Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I want something from you - read the freaking directions!

Well once again, people responding to an NYCPlaywrights Play of the Month challenge have demonstrated how many ways it's possible to get the instructions wrong.

The challenge was to write a one-page monologue based on the theme "I want something from you."

I was hoping that the theme would prompt the entering playwrights to send something with a sense of urgency - something dramatic.

There have been 31 submissions so far (the deadline is in a couple of weeks) and virtually none of the submissions is close to what I was hoping for. Almost all of the plays are based on the theme "I want to tell you something." No sense of urgency, just a lot of whining.

The closest entries are about how the speaker wants something from someone else - usually love - and they are talking to a different person, trying to get that person to help them get what they really want from the other person. In one case it was a woman asking someone for money so she could go see her boyfriend. The monologue should have been addressed to the boyfriend, telling him why she wants him to love her.

But no. They'd rather do it all second-hand and remote and undramatic.

Well there was one play that spoke directly to the person whom the speaker wanted something from - or rather, not the person - the dog. It's one of those faux-clever pieces where you're not supposed to figure out it's a dog until they drop that bombshell at the end.


Hopefully the later submissions will be closer to the actual theme - that happens pretty often. The early submissions are just whatever the playwright happened to have lying around, maybe edited a tiny bit with the phrase "I want something from you" but often not even that. The later submitters are more likely to have written something specifically for the NYCPlaywrights Play of the Month. We shall see.