Green Curtain Theatre productions is seeking submissions for short plays or monologues to be performed initially as a staged rehearsed readings in February/March in West London as part of a “Shows from the Songs Night”. We are hoping to develop some of the successful plays into full performances later in the year as part of a festival.
The plays must be take their inspiration from a song in such a way as the audience can relate the piece directly back to the song.
The pieces must take no longer than 15 minutes to perform. This means that your scripts should take about 10 minutes to read from the page.
The pieces may have as many characters as you wish so longs as the work can be performed by no more than 4 actors.
We are particularly interested in receiving plays based on Irish songs from any era from way back when to bang up to date. Who might Danny Boy be today? What’s the story behind the “Fairytale of New York”? What shenanigans did the Black Velvet Band get up to? Take your song and write us a short play – set in the UK that reflects the emigrant experience in any way. We will pick the best ones and stage them as rehearsed readings later in the year beginning in spring.
Our next “Shows from the Songs” will be on Saturday May 20th and the deadline for submissions is Tuesday April 18th .
Email submissions to email@example.com including your full name and contact details with a short summary of what the piece is about.
Some tips to help you get started
1)KNOW WHAT YOUR PLAY IS ABOUT BEFORE YOU START. You should be able to condense what you are trying to say into one or two short sentences.
EXAMPLES OF TWO PLAYS ALREADY ACCEPTED:
This monologue is about a man whose party piece at funerals was “Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms “, a song popularised by Count McCormack and what happened one day when this man could no longer remember the words.
This play which takes its inspiration from Dublin in the Rare Old TImes, is the conversation between a middle aged woman having a mid afternoon drink in an empty London pub with a barman from Dublin. This conversation shows how different memories can be.
2) NO EXPOSITION! Just jump into your story. This presents a puzzle for the audience to unravel and allows them to play with you.
3) EVERY DETAIL MUST RELATE TO THE ACTION OF THE PLAY. You’ve got ten minutes—there’s no time for anything extraneous. Nothing is random. (Although at first it may appear to be so!)
4) A CHARACTER SPEAKS TO GET WHAT HE WANTS. All characters have DREAMS. These dreams are what make him unique. How are they fulfilled? How are they not fulfilled? How do they turn in on themselves?
5) A CHARACTER SHOULD BE OFF-BALANCE IN SOME WAY. Real characters are excessive in some areas. Deficient in others. If there is no disparity between what your characters are saying and what they are doing, you probably aren’t writing theatre.
6) DON’T WASTE TIME TALKING ABOUT ANYTHING YOU CAN SHOW. Images are more powerful than words!
7) EVERY GREAT PLAY HAS A POINT OF NO RETURN. The protagonist crosses the line. Now there is no turning back!
8) NEVER LET YOUR CHARACTERS OFF TOO EASY! If you do, what they’ve just been through won’t have meant anything. They may escape with their lives—but just barely!
9) EVERY PROTAGONIST MUST HAVE A JOURNEY. He should end up someplace radically different from where he began. BIG THINGS HAPPEN—not everyday life with endless pouring of coffee and lighting of cigarettes. LIFE-ALTERING EVENTS. If your protagonist ends up in the same place he started, he must go through Hell and back to get there.
10) FIND WHAT IS UNIVERSAL IN YOUR SCRIPT. These are windows that allow us to enter your world.
11) REMEMBER THAT THE CLIMAX IS WHERE A PLAY WINS OR LOSES! The audience is rewarded for their attention. (The big pay-off!) The test of a great play is SELF DISCOVERY.
12) EVERY DETAIL COMES TOGETHER IN THE END.