April 07, 2005

Curious George: Theatrical Shorts I have been charged with the task of being a student director of a short play; the problem, well, I am at a loss as far as to which play.

It will probably around ten minutes or so (although I imagine that will be negotiable along the way). However, I am at a loss as to what to have my small cast (about four people) perform, and whether I should look in those generally crappy books of short plays or perhaps cut down a larger play into a super condensed and (hopefully) comedic version. I need something that won't bore the socks of the audience, and more importantly, my company and myself. Do any of my fellow simians have any potential suggestions?

  • Waiting for Gidot. Obviously, it would be a very short wait.
  • I wonder if you could wear theatrical shorts to a rave.
  • How about: Peter Pan, but the kids are afraid to leave with him. The End. Cats, but the Animal Control truck shows up before any singing or dancing ensues. The End. Peter and the Wolf, but wolves are extinct in the area, so it's just Peter. The End. My Fair Lady, but the Lady has excellent self esteem. The End. You get the idea....
  • Woody Allen has a bunch of short plays in his books _Without Feathers_ and _Getting Even_. OLD Woody, back when he was still funny.
  • I recommend Christopher Durang. He's got rather a large selection of good (IMHO) short plays for one to four actors.
  • I wrote a play about roommates and orange juice!
  • It is ten minutes, 3 roles.
  • By all means, ActuallySettle, I am quite curious.
  • This is what you want. It's called "All In The Timing" by David Ives, and it's 14 one-act plays that have casts of between two and four people, and last about 10 minutes. There are ones from a date with do-overs to three chimps writing Hamlet. It's good, easy and quick.
  • I second the Woody Allen idea. I think that there is one called "Death" which is Kafkaesque and later morphed into the movie "Shadows and Fog." There also is my favorite wacky play of his where the name escapes me, but it would involve planting some hecklers in the audience as well as having someone play Woody Allen himself who gets on the speakerphone to talk about the play. Can't remember the name, but it is in one of those books. It is zany. I think that it might be difficult to actually pull off. And I have seen many of the David Ives plays. I recommend "Variations on the Death of Trotsky", "Stuck in a Philadelphia," The Monkeys doing Hamlet, and the one that would require an enormous amount of choreography, "Phillip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread."
  • Games: And, After Liverpool by James Saunders might be worth a look. It's a series of very basic short scripts which quite often get used as warm-up exercises because of the myriad ways in which the situations can be interpreted, but can easily be adapted into quite complex short vignettes. "All In The Timing", as js says, is also brilliant. Let us know what you decide. Break a leg!
  • I used to do competition plays in high school (which were timed) and every comedy season, All in the Timing would be put on. Or at least parts of it.
  • Second the Durang. Nobody will know what the fuck it's about, but they'll laugh.
  • I was the co-director of a short play last year, and in preparation I read a few books of short plays. My favorite, and the one I ended up doing, was Oedi by Rich Orloff. It's a humorous adaptation of Sophocles's Oedipus Rex. My second choice was a comedy of manners about an unusual name by A.A. Milne, although I forget the name. All in the Timing is good too, although the only bit I've seen is the ones with the monkeys doing Hamlet, but that was hilarious. I also recommend looking at plays other One-Act performances have done. That'll give you some names to look at, at least.
  • John Guare: The Loveliest Afternoon of the Year Chekhov: The Marriage Proposal Tom Stoppard, Fifteen Minute Hamlet. And very NSFW but my fave short play EVER: The Skinhead Hamlet.
  • A real time play about writing a play and the angst it causes.... well it was worth a try
  • I liked Chekhov's "The Brute." But hey bernockle, js, et al, thanks for all those posts, i've been looking for good plays to read recently just by coincidence.
  • If its not too late, I would highly suggest David Mamet's 'The Poet and the Rent' as well as 'Revenge of the Space Pandas'. I was in both...the former being *very* funny with lots of vaudeville asides and such ("Where's the safe?" -Don't know. "Any ideas?" -we could look for it...all we have to do is find the money, once we find that, the safe will prolly be right around it!) ...the latter being a touch less subtle, but still very funny and fun to perform!
  • Ootah! Just got a hold of David Ives "All in the Timing" These are great! Thanks js.