I need to write more and submit more plays to more competitions. I’ve been telling this to myself since I came to live and work in NYC nearly 3 years ago. Thus far, the best I’ve been able to do is consistently submit to the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival every year. So yeah, shifting gears from all the board game design and architectural competitions I’ve been involved with over the past few months, I managed to craft a new short play.
This started when Liz and I were talking about how we should formally introduce ourselves to the new neighbors in our apartment building. Liz suggested that she might bake a pie for them. For some reason, my immediate reaction was — “Don’t do that! They’ll think it’s poisoned.” Why did I think they would think that? I have no idea. But it was a fun impetus to start writing about the kind of person that would immediately assume that a welcome pie from some neighborly neighbors was poisoned.
Below is the script as it stood when I submitted it last night, after a few drafts and a couple readings with some very generous friends (Elizabeth Coulombe, Daniel King, Nilus Klingel, Morgan Shaw, Danton Spina, Ian Nicholson). I’d love to keep up readings for future plays– it makes such a huge difference to hear my words said out loud, and it’s also just a boatload of fun.
Anyway, while I’m quite happy with it as it stands, I do think there’s some more opportunity to play with the following:
Loosely based on the relationship in August Strindbergh’s ‘Miss Julie’, I’ve got something going on here. Not sure what though.
I can’t imagine a world where this could actually be performed (unless you had much older actors who looked this age), but it felt therapeutic for me to get out this strange and somewhat traumatizing story of my first girlfriend. Call it, 87% true.
This 5-minute play came about after I rediscovered The Sims, a Maxis game I played a lot back in the early 2000s. After a couple weeks, I found myself explaining to someone the events of a recent game and realized how ridiculous it would be to have all of this happen in real life. So I threw this guy together.
While not necessary, I would love to have the little ++ and — symbols projecting above the actors heads as they talk. And I think the weird long pauses that happen in the game between conversation bouts (often interrupted by a random compliment or joke) could be a lot of fun. That being said, I don’t want to overdo it, or make the play too inaccessible for people who have no idea what The Sims is. Anyway, if you have 5 minutes, take a read and let me know what you think!
I’ve recently been digging around the amorphous mass of written and visual materials produced during the sleepless haze that was my thesis year at architectural school. My project, which involved transforming Fort Jay on Governors Island into a theater, needed a proof-of-concept for how this vast, multi-stage arena may operate. Due to the enormous scale I was working with, much of the finer details of the theater were left abstract, so it was a credit to the project to zoom in a little; at least in some parts.
So I worked on an outline/sample of a script that might be suitable for performance in my theater, fully utilizing the crazy swarm of cameras and the unique sight-lines. There’s a lot to it, but you can check out the Military Theatre page of my architecture section if you want to know more about the building design and all the theory behind it.
Anyway, here’s the full Scopic Script, complete with the full play outline, a scene outline, and that scene. Important thanks go out to David Feldman, an extremely talented playwright based out of Syracuse who has become my greatest writing mentor. I still have a lot to learn from him…