Friday, January 04, 2013

This is sincere romantic love?

Once again I am asking myself: "what was I thinking?" I went ahead and posted another call for an NYCPlaywrights Play of the Month. I've already received 32 submissions and as usual a good chunk of the submissions don't meet the stated criterion, which reads: 
The theme is "Two Hander in Love." It can be a comedy or a drama, but should not have a bitter, cynical, take-my-wife-please approach. This is about sincere romantic love. The romantic love can be hetero-normative or LGBT, but the script should call for no more than two characters on stage - it should be a two-hander.
I think it's pretty clear that "sincere romantic love" is what is wanted. By what twisted definition do any of these count?
  • A young couple who have been together two weeks gets into a fight about pigeons nesting outside their window. They insult each other. The guy climbs onto the ledge and falls off. I think this is supposed to be humorous. Since the script does not specify how high up they are, you don't know if he's dead or just comically maimed. 
  • A play that sounds more like a Penthouse Forum (does that still exist?) letter than anything else. A beautiful young woman meets a "nice-guy Wall Street trader" - clearly this playwright doesn't actually know any Wall Street traders - and asks him to impregnate her while her husband is away on duty in Afghanistan. Also because "she's horny." Oh and in spite of this guy being "nice" he's also married but has no problem agreeing within ten minutes to go off and impregnate a random stranger. 
  • A 50 year old couple, married for 27 years, and the wife hasn't made breakfast for the husband that week, although every single other day of their marriage she has. And she also does all the laundry and fetches his newspaper. And this play is set in "the present." What the hell is a "newspaper"? So at the end we find out that he forgot her birthday. This cliched cardboard scenario is what this playwright sent to a call for "sincere romantic plays."
And as if these all weren't enough, once again the author of the play about a woman sitting on a toilet during the entire play sent me that play again. I blogged about it the first time I saw this script, almost two years ago.

It's plays like these that really make me hate people. I'm extremely tempted to write back and tell them exactly what I think of their plays - or even just send them one line: "this is what you consider a sincere romantic play?" but then that would give them a chance to send something else - the deadline isn't until January 27. And they don't deserve another chance.