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Lyn Halper

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Got a couple of hours? Write a 10-miute play
by Lyn Halper   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Posted: Tuesday, August 09, 2005

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Lyn Halper

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Writing a "flash" play is easy and a lot of fun.

Last summer I wrote a play for a workshop and got very frustrated. I didn't know what I was doing, and when I had the play professinally critiqued, found out it was a mess. By a weird fluke, a local anti-crime agency liked it (well, what do they know about playwrighting), and we're in the process of production. I'm still working on the script to get the kinks out, screaming and cursing all the way!

But, recently I saw a Call for Submissions for ten minute plays and decided to give one of these quickies a try. Surprisingly, an idea came almost imemdiately and the dialogue flowed. I got my daughter to read it aloud with me and it came to about ten minutes (8-9 typewritten pages). The next day I brought it to my critiquing group and two men read it aloud (it had two male characters). It was great to be able to sit back and hear how it sounded! After making a couple of changes, I sent it out.

If you love theater and want to try your hand at this form, begin by writing a ten-minute play. There are a lot of theaters, professional and commuity, that hold festivals and they need a lot of submissions. (Try Googling 10-minute play submissions). Maybe I've been bitten by the bug because I saw another Call for Submissions soon after and decided to try again. I found a contest that had a theme: women in unusual situations, and I wrote a script in response. Again, I found that an idea and the dialogue came easily. (I'm usually batting my head against the wall to come up with a a poem or a short story). This time I was a little more savvy because I'd read a couple of books of ten-minute plays and scoured web sites to see what other people were writing. I bopped around on line and found that the Short and Sweet Festival winners wrote plays about dancing elephants and talking dolls. When I e-mailed a playwright who specializes in
the short form he said that judges are so bored reading submissions, they perk up when they come across something different or shocking. Hmmm. I'm not sure my mind works that way, but I might stretch and see where my imagaination takes me.
If you've got a spare hour or two, try this form. You might find that it's a refreshing change from those mind-crushing novels or poems, and just a lot of fun.

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