I recently challenged my theatre company to a write-off over the summer (first rule of Playwright Club: everybody writes…). The rules are simple; write a short play, minimum 5 pages, maximum 10, on absolutely anything you want, and when we reconvene at the end of the summer we’ll cast our plays from the company, open a case of beer, and have a little festival of original work. Not everyone in my company is a playwright, but by the end of summer, by God, they will be.
Now, getting started is the hardest part, so if any writers out there are looking for inspiration, I offer the following resource: Overheard in New York. It’s a compilation of actual real life dialogue snippets culled from around NY by anyone that wishes to submit them, and they’re priceless. Vancouver has one of these sites too, but OHINY is, well, very New Yorkish, its citizens are crazier and thus more entertaining. Every single one of them is a potential play opening. I present the following as a perfect example, as overheard on the 2 train, between 42nd and 72nd:
Aspiring actress: I hope I get the part! That director was so hot! I could totally sleep with him!
Friend: He’s your dad’s age.
Aspiring actress: No! He’s 41. My dad’s 43.
Friend: You’re 20.
Aspiring actress: Yeah. That’s sort of sick. I have to stop liking older guys. What can I say? I’m just looking for a more mature man! Hey, I got this new moisturizer that smells like cookies, and it’s sparkly! Smell my leg!
Greatest beginning of a play ever.