The daily challenges of 29 Plays Later can be hard. They can be good or bad, inspiring or boring. I didn’t get much out of Days 11-13 but my responses gave me more experience of structuring a story, I experimented with expressionism, and wrote something kiddy-friendly. It’s as demanding as ever to write a play a day (and make it a play not just a sketch) but once the boredom subsides and the ink starts flowing, you can stretch out and surprise yourself.
Day 11 – Dirrty Pantalons – Challenge: write gender neutral roles and write about sexuality and gender. Andi and Nicky are going to sabotage Jonbenet’s cabaret act, but noone knows that Benjonet has stepped in pretending to be Jonbenet. An unedifying reflection of the cattiness and mean-spiritedness of show business, this piece has been described by one reader as as mean, horrible and empty.
11_-_DIRRTY_PANTALONS_-_AJ_DEHANY (pdf, 19pp, 7 chars)
Day 12 – The Dream Song – Set your play on a plane, but then move it to somewhere else. I read a great one in which someone sitting in the front row of the Royal Opera House is having a panic attack until the moment the opera starts (or takes off). I wrote a short expressionistic piece, a bit desperate and psychoanalytically charged.
12_-_THE_DREAM_SONG_-_AJ_DEHANY (pdf, 6pp)
Day 13 – The Melody For Destiny – Write something you don’t want to see in the theatre, your theatrical nightmare, but make it the best it can be on its own terms from a position of understanding. This is a moral fable for children inspired by Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. Cosmo goes on his Growth Quest to collect the Magic Melodies that have special powers. I got quite into writing this, especially the Gardener’s Melody for Patience and the Wizard’s Melody for Making the Impossible Possible. Alix Mortimer stepped in and wrote a few, and you should too! Let’s make it into an illustrated children’s book and then kill ourselves.
13_-_THE_MELODY_FOR_DESTINY_-_AJ_DEHANY (pdf 34pp, 2 to 16 actors)