Sunday, September 18, 2011

If You Want to Write a Play About Playing Games...

I know it seems as if the book has barely closed on Heartland Theatre's "Back Porch" 10-minute play festival, with the wonderful Joe Strupek play "Don't Forget to Play My Numbers" and Bruce Boeck's lovely "Crickets." (Click here to see pictures if you want to refresh your "Back Porch" recollection.) But, believe it or not, Heartland's 11th annual 10-minute play contest is now open for submissions!

Here's what you need to know if you are thinking about writing a play on the theme "Playing Games" for this year's festival:

"Oh, the games people play...

Games of chance. Mind games. Game shows. Card games. Gaming the system. Big game. Ballgames. Even The Most Dangerous Game.

It seems to be hard-wired into the human psyche to bluff, plot, push, weep, wheedle, maneuver, manipulate and strategize to get what you want, whether the ultimate goal is winning the World Series of Poker, emerging as the head of the Five Families, nabbing the Miss Junebug title, shoving your brother aside for that inheritance, sliding into the last spot on the Olympic luge team, stealing the blue ribbon for your giant zucchini or finally, just once, beating your spouse at Charades.

Is it really about winning, losing, or how you play the game?

You have:

No more than 4 characters...
No more than 10 minutes...
And unlimited possibilities to write a winning play for Heartland Theatre’s Playing Games 10-Minute Play Festival."

The rules are available here, while Heartland makes a style sheet available here. You are well-advised to read and follow both if you want your play to have the best chance.

Good luck! And have fun playing this play-writing game!

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