Update 2008-06-06 - Buying tickets

I really should have got this info up sooner, for which I apologize.

Leeds

June 12th 7.30pm

VENUE:
Stage One @ University Of Leeds
Leeds University Campus
Leeds
LS2 9JT

0113 3438730
http://www.leedstickets.com/stage £6.50 (£4.50 concessions)

Brooklyn

June 13-14 8.00pm

VENUE:
New Workshop Theater
Brookyln College Campus
2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY (Flatbush Avenue stop on the 2 train)

(718) 951-5000 x 2768
or visit the Dept. of Theater Web page at http://depthome.brooklyn.cuny.edu/theater

Tickets: $7

Update 2008-06-02 - Results

The results are in. Apollyon's "Reverse Philosopher" will be performed in Harrogate, and Uberbanana's "Even in Death" will be performed in Brooklyn. Congratulations to both of them!

Regular followers of the quest will surely notice that we are, unfortunately, getting fewer of our plays selected for performance in recent years. I don't think this is due to any huge drop in the quality of our output; the fact is that the festival is reaching a larger and larger audience outside of E2, and so we face much greater competition. The first time around, our competition was a couple of dozen people in the Harrogate Theatre Writer's group; nowadays, the competition is global.

So, all the more reason to be pleased for Apollyon and Uberbanana, and I hope that everyone else will not be put off trying again next year. Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

It's theatre quest time!

Write a sixty second play by 25th April 4th May.too late! It's over. The best entries will be performed on stage, in front of a paying audience.

Details

Each year, the Gone in Sixty Seconds project requests submissions from writers anywhere and everywhere. Two venues, one in the USA, and one in the UK, each select 50 plays, and they are performed on stage, in front of a real audience, by a mixture of drama students and semi-professional actors. Every year, everything2 members submit their plays, and so far each year has seen a selection of everything2 submissions chosen to be performed.

This year, the American show will be performed at Brooklyn College on (updated!) June 13th and 14th, and the UK show will be at the University of Leeds on June the 12th.

Check out Apollyon's review of last year's UK show!.

The show will be recorded, and, in theory, the plays will be made available to view online. However, in previous years, this part of proceedings has been fraught with problems, so I am reluctant to make promises about it. I'm sure the organisers fully intend to put the videos of the plays online, but, please, don't be too disappointed if they don't, or if they do, but it takes MONTHS.

Rules

  • Plays must last no longer than 60 seconds.
  • All work must be totally original and the author's own work.
  • Avoid complicated staging.
  • Submit your entry to the Gone in Sixty Seconds 2008 - Theatre Quest Entries node.
  • Each author may submit multiple plays.
  • Deadline 4th May.
  • Include your name, location, and the play's title.

That last rule is because when each play is performed, they like to display e.g. "The Unlikely Landscape Gardener, by Joe Bryant (London)" behind it on a screen. If you don't want to publish your name and location here on E2, either make up a pseudonym, or send me the information by /msg, and I'll pass it on to the theatres if your work is chosen.

Guidelines

  • Most obviously - check out the previous four quests and look at the ones that got chosen to be performed.
  • Don't write anything that depends on elaborate costumes, sets, or props - there's little time for these things when you are performing 50 sketches in succession. A fireman's hat is okay; a Big Bird costume is not. Think practicality.
  • Recall that the audience haven't read the script and so don't know that the guy up there is supposed to be e.g. Hillary Clinton unless it's apparent from the dialogue. (Sounds obvious, but it escapes people surprisingly often.)
  • Read the thing aloud with a stopwatch to make sure it really fits into sixty seconds. They aren't kidding about the time limit.
  • If you have doubts - ask me! I used to perform these things, I like to think I've got a good idea of what will fly and what won't.

I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with this year! We have some ground to recover; E2's showing last year wasn't as strong as in previous years (measured by plays chosen, anyway). I have faith in you all!

Many thanks to Oolong who is this year's official quest sponsor. He will be awarding 10XP blessings for each submission! Also, check out his own subsidiary quest writeup below for your chance to have your play performed by weird plasticine monsters!

With TenMinJoe's permission, I would like to suggest a second possible usage for this year's scripts: I want to make an animation out of at least one of them. I've been wanting to try my hand at claymation for years, and people keep telling me I should. I need a script though, and I don't really do fiction myself.

My basic requirements are the same as Joe's - I want a 60-second script without excessively complicated staging. I'm pretty new at this animation thing, after all, so I'd like to be challenged but not overwhelmed. Two other things would make an entry especially suitable for my needs: Ideally I should be able to cast non-humans as the protagonists, and it would be nice if there's the potential for a bit of background detail to work with. I'll eventually need a voice recording of the script, too, but that can always follow later (it's possible I might be able to use the recordings made from the live performance, but I'd rather not rely on that and it may be tricky to obtain permissions from all the actors). You might like to submit recordings for the E2 Podcast, too.

All animation-script submissions should be dual-use - feel free to make animation-specific suggestions in your script, but do not rely on them. On the whole I'd prefer to fill in most of the details of the direction myself, in any case.

Note that each script entered in the quest will qualify the author for a standard 10XP blessing, whether or not it looks like something I could animate.

To give you some idea of how the final result might look, examples of my sculpture work can be found at http://oolong.co.uk/colmod.htm and my sculpture blog, http://oolong.co.uk/zoo

I’m back from another stunning performance of GI60S.

The background to this year’s event was that up until a few days before the show started the online ticket booking site was showing it as sold out. A few hurried emails later (thank you TenMinJoe) and I had earned myself a free ticket. Fortunately the theatre-people’s “complete inability to do anything practical” didn’t result in a disappointing audience size as there were still enough people who had written a play or were friends of the people in the plays to put bums on seats.

As I may have mentioned in last years review – this is about as studenty as it gets. Almost everything had an issue, in-joke or intellectual twist of some sort. On this basis awards go to: The airport attendants discussing Immanuel Kant, (most pseudo-intellectual); Paris Hilton writing poetry (so forgettable I have to remember it) someone laughing to death (most pythonesque) and an entire five act tragedy acted with a running commentary (most appeal for English lit/Theatre studies students); a clever exploration of mental illness (most touching/mawkish depending on who you ask) and a relationship ordered from a waiter (probably the funniest idea) a religion made up of Elvis impersonators (most sacrilegious) and many more that I can't remember

If I had to give advice on how to get a play chosen for GI60S I would say that you are writing for the actors and not for an audience. This is clearly an “end of the academic year celebration” performance for lecturers and favoured students. This might be why some plays that we wrote, although technically superior (some successful entries lost me half way through – which is impressive considering the time constraints) were ignored over more personally pleasing or simply more fun options. I can’t blame them though, who wants to go to a lot of effort?

Almost in an attempt to render my last statement utterly false someone blooming well chose my play. Why they would choose to do a play with such a high probability of producing a cock-up is beyond me. Surely a play that required the title role to speak half his lines backwards must have been performed as a dare?
However the actor at the centre of my piece did an excellent job of portraying the eponymous “reverse philosopher”; it even received a reasonable response from the audience.

Speaking of the audience, I must admit that of all the performances we, the audience, were the poorest. It was as though we collectively came with unresponsive and bias minds. Some performances passed entirely without applause, yet any one minute wonders who were fortunate enough to have “light green t-shirt boy” or “purple t-shirt girl” in them were greeted with whooping well into the next piece.
I don’t know whether I should be pleased or unhappy that my play had neither of these actor-superheroes involved in it. Perhaps this is indicative of the performance being held on a Thursday around the time the students are migrating home after exams.

I don’t want to finish on such a down note so I will say that the initial idea of GI60S remains strong – that most of the performances were well written, all were well performed and that it is still a brilliant thing to go to see. Bravo.

All in all I was very happy with my one minute of fame (only 13 more to go!).
Now what the heck am I going to write next year?

ps: Break a leg New York performers and Uberbanana!

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