If you’re wondering what happened to Parts 1, 2, and 3, they appeared on this blog a year ago when I subjected myself to the pressure of an eight-hour playwriting competition at Femfest in Winnipeg. The event turned into a continuing saga when my resulting script, although not chosen as the winner, was eventually selected to be expanded to an hour and granted a public reading with professional cast and director at this year’s Femfest. With the assistance of dramaturge Ellen Peterson, I finished the final script in July and am pleased to announce that Irony: A Tragic Comedy about Life and Death will be performed at the Asper Centre for Theatre, 400 Colony Street, at 9:00 pm on Monday, September 14. You can find more details about the festival and how to get tickets at www.sarasvati.ca
Here’s the premise of the play: when Judy develops a lung condition, she becomes convinced she has cancer and proceeds to make everyone else’s life as miserable as humanly possible. An ironic twist brings her and those she loves to a new appreciation of the meaning of irony.
Meanwhile, I applied to the Bake-Off play-writing competition again this year and was very surprised to win one of the five spots, especially since they’ve added a cash prize to the event! Five hundred bucks sure would help this grandma buy a plane ticket for Calgary to snuggle my new grandson when he arrives next month!
Here’s how this “Bake-Off” contest works. I show up, along with the four other contestants, at the theatre by 10:00 a.m. this Friday. We’ll be told what three random ingredients our script must include, then we’ll have until 7:00 p.m. to email our completed ten-minute script. We’re allowed to be thinking about possible scenarios ahead of time (how could they stop us?), but the actual writing must be “from scratch.”
So. I’m asking you, my readers, to help me out here. I’ve thought of a couple of scenarios that might make an entertaining story. Which do you like?
First idea: four generations of women are in the car riding to an event together: two bickering sisters in their 50’s, their nearly deaf 80-year old mother, and one nervous daughter with a newborn in a car seat. Maybe they get a flat tire or some other kind of car trouble.
Second idea: the scene opens with two couples crawling onto the stage. Their cruise ship has capsized and they’ve washed up on an uncharted island. As the play unfolds, we learn that the wife from one couple and the husband from the other were planning an affair before tragedy struck.
Of course, it’s possible that the required “ingredients” will not lend themselves to either of these scenarios and I’ll need to dream up something else. Do you have a better idea? Comment by Friday morning and your idea just might end up on stage!
You can see the finished product (along with the other four plays) the same night as “Irony” is presented, and at the same place. The Bake-Off starts at 7:00, and tickets for that event sell out quickly. You can get yours at a name-your-own-price deal on the aforementioned website. The audience votes on the winner so, in theory, filling the theatre with one’s own friends should improve one’s chances.
What sort of pressure are you choosing to subject yourself to this week? Remember: no pressure, no diamonds.