Find out more about the project or sign up now.

Accepting Prompt Ideas!

We’re now soliciting suggestions for prompt ideas. If you have prompts that you would like to share with the playwrights participating in this year’s 31 Plays in 31 Days Challenge, please email them to Brandon Crose, one of our prolific playwrights from last year who is creating this year’s prompts. He can be reached at brandon.crose @ gmail.com (remove the spaces). Please include your name and, if selected, we’ll acknowledge your contribution on our website in August.

August is Coming Up—Warm Up Your Writing Muscles!

In preparation for this year’s 31 Plays in 31 Days Challenge, we’re reorganizing how we collect information from participating playwrights.

During the first two years of the challenge, we asked playwrights to pre-register their names and email addresses with us. This year, we’re saving everyone a step by collecting all of this information through our online submission program. 

So, all you need to do to prepare for this year’s Challenge is to find your favorite word-processing software and set aside some time to write 31 plays in August. 

We’ll post submission guidelines later this month as well as links to our submission page. 

If you have questions, please email tracy @ 31plays31days.com.

Tracy Held Potter, Co-Founder

EXCUSE ME MR. BUNNY by Rachel Dickson

Rachel Dickson, is an accomplished stage actress and theater educator with credits in directing and dramaturgy.  She is excited to add playwriting to her “to-do” list! More to come…
Please visit driventheaterco@gmail.com for more information about Rachel. And now here’s EXCUSE ME MR. BUNNY…

EXCUSE ME MR. BUNNY by Rachel Dickson

TIME AND PLACE: Anytime, inside a snow globe

CHARACTERS:  GIRL—cherub faced, 2-dimensional, forever happy

BUNNY-happy brown rabbit wearing a colorful neck scarf and carrying a basket of colorful eggs

GIRL

Excuse me Mr. Bunny, I really want some eggs

My mother would be furious, if she knew how I begged

BUNNY

Begging it is not, if you are asking from the heart-

GIRL

Oh me to my surprise you understand me from the start!

BUNNY

Why wouldn’t I since you came to me and rubbed my little nose.

That is the very way to open up the heart you chose

To talk to and ask for a gift.  You could have rubbed the one

Who steals teeth during the night.  But gee who wants that kind of fun!

GIRL

I must be dreaming, sleep right now, and making up my whim.

Wake up! Wake up! And shake myself but oh how I do love him.

Mister Bunny can you sleep with me and make me very wet?

I mean that in the nicest way and you and I can bet

That you will not be disappointed with every move I make!

BUNNY

Last time anyone came straight and said, she was on the take

Stole all my eggs and my money, did not want me at all.

Were it not for fine Suzy Clause I would have had a fall.

Wait a minute.  Does your mother know you are out like this?

If she does, we can go forward and I can meet your every wish.

GIRL

My mother works the edge of earth where demons like to ride

I told her I would not go with her to the other side

I want to be where bunnies and fairies live all in peace.

If you will allow me, I will break you off a hot piece

Of my special recipe that does want your juicy eggs.

BUNNY

Slow down pretty child, no man likes a girl who has the dregs

To ask for what she wants and then demand an answer still.

GIRL

Do what you wish, I ask for nothing that is against your will.

I just know I have dreamed of you, so warm and fuzzy brown.

I’ve even put a “B” into my wiry puntang patch.

BUNNY

I dare to miss a chance to see what I should love to scratch.

GIRL

Sleep with me/ 

BUNNY

oh yes I will, come right into my embrace. 

I have no choice inside this globe that makes our happy place.

The water makes you float to me and give us good connect

GIRL

Until someone comes along and makes us move to reset

Santa, Suzy, Toothy, Patty are all within this land

Let’s not waste our time talking/

                      Too late I see a hand!!

TREE BROTHERS by Ryan Armstrong

For today’s play we have TREE BROTHERS by Ryan Armstrong.

Ryan Armstrong is a published playwright, poet and author. His plays have been produced throughout the country, including theatres in Colorado, Pennsylvania and New York.
If you’d like to know more about Ryan, or the play, please email Ryan at CatcherRJ@aol.com.

Tree Brothers

By Ryan Armstrong

Cast:

HENRY………………………………………………………………….…….M, 30s

LEON…………………………………………………………………………M, 30s

Setting:

A tree.  In the forest. Maybe around 3pm.

 

Lights up on two people tied to a tree. LEON, 30s, and HENRY, 30s, are tied to a tree. LEON is tied forward with back out and HENRY is tied with his back against the tree.

                             LEON

Henry! Henry! Henry?

                             HENRY

I’m right here.

                             LEON

I know. I know. I can’t see you.

                             HENRY

You see my hands, right?

                             LEON

Yeah, I do.

                             HENRY

Then, I’m still here.

                             LEON

You just haven’t said anything for awhile. 

                             HENRY

Your assumption, then was that I had left you and left my hands here?

                             LEON

No, it’s just…it’s just that I hadn’t heard anything.

                             HENRY

For awhile. I know. You said that already.

                             LEON

What’re you doing over there?

                             HENRY

Just listening.

                             LEON

Can you see anything?

                             HENRY

I’m blind, you jerk.

                             LLEON

I know that. I was just thinking.

                             HENRY

You were thinking?

                             LEON

I mean to say, that if you’re unable to touch – wouldn’t it enhance your other sense – or maybe give you some of your sight back?

                             HENRY

That was you thinking?

                             LEON

Yes.

                             HENRY

Stop. Now. Just stop.

                             Silence.

                             LEON

Hey, Henry?

                             Silence.

                             LEON(Continued)

Henry? Hey, Henry?

                             HENRY

What? What! What do you want?

                             LEON

I’d thought you’d left.

                             HENRY

Just because I’m not talking doesn’t mean I’ve gone anywhere.

                             LEON

Okay. I just don’t want to be stuck here hugging this tree.

                             HENRY

Leon…I can’t leave. Trust me, I’d love to, but I can’t.

                             LEON

This bark is scratchy. 

                             HENRY

Silence is okay.

                             Silence.

                             LEON

Hey, Henry?

                             Silence.

                              LEON (Cont.)

Henry? Hey, Henry? Are you there?

                             HENRY

I’m still here. I’m tied to the tree, too. I’m still here.

                             LEON

Good. I was getting worried.

                             HENRY

You can see my hands, right?

                             LEON

Yes! And might I say, what a wonderful manicure job you’ve done! Do you do it yourself or do have a professional take care of that for you.

                             HENRY

A professional?

                             LEON

Yes, a manicurist.

                             HENRY

No, I don’t see a professional – er – manicurist.

                             LEON

Wow, you’ve got quite a talent.

                              HENRY

I don’t have talent –I just trim my – stop talking!

                             LEON

There’s no need to get cranky. I was just paying you a compliment on your lovely nail job.

                             HENRY

I don’t have lovely nails! You know what? Stop. Stop looking at my nails. You don’t get to look at them. You’re no allowed to. I’m dis-allowing you to look at my nails. 

                             LEON

That’d be kind of hard. You do understand your hands are right in front of my face.

                             HENRY tries to hide his hands.

                               HENRY

Stop looking! Stop it!

                             LEON

Can’t. There’s nothing I can do.

                             HENRY

Close your eyes!

                            LEON

But then I’d be blind…er…

                              HENRY

Blinder? Is that what you were trying to say? Let me tell you something –

                             LEON

I didn’t mean it like that!

                             HENRY

You’re not blind! I’m blind! I’m blind and tied to a damn tree! I’m blind, tied to a tree with an idiot in tail.

                             LEON

Am I the tail?

                             HENRY

If I have to answer that…

                             LEON

Well, you know it’s not so much fun being led by the blind hugging a tree!

                             HENRY

Bring up the blind thing one more time, we’ll see what happens!

                             A few beats.

                              LEON

Blind!

                             HENRY

That’s it!

HENRY tries grabbing LEON with his hands. LEON laughs. When that doesn’t work, HENRY tries to kick LEON to  no avail. LEON can’t control his laughter.

                             HENRY (Cont.)

When I get out of this – I - I’m going to strangle you!

                             LEON

If you can find me!

                             HENRY

When I – If I – Damn!

                             LEON

If I get out of here, I’ll be gone! Forever! 

                             HENRY

Fine! Fine! Fine…we’re not going to get out of here.                           

                             LEON

We aren’t?

                             HENRY

They’ve been gone for about half-a-day. I don’t think they’re coming back.

                             LEON

They’d just leave us? Out here? In the woods? We’ll starve!

                             HENRY

We won’t starve.

                             LEON

I’m hungry! I’m hungry! I’m already starving.

                             HENRY

We won’t starve.

                             LEON

What do you mean we won’t starve?

                             HENRY

We won’t die from starvation – we’ll probably die of thirst first.

                             LEON

What! That’s not any better!

                             HENRY

Scientific. Biological. Fact.

                             LEON

I don’t want to die of thirst. I’m thirsty! I’m thirsty! I’m already thirsty!

                             HENRY

We probably won’t die of thirst.

                             LEON

So dry. Need water. Need water. Dying of thirst.

                             HENRY

We probably won’t die of thirst.

                             LEON

What do you mean we won’t die of thirst? We have no water! We haven’t got a pint! We’re thirsty!

                             HENRY

We probably won’t die from thirst because an animal will track our scent and eat us alive.

                             LEON

An animal?

                             HENRY

An animal, like a mountain lion, a wolf, a bear or even a rabid chipmunk.

 

                             LEON

A chipmunk?

                             HENRY

Yes. Have you ever seen a rabid chipmunk?

                             LEON

No.

                             HENRY

Let’s hope you never will.

                             LEON

But, a chipmunk?

                             HENRY

A rabid chipmunk!

                             LEON

Couldn’t you just squash him?

                             HENRY

You could try, but if you miss, you’re dead.

                             LEON

Dead?

                             HENRY

They’re quick little buggers. One bite and paralysis ensues.

                             LEON

You become paralyzed?

                             HENRY

Yep, and then that’s when they start to eat you.

                             LEON

Eat me?

                            HENRY

With their tiny chipmunk teeth. Little by little. They’re very slow about it.

                             LEON

Slow?

                             HENRY

Rabid chipmunks are very careful to chew and swallow every bite. 

                             LEON

Every bite?

                             HENRY

And because of the paralysis, you have to watch every second.

                             LEON

Dear God! How do we keep them away?

                             HENRY

Chipmunks react to noise, so if we’re especially quiet –

                             LEON

Shhh! We have to be quiet!

                             Silence. HENRY is pleased.

                             A few beats pass.

                             LEON

Hey, Henry? Henry? Henry, are you there? Hey, Henry? Henry?

                             Lights fade to black.

LOVE AT 30,000 FEET by Alan Magill

Another play! Hooray! Today we present LOVE AT 30,000 FEET by Alan Magill. Here’s more about the playwright:

Alan Magill is a produced playwright, newspaper columnist and humorist who enjoys seeing people from childhood to 101 using their creativity in constructive ways. 

LOVE AT 30,000 FEET

 
                                                                       by Alan Magill 
 
                                                             JOEL
It’s like you saved the world.
                                                                SARA
I’m grateful that all of us are safe.
                                                                JOEL
Thank you.
                                                                SARA
I still can’t believe it.
                                                                JOEL
You were wonderful.
                                                                SARA
Thanks to you.
                                                                JOEL
What did I do?
                                                                SARA
You let me sit in on the pilot training.
                                                                JOEL
Just because I wanted to see you.
                                                                SARA
Well, we really wouldn’t be seeing much of anything if it wasn’t for that.
                                                                JOEL
Twenty years in the air…that’s the closest…
                                                                SARA
Yeah…Now it’s starting to hit me.
 
                                                                JOEL
How did you stay so calm…
                                                                SARA
Well I knew I had to……..
Shouldn’t we be making an announcement to the passengers?
                                                                JOEL
By now they should be going down the chutes…
                                                                SARA
Oh right. Emergency exits…
From the pilot training.  Let’s get out of here.
                                                                JOEL
Can we talk?
                                                                SARA
How do we know there’s not going to be a fire.
                                                                JOEL
I need this time with you.
                                                                SARA
Okay.
                                                                JOEL
I think I’m in trouble.
                                                                SARA
No one has to know.
 
                                                                JOEL
They’ll know.  You spoke to the control tower.
                                                                SARA
Oh.
                                                                JOEL
Before today, you never sat in a cockpit?
                                                                SARA
That’s right.
                                                                JOEL
You never took other training classes?
                                                                SARA
No.
                                                                JOEL
Then what did you do?
                                                                SARA
What you saw me doing?  I’m a waitress.
                                                                JOEL
Sara, you just piloted a 747 in an emergency safely down from 30,000 feet and made a picture perfect emergency landing…while I panicked.
                                                                SARA
Don’t be so hard on yourself.
                                                                JOEL
With no experience?
                                                                SARA
Well it’s not like I had no experience.  I mean, I saw all the “Airport” movies.
               
                                                                JOEL
My ego is crushed.  Twenty years of training and I couldn’t move a finger.  
                                                                SARA
Everyone’s good at something.  I’m sure you’re good at other things.
                                                                JOEL
I’m supposed to be good at this.
                                                                SARA
You were good at letting me take that class with you and in letting me sit
up here in the cockpit.
Your actions saved the lives of 260 people.
                                                                JOEL
Keep talking.  I like what you’re saving.
                                                                SARA
And you’re also good at letting a girl realize her dreams.  I’ve always wanted to fly a plane. 
                                                                JOEL
Really?
                                                                SARA
Ever since I saw “Those Amazing Young Men in the Flying Machines.”
                                                                JOEL
Yeah?
                                                                SARA
Yeah.
And you’re really good at kissing.
                                                                JOEL
I shouldn’t have been doing it at 20,000 feet.
               
                                                                SARA
My head was in the stars.
                                                                JOEL
Oh I guess I failed at this too.
                                                                SARA
Was there something else?
                                                                JOEL
Sara…you should know this, in case we ever, you know…
                                                                SARA
Know what?
                                                                JOEL
I’m next in line to become the king of Denmark.
                                                                SARA
What??
                                                                JOEL
I know it sounds hard to believe.
I have an older brother and I thought he would take over the crown but he had an operation that put a little damper on the whole thing.
                                                                SARA
It incapacitated him?
                                                                JOEL
No, he’s stronger than ever.  A sex change operation.
                                                                SARA
Oh you poor thing…what you’ve been through.
 
                                                                JOEL
The Parliament just ruled yesterday that he can’t be King and Queen at the same time, so he’s out.
Which means I’m in.
                                                                SARA
And you don’t want that?
                                                                JOEL
I just want to live an ordinary  life with you, which would be anything but ordinary.
                                                                SARA
Oh Joel, you’ve had me since the way you ordered the eggs with home fries.
                                                                JOEL
That’s one of my strengths.
                                                                SARA
And I would like to find out all of your strengths.
                                                                JOEL
What are you saying?
                                                                SARA
I want to walk down the aisle with you.
                                                                JOEL
And I with you!
                                                                SARA
I’m so happy.
                                                                JOEL
I’m so miserable.
 
                                                                SARA
Why?
                                                                JOEL
To do it under the microscope of royalty…when you have no privacy, and you always have to act in a certain way instead of the way that’s in your heart to act.
                                                                SARA
Oh Joel, I’ve just listened to my heart and figured out how this can work.
                                                                JOEL
How, Sara, how!
                                                                SARA
You said your brother was disqualified because of his sex change operation?
                                                                JOEL
Yes, what of it.
                                                                SARA
If that’s not the stuff of royalty than surely being a sniveling, pathetic, coward would disqualify you.
                                                                JOEL
You’ve insulted me to the quick.
                                                                SARA
Be thankful you have those qualities.  You’re a whining, spineless imposter of all the norms of humankind.
                                                                JOEL
Why you…
                                                                SARA
And I am so grateful for it.  Royalty will spurn you and send you right into my loving arms.
                                                                JOEL
I like the way you said that.  We have to keep talking.
                                                                SARA
My loving arms.
                                                                JOEL
I like it.
 
                                                                SARA
Our wedding day awaits us.
                                                                JOEL
I am overcome with joy.
                                                                SARA
So am I.
                                                                JOEL
But one problem rears it’s ugly head.  How will anyone find out about this?
                                                                SARA
I will shout it from every mountain and sing it from every valley.  Twenty simultaneous press conferences around the country…I used to be in public relations….and the coup to gras…the coup to gras…I can see it as clear as day…
                                                                JOEL
As clear as day….
                                                                SARA
The picture we release to the Copenhagen Examiner.
                                                                JOEL
What picture?
                                                                SARA
Of my precious love, in the fetal position, sucking his thumb…
                                                                JOEL
I can do that…I started to do it when the plane was going down…
                                                                SARA
I know, I took the picture.
And the caption would read…
 
                                                                JOEL
Oh, do tell me what it would read…
                                                                SARA
“Hear ye,  Hear ye.  The royal baby.”
BLACKOUT

TIKI (a play in one act) by Porter Jamison

Here is our first play! TIKI (a play in one act) by Porter Jamison, if you’d like to find out more about the play or Porter Jamison, email him here: poordirge@gmail.com. And here is a bit about the playwright:

Porter Jamison has been a creature of the theatre for three decades, adding “playwright” two years ago to director, designer, teacher, producer, actor, technical director, fight choreographer, tour manager and dramaturg.

And here is the play! Enjoy!

TIKI 

(a play in one act)

CHARACTERS

RILEY. Veteran salesperson. @28-35.

QUINN. Veteran salesperson. @28-35.

TAYLOR. Newbie salesperson. @21-24.

(NOTE: Each character can be played as either gender and any race.)

SETTING

The tiny bar area inside “KING ME”, a trendy restaurant near the place the three characters work. If necessary, the bar can be offstage and the scene be done with stools/chairs and tables.

(NOTE: RILEY and QUINN’s banter has a particular rhythm; this is idiosyncratic based upon their personalities and work environment, and has nothing to do with their race or [unknown] sexuality.)

CONTACT:

Porter Jamison, poordirge@gmail.com

© Copyright Porter Jamison, 2013. All Rights Reserved.

(LIGHTS UP.)  

(QUINN, RILEY and TAYLOR have entered “King Me”, a smallish trendy restaurant near their work, around 7:00. This having been TAYLOR’S first week with the firm, the two vets have invited her/him to join them in their end-of-week winding-down tradition. They have been sent to the bar while they await an open table. They place their stuff on stools, the lone bar-table and/or the currently unstaffed bar.)

RILEY 

Boy howdy, do I need a martini.  A vanilla one.

QUINN

You want one.

RILEY

Listen to my word-hole.  Not want— need.

TAYLOR

“Boy howdy”?  Wow. 

QUINN

Humblest apologizes for not heeding you, memsahib.

RILEY

(a la Cary Grant) That’s more like it, Din. (looking at bar-card)  Ooh—  maybe pomegranate.

QUINN

Me, I could use a rum drink.

RILEY

(to TAYLOR) She/he’ll get his/her usual martini.

QUINN

Yep.  A damn tiki drink.  You bet.

RILEY

Ladies and gentlemen, Trader Vic.

QUINN

Who’s Trader Vic?

RILEY

He invented the—- never mind.  Rum?  Really?  A sophisticate such as yourself?  How the waitstaff will snark behind your back!

TAYLOR

(looking at card) Don’t they have just plain draft beer? Like Miller or Busch?

QUINN

I don’t think there’s a large longshoremen clientele in this neighborhood.

TAYLOR

Liking fresh draft beer doesn’t make one a longshoreman.

QUINN

Oh?

RILEY

I had a cousin make a longshoreman once.

QUINN

Which one?

RILEY

The Peruvian one.

QUINN

No, which cousin? (beat) “The Peruvian one.”

TAYLOR

I really have to take a dump. Sorry— go to the bathroom. If the bartender ever reappears get me a single house scotch, neat in a chilled glass. ‘Scuse. (exits) 

RILEY 

My cousin Izzy.

QUINN

Izzy? Wow.

RILEY

Right?

QUINN

Always saw Izzy as calm.  Unimpetuous.

RILEY

Right? 

QUINN

Surprises.

RILEY

Yep.

QUINN

Surprises every day.

RILEY 

You betcha.

QUINN

So what’s your take on Taylor?

RILEY

Take on Taylor?

QUINN

The newbie.

RILEY 

I knew that.  I was caught by the phrase.

QUINN

Take on Taylor?

RILEY

I believe there might be a poet under those flashy looks of yours.

QUINN

Worries you, does it?

RILEY 

The very possibility of being worried by you never even crossed my mind before.

QUINN

But it does now?

RILEY

Don’t be ridiculous.

QUINN

So what’s your take on Taylor?

RILEY

My take on Taylor is that Taylor’s first impulse is to call it “taking a dump”.  I could be mistaken, but this doesn’t bode well for interpersonal relations with customers in a professional sales environment.

QUINN

Why do you think Avery hired her/him?

RILEY

Eye candy. 

QUINN

You think?

RILEY 

I think only when …

QUINN (joining RILEY)

… there’s no other choice.  Yeah.  Candy for who?

RILEY 

Whom.

QUINN

Candy for customers or candy for Avery?

RILEY

Please.  What do you think? (pause) Is this a self-service joint you’ve brought us to, or what?  Where the hell is the bartender?

QUINN

Taylor learns fast, though.

RILEY 

Quick like a little bunny. You ever had a bacon martini?

QUINN

Nope. (beat) Ew. (pause) What’s the last time you closed three sales in a day?

RILEY

So long ago I don’t recall.

QUINN

When?

RILEY 

It’s ancient history. Lost in the sands of time.

QUINN

Me too.

RILEY

Don’t be absurd. I closed three last Thursday.

QUINN

What was I doing?

RILEY

You were going long with those blue-hairs.

 

QUINN

Oh, right. Thought I was in there with a slow hand.

RILEY 

You’re better that way than I am. 

QUINN 

I am.

RILEY 

You’re patient.

QUINN

Yep.

RILEY

Not me, Sport.  It’s go big or go home.  Put up or shut up.

QUINN

All in on the turn.

RILEY

Fish or cut bait.

QUINN

Pedal to the metal.

RILEY 

Lift big and look ripped. (pause) That’s not you.

QUINN

That’s not me.

RILEY

You’re for the long game.

QUINN

I take them as they come.

RILEY

Psychological finesse.

QUINN

Slower but steadily. Thumping down one little paw—

RILEY

—one little stumpy paw—

QUINN

—one little paw down after another.

RILEY 

Footwork and balance aren’t showy but they win tournaments, my friend. (beat) You just went too long with those blue-hairs. Sometimes the horse is truly dead.

 

QUINN

Actually, they came back and signed.

 

RILEY 

Did they?

 

QUINN

Yeah, Friday morning. 

RILEY 

Where was I?

QUINN

Going toe to toe with that pawnbroker.

RILEY

That’s right! Poor slob didn’t know what hit him.

QUINN

He blinked.

RILEY

He signed.

QUINN

He did.

RILEY

That he did. (pause)  

QUINN

So, anything doing this weekend?

RILEY 

Not much. You?

QUINN

Clean a bit, perhaps. Get some laundry done. 

RILEY

Before it mildews.

QUINN

Well— Yeah.

RILEY

Maybe if you wait, it’ll throw itself in the washer out of desperation.

QUINN

Probably spend time online looking for some new music. Write Jordan back. 

RILEY

Oh, are you and Jordan—?

QUINN

No. But we’re still friends.

RILEY

How magnanimous of you.  Or Jordan.  Both.  Maybe I’ll go over and have Sunday brunch with grandma. 

RILEY

Bloody Marys and scrambled eggs. 

QUINN

Dean Martin on the hi-fi. Beach Boys.

RILEY

Maybe catch a little sun while she brushes her poodle on the patio.

QUINN 

Sounds nice.

RILEY

Domestic. (pause) Anyway, once Avery and young Taylor hit the sheets, I give the newbie three weeks before getting the sack.

QUINN

Three weeks?

RILEY

Tops.

QUINN

What if the two of them hit it off?

RILEY

Avery? Please.

QUINN

I forgot— what did Taylor say we were supposed to order?

RILEY

Taylor will receive Sam Adams in a glass, hold the bottle.

QUINN

(beat) Taylor will think we found some draft beer.

RILEY

Taylor will.

TAYLOR

(re-entering)  Taylor will what?  I will what?

RILEY

As the new hire, Taylor will buy the first round.

TAYLOR

Taylor will not. Taylor cannot afford that.

QUINN

And we two crusty veterans will buy the other rounds and all the grub.

RILEY 

Yes. Yes we will. Wait a minute— who are you calling crusty?

TAYLOR

Spot me a twenty until payday and you’re on.

RILEY

Sorry.

QUINN

Yeah, I don’t know if that’s a good idea. 

TAYLOR

I’ll pay you back with five bucks interest.

QUINN

No. Sorry. 

TAYLOR

Ten bucks?

RILEY

Deal.

TAYLOR

Done.

(RILEY smiles, pulls out a twenty and holds it out to TAYLOR, playfully pulls it back when TAYLOR reaches for it, but then gives it to TAYLOR.)

TAYLOR

Ha! (to QUINN)  Pay up.

QUINN

(to RILEY) What’s wrong with you? You never loan anyone money!

RILEY

So?

QUINN

So I bet the newbie fifty you wouldn’t.

(QUINN gives two twenties and two fives to TAYLOR.) 

TAYLOR

(giving to RILEY) Your twenty plus ten to you. Into my pocket goes my twenty—

QUINN

My twenty.

TAYLOR

Mine now. My other twenty (putting it on the table) for the first round, and dinner courtesy of the crusty vets. I might just like working here after all. 

(SFX: TONE. Then “Johnson party, table for three. Johnson party, table for three.”) 

RILEY 

We’re up.

(They begin gathering their items. Something catches on QUINN’s radar.)

QUINN

Wait. Did you two make a deal on this?  

RILEY

(hesitates, then) No comment.

QUINN

No comment?

RILEY

Nope.

(Exit QUINN and RILEY.)

TAYLOR

Boy howdy. 

(LIGHTS OUT.)

Only 128 Days Until August 1st!

That’s right, 31 Plays in 31 Days is rolling up fast: it’s already March! With the third challenge coming so quickly, we wanted to post some of the plays that writers submitted from last year’s challenge. Check back over the next few weeks to read plays written by some of the playwrights who finished last year’s challenge for inspiration about what you can accomplish this year.

If you’re wondering where the rest of the podcasts are from the first year, we are still working on them, but we hope to have all of the podcasts posted before August of 2014. Somehow, raising children, starting MFA writing programs, and writing plays has taken up a lot more of our time than we expected, but we appreciate your patience.

Visit our blog tomorrow for the first play from the 2013 31 Plays in 31 Days Project!

Rachel and Tracy, founders

Revising Your Script

Now that you’ve accumulated a nice little body of work from the 31 Plays Challenge in August, this is a great time to flip through your plays and see which ones really excite you. Whether you’ve written 31 plays or just one, developing strong revision skills will make it easier for your script to get produced.
Revising a play is a continuous process that never really ends unless you decide to stop it. Even a play that is going to be produced on a stage is likely to have revisions during the rehearsal process, based on comments and reactions from directors and actors, and it may even change during or after a production, depending on how the text landed on the stage and how the audience received the production. 
The types of revisions that happen at each stage of a play’s lifecycle are very different from any of the other stages. This article is about revising your play before you send it out for workshop.
Choose a play to revise and carefully reread your script again, with the following questions in mind:
1. Does your play end? Sometimes, it can be very difficult to end a play, and writers may avoid ending it because they don’t really understand the situation or the characters well enough to come to a firm conclusion. If your play doesn’t have an ending, tack one on as a placeholder. You’ll have plenty of time to rework it.
2. Are the stakes high enough? What are the bad things that will happen to your characters if they don’t take action? Sometimes, a play that is running on an interesting concept lack the additional element of risk. The higher the stakes (if Jane doesn’t get a new job, she’ll lose her house and her family), the more the audience will be invested in your protagonist’s journey. Also, be aware that something that might seem like low stakes (whether a character gets a muffin) can come across as high stakes if it’s important to that character (the protagonist is competing in a body-building competition and believes that eating a specific type of muffin before every match helps him to win more often).  
3. Does your protagonist experience a change? Audiences get bored and frustrated when the protagonist in a story doesn’t learn something during the course of the show. A change can be a new perspective or a new decision, but most of the time, something should change.
4. Do your characters all need to be there? Occasionally, a writer will add a character that shows up for two minutes to set up a line for another character, but that’s an inefficient use of an actor. Consider whether your play really needs every single character. Sometimes, consolidating characters gives you an opportunity to strengthen the parts that you keep.
5. What do your characters want? Every character should want something and should make an effort to achieve that something during the course of your play.
6. Do all of your characters have a distinct voice? Creating distinct voices makes the play more interesting for your audience and helps you weed out unnecesary characters. There are times when you intentionally want characters to sound the same, particularly if they’re part of a chorus, but this should be an intentional choice. If your characters sound the same, it’s probably because you haven’t clarified what they want and haven’t allowed them to go after that.
7. Does your play end at the right time? Some plays end before the last line of the play. If the biggest challenge of the play has been overcome and characters are still acting for several pages after that moment, it’s very possible that the play is ending too late. Conversely, some plays end too early, right before the most exciting stuff happens. If a play ends too early, it’s often because the playwright is avoiding making a decision about the ending. Answer all of the other questions in this survey, and you will have an easier time ending the play at the right point.
If you can answer these seven questions to your satisfaction, then you’re well on your way toward having a really strong draft. Next time, we’ll explore workshopping and sharing your play with others for feedback.
Tracy Held Potter, co-founder

Lists! Participating Playwrights & Playwrights Who Wrote ALL 31 Plays!

The lists are here! Check out all he playwrights who turned in at least one play on submittable this year, and all the playwrights who completed the challenge! I am very proud of everyone involved, what an awesome August!

If you are one of the playwrights who wrote all 31 plays, expect an email soon explaining how and when to submit your play for our blog.

If you are not listed and you should be, email Rachel at rachel@31plays31days.com!

You’ll be able to register for the 2014 challenge in July, get ready!

Playwrights Who Participated


A


Aakaash, Buffy

Aladren, Javier

Allen, Terry

Apker, Susan

Armstrong, Ryan

Axelrod, Mick


B


B., N. Justine

Baker, D. R.

Barsanti, Leah

Belmore, Lauren

Blackford, Mary

Block, Thomas

Bradford, Bryan

Breed, Elizabeth

Brooks, Desiree Samone

Bublitz, Rachel

Buenaflor, Cherie

Buffelen, Andy

Burana, Marina

Burbano, Diana


C


Cao, Ed

Campbell, Jill

Carbajal, Ruben

Carpentier, Steve

Castle, Robert

Chessman, Bill

Chichester, Sarah

Chiniara, Sacha

Christie, Annette

Clark, David

Cole, Jeremy

Cole, Sarah

Collingwood, Tim

Comisar, Emily

Conkling, Melissa

Conroy, Mary

Costello, Mark

Cowley, Matt

Cox, Geoffrey

Cromwell, Jill

Crose, Brandon

Cusumano, Topher


D


Dailey, Timothy

Del Rosso, Stephanie

Devine, Jacob

De Savigne, Faith

Dickson, Rachel

Donahoe, Theresa

Donaldson, Christopher

Dovalina, Fernando

Ducksworth, Alexandria

Duncan, Emily

Dunkelberg, Kevan


E


Elliott, Annie

Ellson, Patricia

Engard, Sean

Escobar, Amy

Estola, Brigette


F


Finn, Allison

Fortino, Sebastian

Fox, Anna

Francois, Jasmine

Frank, Nancy Cooper

Freedman, Colette

Freeman, Benjamin

French, Arthur

Frost, Joseph

Futty, Rebecca


G


Gardner, Matthew

Garelick, Nicholas

Gibson, Scott

Giles, Charlotte

Giusto, Michelle

Gomez, Gabrielle

Gram, Lucy

Gant, Shaun

Graves, Cassidy

Green, Keiko

Guerrero, Michelle

Gumble, Wayne


H


Hagen, Paul

Haggerty, Topping

Hahn, Nick

Hamilton, Rob

Hanna, Daniel

Harpél, Nate

Harrison, John

Harrison, Laura

Hart, Randel

Heckman, Philip

Hensel, Jason

Hickey, Susan

Hill, Samm

Hosking, Sandra

Hughes, Colleen

Hull, John

Husson, Daniel


I


Ianiro, Michelle

Irabor, Abie


J


Jamison, Porter

Jarrett, Kisha

Jensen, Sue

Johnson, Colin

Johnson, Karl

Johnson, Norman


K


Kashtan, Inbal

Keating, Amanda

Keith, Melissa

Keyes, Jeffrey James

Kimble, G. D.

Komondor, Krista

Konkel, Matthew

Kowal, Alex

Kraay, Heidi

Krueger, Luke


L


Lane, Mchelle

Lasky, Jason

Legere, Julian

Lerrigo, Charlie

Lewis III, Charles

Leyva, Chris

Li, Laurence

Lichter, Rachel

Little, Chelsey

Llorence, Jeremy

Logan, Hannah

Lohne, Megan

Luca, Joe


M


M., Sarah

MacCallum, Rhea

MacMillan, Tim

Marks, Melinda

Martello, Matt

Martucci, Nick

McCammon, Joshua

McDermott, Brian

McFadden, Rod

McGillivray, Claire Jane

McIntyre, Amina

Milles, Keala

Misuraca, Thomas

Moon, Sarah

Moore, James

Morrison, Nina

Most, Alessandra

Motney, Jonathan

Moughon, Erin

Mueller, Sam

Mulley, Kate

Music, Corey

Myers, Lori


N


Narvaez, Tonya

Nash, Aleesha


O


Olson Six, Jennie

Osborne, Natalie

Owens, Kendra


P


Padilla, Lily

Page, Allison

Panganiban, Conrad

Palmer, Luke

Palmero, Seanan

Patterson, Diane

Petefish-Schrag, Amanda

Pfizenmayer, Laura

Pope, Steven

Porsnuk, Dennis

Potter, Tracy

Prisco, Brian

Probst, Jan

Puccioni, Madeline

Puckett, Mike

Pugh, James


R


Ragsdale, Margy

Raker, Cecelia

Resnikoff, Rachel

Rice, Carol

Rice, Claire

Robert, Everett

Roberts, Jennifer

Roberts, Phobe

Roberts-Gassler, Gregory

Roby, David

Rogers, Kyle

Roske, Earl

Roth, Peter

Ryan, Travis


S


Samuels, JC

Sandler, Terry

Santillo, Angela

Sarver, Karen

Schrag, Amy

Schaag, Katrina

Schackne, Karl

Schaetzle, Alexis

Scheer, Alexis

Schroering, Abby

Schwartz, Briana

Scott, Alex

Shantzis, Lori

Shiree, Royal

Shucart, Deborah

Smith, Kelly

Snyder, Emily

Sobieralski, Casondra

Sonna, Mark-Brian

Sowa, Lauren

Steffens, Fly

St. Pierre, Avery

Stone, Lauren


T


Teglia, Emilia

Tella, Caitlyn

Thurman, Brittany

Tinglum, Lisa

Tobin, Scott

Torres, Francine

Tull, Eileen


U


Unwin, Benjamin


V


Vafadari, Vahishta

Valls, Thomas

Vera, Zakeya


W


Wagner, Emma

Walker, Brian

Wallin, Sam

Ward, Thomas

Webb, Mary-Matoula

Weems, Michael

West, Tim

Whidden, Tyler

Williams, Nikki

Williams, Sybil R.

Willis, Brittany

Wood, Peter


Y


Yeager, Delaney


Z


Zephyr, I



Playwrights Who Wrote 31 Plays in 31 Days

A


Aakaash, Buffy

Allen, Terry

Armstrong, Ryan


B


Baker, D. R.

Blackford, Mary

Block, Thomas

Breed, Elizabeth

Brooks, Desiree Samone

Bublitz, Rachel

Buffelen, Andy


C


Castle, Robert

Chessman, Bill

Clark, David

Cole, Sarah

Costello, Mark

Cowley, Matt

Crose, Brandon


D


Del Rosso, Stephanie

De Savigne, Faith

Dickson, Rachel

Donahoe, Theresa

Dovalina, Fernando

Ducksworth, Alexandria


E


Estola, Brigette


F


Fortino, Sebastian

Fox, Anna

Frank, Nancy Cooper

French, Arthur

Frost, Joseph


G


Garelick, Nicholas

Gibson, Scott

Giles, Charlotte

Giusto, Michelle

Gomez, Gabrielle


H


Hagen, Paul

Hahn, Nick

Hamilton, Rob

Hanna, Daniel

Heckman, Philip

Hensel, Jason

Hickey, Susan

Hull, John


J


Jamison, Porter

Johnson, Colin

Johnson, Karl


K


Kashtan, Inbal

Kimble, G. D.

Konkel, Matthew

Kraay, Heidi


L


Legere, Julian

Lerrigo, Charlie

Leyva, Chris

Li, Laurence

Llorence, Jeremy

Logan, Hannah


M


MacCallum, Rhea

Marks, Melinda

Martello, Matt

McDermott, Brian

McGillivray, Claire Jane

McFadden, Rod

Milles, Keala

Misuraca, Thomas

Moughon, Erin

Mueller, Sam


O


Olson Six, Jennie

Osborne, Natalie


P


Panganiban, Conrad

Palmero, Seanan

Porsnuk, Dennis

Probst, Jan

Petefish-Schrag, Amanda

Pugh, James



R


Raker, Cecelia

Rice, Carol

Roberts, Phobe

Roberts-Gassler, Gregory

Roske, Earl

Roth, Peter


S


Samuels, JC

Sandler, Terry

Schrag, Amy

Schroering, Abby

Shucart, Deborah

St. Pierre, Avery

Stone, Lauren



T


Teglia, Emilia

Tobin, Scott

Tull, Eileen


V


Vafadari, Vahishta


W

Walker, Brian

Wallin, Sam

Webb, Mary-Matoula

Weems, Michael

West, Tim

Willis, Brittany

Z

 

Zephyr, I

 

31 Plays Podcast Series Episode 12; A DINNER PARTY GOES AWRY by E. J. C. Calvert

A Dinner Party Goes Awry by E. J. C. Calvert

Directed by Sunil Patel

Read by Tavis Kammet (Mike), Colleen Egan (Lydia), Peter Townley (Other Mike), Claire Rice (Sylvia), and Caitlin Evenson (Stage Directions)

Thank you to the people who made this podcast possible:

Playwright:

E. J. C. Calvert: a Chicago-based playwright, her plays have been produced sometimes. Much love to her cat, Jolson – couldn’t have done it without you pushing those half-empty wine glasses off the table, you dick.

Contact E.J.C. at ejccalvert.com.

Tech Support:

Thomas Kessinger (Sound) is a musician/publicist residing in Salt Lake City. Working for Exigent Records/Crucial Fest he promotes patronage of the performance arts. Follow him @xthomasx.

Taylor Gonzalez (Sound) has designed and run sound for the SF Mime Troupe, Fusion Theater, and All Terrain Theater. He joined Fusion Theater at the Edinburgh Festival with Naomi Iizuka’s Polaroid Stories.

Director:

Sunil Patel (Director) is a writer and actor who has, on occasion, directed. He first got a taste for directing while producing halftime shows for the Marching Owl Band, where he wrangled men and women in pinstripe suits and blue body paint in and out of a giant box on wheels. Then he co-ran a Veronica Mars ARG and directed a woman in Wisconsin over the phone as she made a viral video. He gained notoriety for writing and directing musical comedy skits at a regional medical writing conference. His first time directing legitimate theater was, appropriately enough, “Ode to the Director,” part of San Francisco Theater Pub’s The Odes of March in 2012. He has never directed a podcast before, so it seems perfectly reasonable to just go ahead and do five.

Stage Manager:

Chelsey Little (Stage Manager) A native of Austin, TX, Chelsey smirks rather than smiles just like her mother and has a voracious temper just like her father. She is one of five children in the Little Clan and bears the cross of being the only redheaded daughter. After graduating with honors from Stanford University with a degree in English Literature and a concentration in Shakespeare, Chelsey moved to “the City” where she has been living and working since, dipping her toes into the vibrant theatre scene. She’s worked with theatre companies worldwide, from ZACH Theatre in her hometown to FESTA Theatre in Florence, the Corpus Christi Owlets in Oxford, Dragon Productions in Palo Alto, and the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco. While she’s an actress at heart, she is interested in every aspect of theatre and has experience in theatre education and administration. She also writes from time to time.

Actors:

Tavis Kammet (Mike) received his B.A. in Drama from University of Exeter then he went and got his M.A. in Performance from the University of London Goldsmiths.  He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and works as a substitute teacher. Give me back my dreams, reality!

Colleen Egan (Lydia) has assistant directed and understudied at The Magic Theatre (The Crowd You’re In With) and The SF Playhouse (The Scene). Colleen has also directed and performed in multiple short works for Wily West Productions, in their “New Plays Festival” and last year’s “Spooky Cabaret.” Colleen most recently performed as Viola in Twelfth Night at the Phoenix Theater and as Eris in the staged reading of Ares and Eris in the SF Olympians festival. She is the Assistant Artistic Director of Gritty City Repertory Youth Theater in Oakland. She co-directed Gritty City’s production of The Tempestthis past May. She was also a featured actor in the Women in Solodarity: Cat Ladies production by All Terrain Theater.

Peter Townley (Other Mike) is a large mammal endemic to Northern California whose habitat has only recently expanded to the Bay Area.  Its range is now thought to extend into San Francisco and the East Bay, where its elaborate calls and social displays have been observed in theatrical settings.

Claire Anne Rice (Sylvia) is a playwright as well as a director and actor. She has worked with Thunderbird Theatre Company, No Nude Men, Three Wise Monkeys, PianoFight, AtmosTheatre, Theatre Pub, San Francisco Olympians Theatre Festival, Custom Made Theatre Company and is co-founder of Ann Marie Productions.  Her plays include Sex in the Next Room,Woman Come DownThe Carmine LieIt Ain’t MeWater LineDemeter’s Daughter and Pride and Succubus. Claire was born in New Mexico where she spent most of her life. She graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a BFA in Performance. Before moving to San Francisco to get her MFA in Playwriting at San Francisco State University. She lives and works in San Francisco with her wonderful husband.

Caitlin Evenson (Stage Directions) is delighted to make her podcast ‘debut’ with the wonderful people involved in the ‘31 Plays Podcast’. Recent credits includeThe Farnsworth Invention (Town Hall Theatre), It’s a Wonderful Life (Town Hall Theatre), SF Shakes’ touring production of MacbethFive Lesbian Eating a Quiche (Tides Theatre), Steel Magnolias (Diablo Actors’ Ensemble), As You Like It (Curtain Theatre), Pride and Prejudice (RVP) and understudy for The Verona Project (Cal Shakes). She’s also had the privilege of working with the SF Olympian Festival, All Terrain Theater and various other theatre groups around the Bay Area. Caitlin holds an Honors degree in History from UC, Berkeley with a minor in Theatre and Performance studies.

You can also listen to the podcast by clicking here.