypnotic state, so rather than trying to force my mind to shut up, I left it to run free. Based on the fact that I forgot my headphones this morning and had to listen to myself think on the bus.

24 – DM Me – prompt was social media. One page play about how DM’ing can be lost in translation.

25 – Bar Philosophy – honestly, I couldn’t really work out what today’s prompt meant, but the final line was about imagining the prompt setter’s ramble as the speech of a person at a bar philosophising, so that’s what we’ve got.

26 – Green – name a colour. Write something about it.

27 – Big 3-0 – re-do any of the previous prompts. I re-did the 30 words prompt, but based at a 30th birthday party.

28 – There and Then – two women of different generations begin a friendship at a bus stop.

I did it! 28 Plays. 28 Days. 30,278 words – average 1k words per play, longest was 7k+, shortest was 214. 100 characters. Are they the greatest things in the world? Nope! But it’s 30 thousand more words than I would have written otherwise and I’m proud to have finished it!